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CEX not putting out? Fedwire transfer for U.S. CEX customers

Updated: May 27, 2023

Centralized Exchanges (CEXs) like KRAKEN & COINBASE are no longer allowing ACH withdrawals by customers from a list of countries including the U.S. They no longer recognize the Visa or Mastercard cashcard, prepaid card, or non US bank card for wire withdrawals of fiat currency. The country of convenience has been anything but convenient for enabling users to enjoy the anonymity and decentralized nature of cryptocurrency none to the fault of the CEXs. There has been continuous regulatory oversight that has kept U.S. based exchanges playing by scrupulous "rule changes" to help them continue to exist and satisfy CFTC, FTC, SEC, & IRS compliance. Why?

Consumer protection. KYC (Know your customer) requirements have extended past identity and has now infiltrated the entire flow of money to assure there is monitoring to some degree for anti-money laundering (AML) and consumer fraud protection. A fedwire transfer is now the only way to get dollars out of the exchanges for U.S. CEX customers.

Visa partners with P2P payment applications
Your financial payment app is not a bank!

Your back is being watched by big brother...and your front...and your bottom...and your top; basically a 360 degree view of your online (banking especially) activities will be tracked and are under surveillance. (For your protection.)

Assuming you had undergone KYC requirements, you were previously able to get your $$$'s easily off of any CEX via ACH. No mas ACH! Now you must have a U.S. Bank account linked to the CEX account of the same user name. Transfers will only happen from Your exchange account to Your bank account....that's it!

A fedwire transfer is the only vehicle for fiat currency being withdrawn from a CEX to a bank account of a U.S. customer. You should also be aware that most U.S. banks limit both the number and the $ amount of transactions an account holder can perform in a daily, weekly, and monthly cycle. You wire transfers will be declined if you exceed the limitations set forth by your bank.


CashApp is a peer-to-peer (P2P) payment application that allows individuals to easily send, receive and invest money in stocks & bitcoin. The mobile app was launched by Square Inc., now Block Inc., as Square Cash in 2013 as an alternative to mobile payment apps like Zelle, PayPal & Venmo.

CashApp is considered a financial platform, but it is not actually a bank. The 3rd party financial app provides banking services and connects users with Visa debit cards through its banking partners. Your CashApp account balance is also insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation through bank partners.

Sutton Bank of Ohio formerly handled CashApp's fedwire transfers for U.S. CEX customers. Recently, the banking partner on transfers switched and transfers are now being processed by Wells Fargo. The important thing to note: The WIRE TRANSFER ROUTING AND ACCOUNT NUMBER ARE DIFFERENT FROM YOUR primary account routing and account numbers.

Wire transfer limits and account numbers
CashApp account is different from the routing number and account number for wire transfers
wire transfers and FDIC for CashApp provided by Wells Fargo
CashApp switched to Wells Fargo for wire services and FDIC

Here are some very important notes on performing transfers between exchanges and U.S. Banks that play intermediary between user apps and the users themselves:

  1. 3rd Party Apps (like CashApp) do not provide customer service on wire transfers.

  2. Intermediary processing banks (like Wells Fargo) do not work with customers that are not bank customers. Meaning that Wells won't help CashApp customers even though they process the fedwire transfer for U.S. CEX customers.

  3. If you successfully transfer money out of your exchange (status reports "success" message) it may still be declined by the receiving bank. (Especially if you exceed limits.)

  4. A declined wire transfer will NOT automatically arrive back to your sending institution or exchange account.

  5. You will have to contact the processing bank (Wells Fargo) and request the IMAD number of the returning declined transaction. They will need the IMAD # from the original attempted wire transfer. Your exchange will provide you with the IMAD # if you request it. (At least Kraken does this.)

  6. Your exchange will not find the returning IMAD # without your assistance. You must report the returning IMAD # to your exchange for them to recover the funds and credit your account.

Here is the a help article from Kraken that does a great job of explaining the IMAD/OMAD numbers/messages:

The fedwire transfer process for CEX customers in the U.S. is somewhat ridiculous for the average user to undergo. However, it is a process that is designed to eliminate fraud and criminal behavior. The entire wire process can take 1 to 5 days to process. It can take forever to recover funds if you do not follow up and locate the funds when they are in limbo. Either way, you can't just get your dollars out of an exchange like you could not too long ago. I had over $1000 in "limbo" for over 30 days before making multiple phone calls to exchanges, banks, and financial app customer service. It was a frustrating period. The only saving grace from the delay on locating my funds is that I was able to do something to get by in the interim. Get this:

I was able to SEND my Bitcoin from Kraken to CashApp in under 20 minutes. I was able to sell my Bitcoin on CashApp and the u.s. dollars were readily available to spend with my CashApp card. No messy lengthy wire transfer...No Wells Fargo in the middle?

-Bitcoin saves the day!


This BLOG article is definitely not trading, legal, financial, tax, or any other type of unsolicited or solicited advice. Just facts and opinions intermingled like most things on the internet. Do your own research and only risk money that you can afford to lose if you participate in open market trading or investing in digital products such as derivatives and spot currencies.


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