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What is a Book Transfer?

H. Bliss
Updated May 16, 2024
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Often called a transfer for short, a book transfer happens when a financial instrument is transferred from one owner or account to another without physically moving the paper financial instrument. Though a book transfer can be used to transfer securities like bonds, most people deal with book transfers when they move money from one bank account to another, like when an account holder transfers funds from a savings account to a checking account. A book transfer can be performed in person, through contact between a customer and a bank representative, or it can be arranged electronically through online banking services. Online book transfers can often be scheduled for automatic transfer.

Generally, book transfers are convenient and profitable for the bank because they are immediate, erasing the uncertainty and float time in check transactions. Float time is the time between when the check was written and when the check was debited from the account of the person who issued the check. A check is a paper promise to allow a person or company to debit a specific amount from the check issuer's account, sometimes on a future date. When a check is issued for a time in the future, it is called a post-dated check. Using a book transfer is convenient for banking customers because book transfer transactions do not require a paper exchange or a trip to the bank to complete.

Book transfers usually refer to transactions that occur within the same bank, for example, if a customer transfers money to another customer at the same bank. Usually, the term "book transfer" is used more loosely to refer to any transfer transaction in which paperwork or physical goods are not exchanged. These transactions can include electronic check transactions or transfers of bonds and other securities. Most securities transfers are done without paper or physical delivery, so many securities transactions are considered to be book transfers.

Securities that can be exchanged in a book transfer include bonds, preferred stock, and common stock. A bond is essentially a loan to a corporation with the promise of steady interest payments and repayment scheduled on designated dates. Common stock is the stock traded on the stock market. With common stock, small parts of company ownership called stock are traded for profit. Preferred stock is a lesser-used type of stock that pays interest like a bond and has the privilege of receiving stock dividend payments first, before common stock owners are paid.

SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
H. Bliss
By H. Bliss , Former Writer
Heather Bliss, a passionate writer with a background in communication, brings her love for connecting with others to her work. With a relevant degree, she crafts compelling content that informs and inspires, showcasing her unique perspective and her commitment to making a difference.

Discussion Comments

By Azuza — On Jun 18, 2011

@strawCake - A book transfer is much more convenient than writing a check. However the last time I did one the banks computers went down while my transaction was processing! It was a mess. Luckily they were able to fix the problem but I was a little nervous there for a minute.

By strawCake — On Jun 17, 2011

A book transfer is much easier and more secure than using a check. My mother and I have the same bank account and a few weeks ago I needed to transfer some money from my account to hers. The teller was able to complete the transfer for me in about three seconds and the money was available to my mom immediately.

If I ever need to make such a transaction again I will definitely do the book transfer.

H. Bliss

H. Bliss

Former Writer

Heather Bliss, a passionate writer with a background in communication, brings her love for connecting with others to her...
Learn more
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