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If I'm transferring money from Bank A to Bank B, I have multiple options:

  • Tell Bank A to deposit the money into my account in Bank B.
  • Tell Bank B to withdraw the money from my account in Bank A.

Assuming I can do whichever I like, is there any reason at all (however small it might be) to prefer one over the other, whether in terms of security or in terms of convenience or anything else?

  • What makes you think it makes any difference? – JohnFx Feb 7 '16 at 23:45
  • @JohnFx: The fact that two different ways of accomplishing the same goal exist makes me wonder if there might be a difference between the two. – user541686 Feb 7 '16 at 23:50
  • I'm curious: in what country and through what means would you be able, as an individual, to withdraw money from an account held at another bank, by means other than a debit card? – jcaron Feb 8 '16 at 1:59
  • Also, are you considering the two accounts to be in the same country, using the same currency? – jcaron Feb 8 '16 at 1:59
  • @jcaron: This is possible in the United States, and yes. – user541686 Feb 8 '16 at 2:05
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Assuming neither one charges a fee and you are talking about automated non-cash, non-check transactions:

Withdrawal is slightly better if you are 100% sure you have the money (or better yet, twice the money) to cover it. It puts more incentive on the bank that is responsible for the act to do it correctly, because they will then be the bank holding the money. It also creates an added check because there is no possibility of having an error in transfer information result in sending your money to the wrong account. (This is unlikely anyway, but not impossible depending on the bank and interface).

Deposit may be slightly better if you are not, or if you are concerned about technical foul-ups at the bank. Depending on the bank, a deposit with insufficient funds may be cancelled rather than going through and then being cancelled, which could result in various banking fees (returned item fees, overdraft fees, etc...).

If there is a technical foul-up during a withdrawal, you run the risk of having banks get confused--I know of a case where it took a major bank months to fix a withdrawal transaction that was denied the second time when they activated it twice, but the account balance mistakenly showed an extra thousand dollars for the duration.

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  • +1 thank you, this is precisely the kind of answer I was hoping for. – user541686 Feb 8 '16 at 0:50
  • Also another note: it looks a lot sketchier for a withdrawal to bounce than for a deposit to not go through due to insufficient funds. Your account might get locked for some time and you might have to explain what happened on another business day. So you might want to prefer depositing here. – user541686 Jul 28 '18 at 11:17

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