Across the Board

Blog on e-business and online payments.

Credit Card Payment vs Wire Transfer

In some countries (such as in CEE) the most popular payment method is still the wire transfer. That’s why when we are talking to customers from this region, most of them are asking about the functionalities regarding payments through this payment method.

That’s why we’ve decided to compare these two payment methods…

Wire transfer – what the payment process looks like?

Buyer is visting merchant’s website. He puts products to the shopping cart. Once he clicks on the ‘Checkout’ button, he is redirected to the payment provider’s website (sometimes this step is invisible for the buyer). He’s choosing the bank, where he has an account and clicks on some kind of ‘Buy’ button. Once he does that he’s redirected to the chosen bank’s website. He needs to log in to his bank account, approve wire transfer (often using some kind of random password from the SMS), log out from the bank account and back to merchant’s website.

Depending on the bank… sometimes after logging in to the bank account, the buyer has already filled the form to the wire transfer and sometimes he has to put all data for the wire transfer on his own (e.g. receiver’s bank account number, address, description, etc).

Credit card payment – what the payment process looks like?

Buyer is visiting merchant’s website. He puts products to the shopping cart. Once he clicks on the ‘Checkout’ button, he has to put credit card details (credit card number, name on card, expiration date, CVV/CVC) on the merchant’s website or is redirected to the payment provider’s website (where he needs to put credit card details).


You can set your own dedicated descriptor for credit card payments, as well as for wire transfer. How it exactly works depends on the payment provider. For instance, PayLane is able to give you a possibility to set your own dedicated descriptor for both of these payment methods.


Credit cards – yes.
Wire transfer – no.


Credit cards – yes.
Wire transfer – depends on the bank (most of them don’t have such a possibility).

Multicurrency payments

You can have it in both of these payment methods.

API / invisible payment provider

Credit cards – yes.
Wire transfer – no (even if you don’t redirect your buyer to the provider’s website, he will be able to check which PSP is going to process their payments by looking into the source code of merchant’s website).

Storing payment details

Credit cards – yes.
Wire transfer – no (storing login and password to buyer’s bank account in most cases is inconsistent with the bank’s rules; and even if you store someone’s login and password, you won’t have the possiblity to store his password to approve wire transfers – because that’s the random/unique password, which is different for each wire transfer).

Recurring payments

Credit cards – yes.
Wire transfer – no.

Single click payments / one click payments

Credit cards – yes.
Wire transfer – no.

MOTO payments

Credit cards – yes.
Wire transfer – no.

Time after which merchant is sure that the buyer has paid

Credit cards – depends on credit card (in most cases – immediately).
Wire transfer – depends on the bank (in some cases – immediately, in some cases – after a few hours, in other cases – after a few days).

Mobile payments

Credit cards – yes.
Wire transfer – depends on the bank (in most cases it’s possible, but complicated for the buyer).

Why do people use these payment methods?

Credit cards – in most cases using credit cards for payment is easy and fast; it automates future payments of the same buyer; for lots of people this payment method is much safer (thanks to chargebacks).

Wire transfer – buyer can feel safer (because he needs to log in to hi account on a familiar and trusted bank website).

Why do merchants offer these payment methods?

Credit cards – because of the popularity and possibilities.
Wire transfer – because of the popularity in some regions of the world (especially some regions of Europe).

photo source:


PayLane's CEO with all kind of skills - programming, marketing, team leading and more. A movie lover and snowboard fan. @KarolZielinski

Are you a business looking for a payment processor?


  • perlik

    You can easily make refunds in all available banks on polish market (one click in merchant console).

    • PayLane

      You can, but it’s a longer and more complicated process than in case of credit cards – from the POV of the buyer.

      • perlik

        Longer? It usually takes 1-3 working days. What is more in case of credit card this period may be extended up to 30 days (depends on issuer). What do you mean by saying “more complicated”? I thought that everything the buyer should do is to notify the merchant about the need of refund. It’s not necessary to provide any extra details in case wire refund…

        I think there are three important issues which should be mentioned
        First is amout of rejected transactions. In case of wire it’s cuple of %. Credit Cards: mainly 10-20%. Seckond is amout of data which cuostmer has to provide. e.g First Data Polska require full address details. In total there are more than 10 fields to be completed Third: having a bank account is cheaper than cc (of course not always).

        • I have to disagree.

          Credit card’s refund can take seconds or minutes. Everything depends on PSP, acquirer, issuer, bank, etc. Wire transfer’s “refund” is just a next wire transfer, nothing more. So you need to pay extra money for it. You need to wait for e.g. ELIXIR. And you need to wait until it will be settled on recipient’s bank account. That could take several days. If that’s the international wire transfer, you will need to wait even longer.

          Some of the banks have a possibility to “refund” a wire transfer, some of them have not. However just like I wrote above… wire transfer’s “refund” is just the next wire transfer. So if we are thinking this way, then of course… all of the banks have such a possibility.

          “More complicated”… even much more complicated. You need to log in to your bank account and make the next wire transfer. That’s much more complicated than making a refund of a credit card payment. And what’s really important… you don’t have a chance to automate it or to put such a mechanism in any other application. For instance you would be able to make refunds of credit card payments from your own web-based/desktop/mobile application (without any need of login to any other applications, such as PSP’s merchant panel or bank’s account).

          Rejections: that’s true. There are more rejected transactions in credit cards. I agree with you. But still… all of the pros of using credit cards are much more important for the business and its customers.

          More data (such as address details): address details is optional. Sometimes you need to put this kind of data, sometimes you don’t need to do it. Once again it depends on the PSP and the acquirer. There are some examples of websites where you don’t need to put your address details. Some of the payment providers prefer to receive this kind of data for safety reasons (or for some kind of validation purposes).

          Cheaper bank account: just like you said… sometimes it is cheaper. Sometimes it’s not. For instance pre-paid card is often cheaper then a bank account. Debit card is often free-of-charge if you have a bank account. And you can use these cards to all the payments as well.

          • perlik

            International refunds are just as meaningless as international money transfers.
            No doubt about it. The fees are just to big.
            I see your point but in both cases buyers have to wait for the money a few days…
            I know taht cc has beter “availability” but on the other side the process may be longer (in particular, when the PSP take part in it).
            How does it looks like in Paylane? I could not believe that such process can mostly takes less than one day… Lets assume that your merchant did a refund for me. How long do I have to wait for money?

            In order to make wire refunds you really don’t need to log in to your bank account! You can do it via merchant console or even API!
            There is no problem to get API for refunds form polish PSPs… Of course I’m not sure if everyone of them can provide such solutions… ;)

            I know that address is optional but such details are still required e.g in First Data, PayU (only PESEL numeber), Dotpay.
            What is more some polish PSP use MoneyBookers…last time I couldn’t pay via this method without registering an account and login in MoneyBookers system.
            That is ridiculous.

            To be clear… I’m on your side :) Services like one click or rebilling are awesome and and unattainable for wire transfers.

          • Now I need to agree with most of what you’ve wrote :)

            Regarding refunds in PayLane… yeah, that’s true. In most of cases it could take one day (because of clearing – my bad), rarely longer. However it depends on a card type, bank/issuer and acquirer.

  • What about fraud?

  • Pingback: today money transfer rates | Lcd Ventures()

Don't miss any articles!

Leave your email and get regular updates!

Close window