Have you ever needed to send money to a friend or family member, but were unable to find a way to do so without driving to the bank?
Lucky for you, there are tons of great resources for sending and receiving money online. In fact, most are available on your smartphone in the form of money transfer apps. Better yet, using these apps increase your overall security and eliminate the hassle of using a bank.
Some of these apps you’ve probably heard of – while others might make you rethink everything you know about sending and receiving money. Let’s take a look at them in more detail!
How Do Money Transfer Apps Work?
Money transfer apps allow you to send or receive money to and from a bank account and/or card, either within your own country or internationally. And regardless of whether you’re looking to send small or large amounts of money, there is an app for you.
Let’s get started!
Best Send Money Apps That Are Free
Chances are, you have some sort of familiarity with PayPal. In a sense, it’s a pioneer for other money transfer apps, as its been around longer than most.
PayPal is known for being secure. However, the security comes with a bit of a cost. For US transactions, Paypal takes 2.9% of whatever is sent in addition to a 30 cent fee. If you’re sending money internationally, not only is 2.9% taken, but you have to pay $2.99 to send to Canada and/or Europe – and $4.99 for any other country.
Transferring money from one PayPal account to another is an immediate transaction – but sending the money from PayPal to your bank might take 1-5 business days.
There is a slight delay if you use PayPal to purchase items.
Venmo’s interface is solely for peer-to-peer payments. Not only is Venmo convenient, but transfers are also immediate and free. It’s also unique, as it has social media-like features. For example, you can connect to Facebook and import your phone contacts, abling you to transfer cash to people within your network.
Additionally, you can like/comment on transactions of people in your network. However, if you don’t want people to be able to do this, you can make your transaction private with one of Venmo’s various privacy features.
While it is free of charge for the majority of transfers, for a credit card transfer, there is a fee of 3%. Venmo is not available overseas.
3. Google Wallet
Chances are, if you use the internet, you’re familiar with Google. Google offers you a gateway to do anything and everything your heart desires, including transferring money with an app called Google Wallet.
Using Google Wallet, you’re able to send money through integration with other Google products, such as Gmail. In fact, if you have a Gmail, you also have an account with Google Wallet.
Google Wallet is a very simple platform, as are the majority of Google-created sites. Each transaction comes with a flat 2.9% fee.
4. Facebook Messenger
Facebook, another prevalent company, also has a money transfer service through its messenger platform. Since the majority of people already have a Facebook account, it’s easy to send money this way. And you likely won’t need to wait for your peer to make an account on another money transfer service.
For money transfers, a debit card just needs to be entered into your Facebook account. Sending and receiving money is secure and private. When money is sent, whoever is receiving the cash only sees the amount of money, your name, and your profile picture.
Once the payment is accepted, the money will be deposited within 5 days.
5. Square’s Cash App
Cash App is a super simple app, and possibly the easiest money transfer app to navigate. It’s also built for friend-to-friend transfers. The best part of this app is – there are no fees for any transfers. You can also send money to people who do not have Cash App by using their phone numbers.
Direct deposits of money into your account or “cash outs” can be free. However, it will take one to three business days. If you opt for an instant deposit, there is a 1.5% fee.
Another plus is you can create a webpage to post on your social media for people to send free money to you. Money transfer is immediate.
Other Apps To Send Money Instantly
Dwolla is very alike to Venmo, as transactions occur between contacts when you use the app. However, with transactions, you have to go through a verification process. You might have to send photo verification. It can take a few days for employees to confirm your identity.
A plus of Dwolla is that the fee is cheap. Any transfer that is $10+ comes with a 0.5% fee, and it will never be above $5. However, by getting a cheap fee, you do sacrifice speed a bit. Transfers are not immediate, but they do not take that much time. The money will be transferred the following day.
A downside is that Dwolla is only available to people residing in the United States. This makes the app limiting.
Zelle is another platform that is good for peer-to-peer transfers. However, this app is a bit restricted as, for transfers, you and any money recipients/senders must have a bank account with a participating bank in the US.
Transfers with this app can also take a bit more time than other money transfer apps. If whomever you’re sending money to does not have an account with Zelle, it will take one to three days for money to enter their account.
