Managing money transfers around bank holidays

Now that digitalisation has simplified the way people bank, remitting money is easy. It is possible to send money almost instantly across accounts, banks, and even countries. And you can do it all with the click of a button!

Those long days of queuing up at the bank may well be a thing of the past. Butsome challenges remain: Making money transfers during bank holidays is one ofthem.

An overview

A bank holiday today no longer restricts how people use their money. That’s thanks in part to the convenience provided by online banking, debit cards, credit cards, and the like.

But bank holidays do put a spanner in the works if you want to transfer money to India from USA. It’s good to find out if the banksare open. Otherwise, your remittance to India might be delayed.

Federal and bank holidays

US bank holidays often coincide with federal holidays. Banks and financial institutions tend toremain closed on those days. The processing of financial transactions is halted as well.

But the banks are not closed on all federal holidays. Or, they might observe the holiday on a different date. Avoid anyconfusion by marking the bank holidaysfor the year on your calendar.

  1. Bank holidays

Do not just assume that your bank will be open for business. Call the bank’s customer care number to confirm. Sometimes the customer care executive may even be able to service your request if it falls within their purview.

However, some services remain closed during holidays.One such service is online money transfer. Bank holiday dates are best avoided for such transactions.

  1. Federal holidays

Banks tend to be closed on federal holidays. If they do remain open, most routine financial services will take place.

However, the Federal Reserve Bank remains closed on federal holidays. So, any processing of payments through the Federal Reserve Bank would be paused. Cheque processing and Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments are also paused until the next working day.

  1. Weekend holidays

Sometimes, if a federal holiday fallson a Saturday or Sunday, banksmay observe the holiday on the preceding or following day.

So, if the holiday is on a Saturday, the bank may remain closed on the Friday before it. Or, if it is on a Sunday, the bank may be closed on the following Monday.

Federal holidays for 2019

  • 1 January: New Year’s Day
  • 21 January: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday
  • 18 February: George Washington’s birthday
  • 27 May: Memorial Day
  • 4 July: Independence Day
  • 2 September: Labor Day
  • 14 October: Columbus Day
  • 11 November: Veterans Day
  • 28 November: Thanksgiving Day
  • 25 December: Christmas Day

Challenges of doing a money transfer during a bank holiday

Many non-resident Indians (NRIs)wonder, ‘Can I transfer money on a bank holiday?’

The answer is ‘no’.

On bank holidays, electronic payments cannot be made.This can be a problem if, for example, you need to transfer money to India from USA urgently. You will not be able to make the transfer on a bank holiday. The money will go through only on the next bank working day.

Knowing this is important even when remitting money to pay bills and loan instalments or even make scheduled investments. Any delays arising from the bank holiday could lead you to face penalties for missing the due date.

Tips for making money transfers to India during bank holidays

If you need to make a money transfer to India, try to avoid bank holidays altogether. If possible, schedule the transfer a few days earlier. This will help you to avoid delaysresulting from the holiday.

Also, avoid issuing a cheque. The processing of cheque payments in a foreign currency can take anywhere from seven to 15 days.

And what about emergencies? Try an online money transfer service like Axis RemitMoney. These ensure real-time transfers once you’ve registered for an account.


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