Over the last few years, sending and receiving money has become much easier. Previously, you would need the exact cash on hand, have to write a check, or maybe get a money order.
While those are of course still options for you, there are even easier ways with money sending apps.
This especially makes life convenient if you do not carry cash nor want to go to the bank or write a check every time you want to transfer money to someone.
Personally, I rarely ever have much cash on me, nor do I really ever write checks anymore. Instead, I stick to my credit card and money transfer apps.
But like anything else, there are plenty of options when it comes to how you send money to friends and family. Below you’ll learn more about how money sending apps work, the best ones, and protecting yourself from scams.
What is a Money Sending App?
A money sending app is a tool that allows you to send money online from your phone. Over time, these apps have grown in popularity, offering a plethora of options when it comes to sending money to friends, family, work colleagues and acquaintances.
There are a few reasons why you would need to use a money sending app.
- You may need to send money to someone specific for work
- You may also need to send money to family or friends quickly
- You may also need to receive money from someone as well
With money sending apps, you can also send money internationally without paying huge fees.
Best Money Sending Apps
Before you start downloading any of the below money sending apps, check with your personal online bank first. Many online banks may let you send money through their app to other bank members.
However, not all offer that nor will it potentially allow you to send money to people outside of your bank. So if that is the case, then you might want to consider some of the money send apps below.
Venmo is part of PayPal and is one of the more well-known money sending apps on the market. It’s an app that allows you to send money quickly between friends, family and other people you trust.
Your account is integrated with your contacts so you can quickly find who you want to send your money to or you can scan a friends QBR code in their account to ensure you connect with the right person. Venmo also makes it easy to withdraw and input money from your bank account.
To get started you simply need to download the app, sign up for an account and then start sending and requesting payments through the app or with its SMS feature.
It’s free to send money to friends with 1-3 business day transfer. You can opt to send faster for a few and if you use a credit card, you’ll also be charged a fee.
All their transactions are encrypted and their customer service department is available at all times. Having said that, Venmo is an app you’ll want to use with people you already know or can trust. Make sure you avoid some of these Venmo scams.
PayPal is one of the oldest money sending apps and digital wallets, plus it is one of the originators in this space.
And with a PayPal account, it is free to send money to friends and family, and can be used for purchases in store and online.
However, remember to select the right transfer option, as other options like “Goods and Services” will charge a fee.
Additionally, you can send money directly to a bank account or pickup location in over 100 countries. This can be convenient if you have family in other countries you want to send money to.
Transfers do take a little longer, and there is a 2.9% fee when using a credit card or debit card. PayPal is best for freelancers or people who want to transfer larger amounts of money.
MoneyGram has over 350,000 agents in more than 200 countries, and is one of the largest money services providers in the world.
It offers a variety of money transfer options, including cash deliveries and international remittances. Plus, you can even use it to pay bills for friends or send money to inmates who have access to MoneyGram.
The transfers are relatively quick and efficient, however MoneyGram can be one of the more expensive providers, pending what you want to do.
But you can send money directly to one of the 400+ banks around the world, which is the cheaper of options.
MoneyGram is also best for international transfers to a country that is hard to send money to currently.
Zelle is another money sending app that facilitates bank transfers between individuals.
Over the years, Zelle has partnered up with several banks such as Bank of America, Capital One and Chase — if you and your friend bank with one of their partners, the funds will arrive the same business day.
The app is free and you can transfer your money within your own banking app rather than having to download a separate one.
5. Google Pay
The Google Pay app or “GPay” allows you to transfer money quickly throughout the entire country. With just an email address and phone number, you can send money to someone else who has GPay.
You can also transfer money in and out of your bank account, and can use a Google Wallet Card that you can use at ATMs and specific locations.
They offer an intuitive app that also allows you to split the bill, import loyalty cards and use promo codes. Oh, and it’s completely free to send and receive money.
Veem is an online payment website that helps businesses accept domestic and international bank transfers.
Slightly different from the others on this list, but those business owners or looking to send or receive payments for work, Veem can be a great solution.
They offer an easy to use API integration, payment tracking and a checkout page, along with a PayMe button.
They have low fees and very low foreign exchange rates. This makes Veem a great tool for merchants sending or receiving money internationally.