Zelle itself does not take any of your money. However, your bank may take a fee to for you to receive the money.
Popmoney is an electronic service that works by using the Automatic Clearing House (ACH) network. Popmoney is unique in the sense that you don’t make a Popmoney account with a balance. Rather, the money sent or received is always in the bank. Payments are made through a phone number or email.
Your bank may already be affiliated with Popmoney, allowing you to use Popmoney through your bank account. If not, you can just go to Popmoney’s website and send money through there.
Popmoney can be used for payment, in addition to personal transactions. Sending money comes with a 95 cent fee. It is free to receive money if you did not request money from somebody through Popmoney.
Transactions do take a few days to go through. Transfers using debit cards work the quickest.
9. Walmart 2 Walmart Transfers
Surprisingly, Walmart has been dealing with money transferring for quite a while. In the past, Walmart had a partnership with MoneyGram. They now have their own personal service called Walmart2Walmart.
Using this platform, you can send money from one Walmart location to another. While this may sound confusing or not of much use, that is not always the case. And the process is quite easy. You simply enter a local Walmart, say the amount you would like to send and which state, and provide the money.
Methods of payment are:
- Credit card
- Debit card
- US checking account
- Walmart MoneyCard
Within minutes, a resident of whatever state you specified or your state (if you choose) will be able to pick up the cash. The app can also be used to pay your bills or send money around the world with the Walmart2World service.
International Send Money Apps
TransferWise should be one of your first picks if you’re looking to transfer money internationally. You can send/receive money to and from a wide variety of family, friends, and/or businesses around the world.
The fee they take is minuscule compared to other apps or banks: 0.7%. Their currency conversion rates are also guaranteed for around 29 hours. You can also send however small of a transfer you want, as there is no minimum.
The only downside is the time it takes for a transaction to be completed – one to three days, varying based on countries.
2. Western Union
Western Union is another prevalent name in the money transfer industry. And it’s an extremely handy app for making transfers globally.
Not only does it have the option to login using Touch ID (fingerprint), but you can also scan your card, rather than entering the numbers individually. Add to that how convenient the app is: you can pay from your bank account, using your card, or with cash. You can also integrate the Western Union with Apple Pay.
You can keep track of transfers straight from the app using a tracking number.
You can transfer up to $500, which will come with a $5 fee.
OFX is a great option for sending large amounts of money overseas, and the service offers a large amount of options. OFX also has a plethora of useful functions. For example, there is a live tool for converting currency in order to use the best exchange rates.
While you can make unlimited amounts of transfers, you have to be sending or receiving at least $1,000, so OFX is clearly not for an average everyday transfer. Fees are varying, however, the most will be 2%, and the minimum will be 0.6% for currency exchange.
MoneyGram is the second-largest money-transfer provider internationally, with 350,000 agent locations and retail areas in over 200 nations.
There are a variety of methods you can use to send and receive money with MoneyGram. This includes cash delivery. Transfers with this platform range in speed, working within a few minutes with cash, but hours to days with bank transfers.
For transfers in the US, there is a flat $5 to send between $1 to $49. There is a flat rate of about $12 for sending $50 to $499. Once it reaches $500, the rate is 2%. The max amount of money for transfers is $1,000. The max amount of money you can transfer per month is $6,000.
Xoom is a great way to send money to and from the US, Canada, and 130+ other countries. Payment methods are debit card, credit card, and cash.
Xoom is owned by PayPal, so their features are integrated.
Xoom can also be used to pay bills in the following countries:
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
The transfer fee varies depending on the country, so you should research before you transfer.
WorldRemit is designed for transferring money to people in other countries, and it has a wide variety of countries available for transfer.
There is no minimum amount for transfers, but the maximum is $9,000. For the majority of nations, the transfer fee is cheaper than most other apps. In addition, they offer the code “3FREE” for your first three transfers to be free.
Potentially, the best part of the app is how quickly transactions are processed. Whether they are international or not, money transfers are completed instantly. The app is also extremely simple to use.
7. Currency Fair
CurrencyFair is another app created mainly for international transfers. However, it is unique in the sense that, rather than the money going through the bank or money transfer company, the exchange occurs with other customers using CurrencyFair.
