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If a friend wants to transfer $7000 to me, what is the best way to do it, especially if we don't share the same banks? We could do wire transfer, but that comes with its own fees. Could we also do direct deposit? Paypal doesn't allow such large lump sum transfers.

This would be US-to-US transfer.

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    What's the priority? Does the funds need to get there quickly or cheaply? – Eric Dec 21 '15 at 14:02
  • Cheaply, preferably – InquilineKea Dec 23 '15 at 18:36
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    What's wrong with a personal check? – chepner Jan 20 '18 at 19:06
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    Caution if your "friend" wants you to either refund or send some of the money somewhere else. There is a scam, where the incoming money appears to arrive in some form -- but never really arrives (i.e. bad check, chargeback, "I did send it, why are you lying about it? I thought I could trust you")-- and so the victim sends outgoing money which is gone. – Paul Jan 21 '18 at 7:16
  • Use bitcoin almost free transaction fee – Masih Dec 24 '19 at 21:32
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The simplest thing to do is still one of the oldest: Write a check. If you don't have a checking account, you can still probably enter the payment in your bank's online bill pay - In this case they will send him a paper check.

There's an irrational desire these days to avoid checks at all costs, which I don't understand. There's a time and place for electronic transfers and there's no doubt they're often very useful. This is probably not one of those cases, however, since neither you nor your friend are set up for it.

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    This is not a bill payment it is simply an EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer). – user9722 Dec 21 '15 at 16:55
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    @GeorgeRenous You can use "bill payment" to pay individuals. Despite the name, there's no need for an actual "bill" to be issued. The second part of your comment I don't understand. There's no EFT involved in my answer or necessarily in the question. (EFT is one way that you might consider transferring money, but it's not a requirement and not what I suggested.) – user32479 Dec 21 '15 at 16:57
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    @neminem The OP was considering a wire transfer for $7k. That won't be less hassle than a check. Totally agree with your sentiment in most cases, but the check still has its place and probably will for a while longer before it completely goes the way of the dinasour. – user32479 Dec 21 '15 at 19:21
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    In Australia you need a Biller Id Number and a Bill Reference Number to make an electronic bill payment. These are usually made to companies that are billing you for goods or services. To make an online transfer to another account whether your own or someone else's from another bank you make an EFT from your account to theirs. And banks here offer their customers with chequing accounts free cheque books. – Victor Dec 22 '15 at 8:38
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    @Victor That's interesting. I've never heard of that. In this case the question specifies US->US though. For sure you can do an "online bill pay" to an individual here. I've both made and received money this way. (The check comes with text like "Please accept this payment from our mutual customer" which is kind of funny when it's your buddy paying for something personal.) Conversely, and EFT between personal accounts is not so easy, especially when the accounts are owned by different people. There's some support but not widespread yet. – user32479 Dec 22 '15 at 13:25
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He can do an internet bank transfer from his/her account to yours, a direct deposit at a branch of your bank, use PayPal, which should allow such an amount or similar methods.

$7000 is not considered a large amount these days and should be quite easy to execute in a number of ways.

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  • Would Internet bank transfer come with fees if done from one bank to another? – InquilineKea Dec 21 '15 at 7:11
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    That depends on the bank and the account. I don't pay any fees for transfers with my account. – Victor Dec 21 '15 at 10:13
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As others say, a check is the best answer here (or using online bill pay to have your bank mail a check), but you could also look into Zelle. It's an electronic money transfer service similar to PayPal, but owned by and integrated with many US financial institutions. Each bank sets different sending limits, but some would allow sending $7000 if you split the amount into two or three smaller transactions sent over the course of several days.

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If you'd like, you could just withdraw the $7000 in cash and hand it to your friend physically. Of course the dangers are quite clear, but it is the most ensured way to give your friend the money with no fees.

However, I would still not recommend that. $7000 is a lot of money to carry around in cash, and comes with its own concerns. I would recommend what the rest say, a simple cheque.

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