TransferWise is another payment service that is great to send money abroad. They have incredibly low transaction fees at 0.7%, and currency conversion rates that are guaranteed for over 24 hours.
And they don’t have minimum transfers (so you can send very small amounts) and you can send money to over 70 different countries.
TransferWise has an intuitive mobile app and website that makes it convenient and easy to make online transfers quickly. I’ve used their service quite a bit and it’s been a great to send money.
WorldRemit is a money sending app that focuses specifically on international transfers. They offer an easy-to-use app that allows you to send money to 150+ countries in the world.
They do have transfer fees that vary depending on the country, although they are much cheaper than banks or services like MoneyGram or Western Union.
You can choose to send your money in a variety of ways including cash pickup and bank account transfer, and you’ll get an alert once the transfer is complete.
How long it takes to transfer will depend on the option and country, but generally it’s the same speed as others on this list.
9. Cash App
Cash App is a U.S .based money sending app that makes it easy to send money to friends and family in the U.S. The app is owned by Square.
It’s free to use, although you do have a $250 per week sending limit if you use the free version and can only receive up to $1,000 in a 30-day period — until you verify your account.
You can make your transactions through the app or even through email, with your funds arriving in one or two business days.
The Cash App is an easy app for splitting restaurant checks or paying your utility bills. It’s one of the simplest money sending apps to use.
But beware, like Venmo it’s easy to be scammed if you aren’t paying attention. But if you are smart and stay informed about any scams, you won’t have any issues.
10. Facebook Messenger
Did you know that Facebook messenger has its own money sending features?
If you regularly use Facebook, you can use the service to send money to friends and family and anyone else that you are connected to on Facebook.
It is free to use, but both parties do require a debit card to send and receive a payment. Funds to take a little longer to send and some people may not be comfortable with sharing their financial information with Facebook.
And you can also send or receive money by linking your PayPal account too.
11. Western Union
Western Union is another of the oldest money sending apps there are. With Western Union, you can send your money to over 200 countries around the world.
With the “find an agent” feature you can easily find a kiosk that will help you send your money abroad.
You can then track your money transfers from your phone and calculate how much it will cost before sending it.
Like MoneyGram, Western Union is a little more expensive than other services with relatively high fees and unfavorable exchange rates.
How Do You Choose the Option to Transfer Money?
When transferring your money and selecting money sending apps, there are a few things you’ll want to look out for:
This is the first thing to check. If the fees to send money are unbearably high, there is no point in picking this specific money sending service.
There are many services that offer low fees for domestic and international transfers, so it’s worth picking another service provider to send your money.
If you’re looking for a service that offers speedy transfers, your best bet is to pick an option such as the Cash app or Venmo, which are built for quick transfers.
And if you want a speedy international transfer, you may want to pick a service such as Transferwise or Veem. Make sure to check the time it takes for your money to arrive before picking a service.
Depending on how much you’re sending or will need to, you may need to pay more or fewer fees, or you may have to wait longer.
Some apps will limit the amount you can send or may request more details if you’re sending a large amount. Make sure to check if they can transfer the quantity you need before you get started.
Some apps don’t do international transfers or charge huge fees. Other apps may not be as secure if you’re doing a transfer from a specific location.
Make sure the app you pick can do transfers from your city or country smoothly.
Who will you be transferring your money to? If you’re transferring your money to a friend, then using something like Venmo, Cash App or Facebook Messenger may be enough.
But if you’re sending to a stranger, you may want to use something that is more secure and requires more details to complete the transfer.
If you’re going to be sending money regularly, it’s worth checking if the service offers discounts or offers recurring payments.
Protecting Yourself from Money Transfer Scams
It’s important to ensure your money transfers are as secure as they can be. Mobile apps and wallets are on your phone, so if your phone is not secure then it’s likely your wallets are not either.
If someone steals your phone and you aren’t using a PIN in any money transfer apps, they could easily sned money to whichever account they want.
Every time you receive a request, make sure you know who you are sending the money to and why you are sending it. Your bank or financial institution will never ask you to send money through a money sending app, so beware of possible scams.
It’s good practice to use a money sending app that uses two factor authentication and asks for your password every time they make a transaction.
You can also use an app that texts you an SMS every time you make a transaction to confirm it. Just taking these small extra steps can help ensure you don’t get hacked or scammed.