You get to choose the exchange rate. It will work as long as the person on the other end accepts the exchange rate. Both of you will get that rate.
You can also automatically convert money at the best rate in the marketplace. Using CurrencyFair, you can receive amazing exchange rates, choosing between 18 different currencies.
You can use CurrencyFair in 150+ nations, and transferring money will be free, except for the fee that comes from the bank when you deposit money. The funds will take about two days to be received.
CurrencyFair can also be used for business payments. Some examples are global payroll/payments and receiving business payments.
8. Wire Transfer With Your Bank
A wire transfer is a form of transferring money electronically. Traditionally, a wire transfer will send money from one bank or credit union to another within a certain network. Examples of these are SWIFT, through which most wire transfers are conducted, and Fedwire.
Wire transfers are usually completed within 1-2 days. If you’re a resident of the United States, transfers can potentially occur within the same day unless they’re international. Once the money is transferred, there will be no wait time before the recipient can use the money.
Wire transfers are also a safer way for merchants to receive payments, as opposed to a check. For example, checks can bounce, which might not be discovered for weeks.
To complete a wire transfer, you need to consult with your bank, giving information about the bank account of whomever you’re sending the money to. You will also need to fill out a form.
If you’re the recipient, you need to give information from your bank account to the sender. To do so, ask your bank for “incoming wire instructions.”
Sadly, there are fees involved. To send a wire, fees can be between $0 and $40 to send and $0-$10 to receive. It’s even more expensive if you use a credit card, rather than sending money straight from your bank account.
A wire transfer is also not as secure for sending money as many other methods. For example, wire transfers require both parties to have a bank account. As you probably know, when opening an account, one of the steps is verification of your identity and providing an address.
Therefore, anonymity is a bit of a difficulty, as many thieves will easily scam you through a wire transfer. People in the US lose millions of dollars every year to scammers. They only need to take hold of your account for a few days to send money somewhere else; you will not even notice this occurrence until it's too late.
Because of the possibility of scams, you should be very particular about who you wire transfer to.
Money Transfer Apps FAQ
How Long do Transfers Take to Complete?
The amount of time a transfer takes will vary depending on the platform or method you use for the transfer. It can be anywhere from instantaneous to a few days.
For example, with PayPal, you can get an immediate transfer with applicable cards and banks. However, a wire transfer can take 1-5 days.
Is It Safe To Transfer Money Through An App?
Generally, sending money through an app is secure, as most apps use intriciate security systems and encryption.
Still, it’s essential to research how safe the money transfer app you’re interested in using is.
What Is The Safest Money Transfer App?
While no electronic service is 100% hack-proof, PayPal seems to be one of the most, if not the most, secure electronic money transfer services.
This is due to the fact that PayPal has an emphasis on security. Meanwhile, many other transfer apps focus on convenience. However, pure convenience comes with sacrificing safety. While it can be annoying that PayPal has many security mechanisms, making it tougher to receive money occasionally, it is overall simple to use, and completely worth it.
Are There Anonymous Money Transfer Apps?
So far, there doesn’t seem to be a platform on which you can send money completely free. While many of these apps are laxer for usage and security, they still require information to verify your identity and method of payment. Even most cryptocurrency exchange sites and services now require verification.
What Types Of Fees Come With These Apps?
The fees associated with sending money through these apps vary greatly. They are dependent on the app itself and the amount of money you’re transferring. Additionally, international money transfers tend to be more costly.
Money transfer apps are a great way to send and receive cash conveniently. However, when picking a platform, there are a variety of factors to consider before you make your decision on what app to use.
First, you should find out how quick a transfer is. If you need money immediately, you should pick an app with an automatic transfer, such as PayPal. If you choose the wrong app, you or the recipient may receive the money late.
You should also think about where you live. Many sites are only available within the United States and Canada – or make you pay tremendous fees for international transfers.
The amount of transfers is something you also need to take into account, as some apps restrict the amount you can do at once or per a certain period of time.
Be aware of who you’re sending money to. If you’re sending money to somebody you aren’t familiar with, be sure to pick an app that has security in the case of scam where you need the money back.
And never send money to someone without seeing some type of proof that they are who they say they are.