By now, you’ve probably heard of Venmo, and if you’re like a lot of people, you’ve already asked yourself how you ever lived without the ability to electronically pay your friends back, order services online, or do whatever else you’ve discovered is absolutely essential in your life when it comes to transferring money. Did you know that there are great alternatives to Venmo you might find even more useful?
Let’s take a look at five great apps for transferring money.
1. Remitly: Send Money Abroad
Remitly allows you to send money abroad. This is great for parents with students studying internationally or people who simply need to help their friends and family members with a little cash while they’re overseas. You can choose the Express option, which enables you to pay via credit or debit card and almost instantaneously delivers the money to the recipient, or you can go the Express route, which offers the lowest fees and drops the money into the person’s bank account within three business days.
Remitly’s fees and exchange rates are typically fairly competitive. The company is fully licensed and authorized, making it a trusted brand in the online money transfer space. It’s also known to provide outstanding customer support.
There are certain “tiers” within the app itself, which limit the amount of money you’ll be able to transfer daily and monthly. To accesses higher tiers, which enable you to send higher dollar values, you’ll need to provide the company with additional information and identification.
2. Zelle: Partnered with Banks
Zelle is a digital peer-to-peer payment service that’s partnered with banks, giving consumers the ability to transfer money from bank account to bank account instantaneously. While the app is free to use, some banks may charge transaction fees, so it’s best to check with your financial institution about any specifics.
Zelle is not only accessible by people who bank with organizations that are partners of Zelle; anyone can download the app to send, request, and receive money straight from your checking account. It’s an easy-to-use app that delivers money within minutes, unless it’s the person’s very first time using the app, in which case it can take up to three business days to complete the transaction.
Zelle does not provide international transfer options. You also send money via credit cards with this service.
3. Cash App: Get Rewarded for Sending Money
Cash App doesn’t have a social feed; it’s solely intended to provide users with an easy way to transfer funds from one person to another in this digital age, providing a greater amount of privacy for people who don’t necessarily want all of their friends (or a huge list of strangers) to see what they’re doing with their hard-earned cash. With Cash Boost, you can get rewarded with instant discounts when you use the associated Cash Card.
Cash App Pros
Cash App is renowned for having an easy-to-use interface that crosses over multiple generations of users. The rewards and discounts are an obvious bonus with this platform that you won’t get with most other peer-to-peer money exchange options.
Cash App Cons
Instant transfers will cost you 1.5% of the total amount that’s being transferred. Otherwise, you can go the free route, but that exchange will take several business days to process.
4. Xoom: Pay Bills and Track Transfers
Xoom is a PayPal’s answer to international money transfers, offering three easy ways to send money: directly into a bank account (including your savings account), pick up at one of the thousands of partner locations around the world, or having money sent directly to the recipient’s door. Xoom was also designed to enable users to pay bills and track money transfers effortlessly. Users can top off their cell phone credits and pay utility bills, even when they’re living across the pond with this app.
Like the others, this app is easy to use and can deliver money to 66 countries around the globe. The recipient doesn’t need to have the app or an account with Xoom to benefit from the sender’s generosity.
Xoom requires a minimum transfer of $10, so this isn’t the kind of app you’ll use if you’re just paying your friend back for that slice of pizza he bought you last night. The exchange rates often tend to be a little less favorable than some of the app’s competitors.
5. Western Union: Physically Pick Up Cash in Over 550,000 Locations
Western Union was perhaps the grandfather of money exchanges and is still going strong as a result of its international reputation for giving people easy access to having cash right in their hands. The company has agent-staffed locations in over 200 countries and territories, making it easy for people to receive money in almost any place around the world.
Western Union Pros
The company is able to move money with speed and scale thanks to its in-depth knowledge of global compliance. With over a half-million physical locations, recipients can receive actual cash in their country’s currency within a matter of minutes up to a few days, depending on the recipient’s location. Western Union also offers a membership program that allows frequent users to accumulate points that can be redeemed for rewards.
Western Union Cons
The fees vary based on the amount of money you’re sending and the country to which you’re sending the funds. You’ll also have to pay extra fees if you want to send money from a credit card.
The bottom line is that there are many alternatives to Venmo, many of which have their own specific niches within the peer-to-peer money-sending space. Before you commit to using only one single form of money transfers, do a little research to figure out which option might be a better fit for your unique situation. Of course, nobody said you have to have just one app. You might use Zelle to send and receive money from your parents, while Remitly might be an app you make sure you’ve downloaded before you head across the pond for your next vacation.