DEFINITION of 'Transfer'

A change in ownership of an asset, or a movement of funds and/or assets from one account to another. A transfer may involve an exchange of funds when it involves a change in ownership, such as when an investor sells a real estate holding. In this case, there is a transfer of title from the seller to the buyer and a simultaneous transfer of funds, equal to the negotiated price, from the buyer to the seller.

The term transfer may also refer to the movement of an account from one bank or brokerage to another.


A transfer of funds from one account to another, where both accounts are held by the same individual, may occur for purposes of financial planning or better investment returns. Examples of such transfers would be funds transferred from a checking account to a savings account that offers higher rates of interest, or from a savings account to an IRA. Most banks enable such inter-account transfers to be conducted online.

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