Most people need to transfer money to another person at some point, whether you're sending a few bucks to a friend that grabbed the dinner bill or giving your child money while studying abroad. Unfortunately, transferring money can get expensive fast - especially when it comes to international transfers. Luckily, money transfer apps have opened up new possibilities for moving money around at a reasonable cost.
7 Best Money Transfer Apps for Your Needs
There are many money transfer apps out there that anyone can use, but it's important to understand which apps will best suit your specific needs. To help you with this process, here are some top money transfer apps and their important characteristics.
OFX is the perfect money transfer app for paying out big bucks overseas. Aside from boasting an impressive catalog of countries that you can send to in various currencies, they also have many useful tools. A live exchange rate currency converter allows you to lock-in the best exchange rates possible on the date of transfer. The app has no cap on the number of transfers you can make, but they have a minimum transfer of $1,000, so it is best used for larger international money transfers. Their fees vary, but typically they take a margin of less than 2% on currency exchange rates.
Most people are already pretty familiar with Paypal (PYPL - Get Report) . Because it's been around longer than most other money transfer apps, Paypal has an extensive network of countries that you can send to and it's secure. However, you get this sense of security for a price. For debit or credit transfers within the U.S., Paypal takes 2.9% cut of the transaction along with a 30 cent fee. Sending internationally? On top of the 2.9% cut, sending to Canada or Europe is $2.99, while other countries are $4.99. The fixed fee changes from country-to-country. Paypal is a great pick for sending money to more remote areas that you may not otherwise have access to.
3. Square's Cash App
If you are looking for a quick and easy app that covers splitting restaurant bills or apartment utilities, then look no further than Square's (SQ - Get Report) Cash app. There are no transaction fees for peer-to-peer transfers and if you are sending money to someone, they do not need to have a Cash account. You can even create an accessible web page that allows people to make free payments to you. Out of all of the money transfer apps out there, this one is the most simplistic and easy to use.
Like OFX, TransferWise is an ideal pick for people who want to transfer money to family, friends, or businesses internationally. They have a smaller catalog of countries around the world than OFX and a slightly longer transfer time of one to three days. However, their transaction fees are minimal compared to banks - currently at 0.7% - and their currency conversion rates are guaranteed for up to 29 hours. Their distinct advantage over OFX is the lack of minimum transfers, allowing you to send smaller amounts of money if needed.
Like Square's Cash App, Venmo was designed for peer-to-peer payments. Venmo has gained popularity among cash transfer apps not only for its convenience and free transfers but also because of the app's distinctive social element. The app allows you to connect to Facebook (FB - Get Report) and your phone contacts so you can transfer to people within your social network. It also allows you to like or comment on people's transactions. Don't want to show a transaction to the public? No problem. The app has plenty of customizable privacy features. While Venmo is free for most transfers, it's important to note that there is a credit card transfer fee of 3%.
WorldRemit is best used for transferring smaller amounts of money to people around the world. With its broad catalog of qualifying countries, low fees, and variety of ways receivers can access their money, it's easy to see the appeal of this app. They don't have a transfer minimum, making them the perfect fit for international transactions between family and friends. However, what makes WorldRemit truly stand out is their fast transaction time. International cash transfers are processed instantly. While this app doesn't have some of the fancier features of other international money transfer apps on this list, WorldRemit's simplicity can be appealing to some.
Zelle is yet another free app that is useful for peer-to-peer money transfers. However, you and anyone you send to must have a bank account at a participating U.S. bank, which can make the app a bit limiting. It also can have a slower transaction processing time than other peer-to-peer money transfer apps. If the transfer recipient doesn't have a Zelle account, the transaction will take one to three business days to process.
What to Consider When Choosing a Money Transfer App
Considering their convenience and affordability, it's little wonder that money transfer apps have become all the rage. Unfortunately, this high adoption rate has led to a saturated market. Search in your device's app store and you'll notice that there are seemingly endless apps to choose from.
Before choosing a money transfer app to use, it's important to keep in mind that each app has different qualities and characteristics that make them better suited to certain kinds of transactions. Here are a few factors to consider before selecting an app.
- Transfer Speed: If you're looking for as-quick-as-possible transfers, be sure to look into the average length of time these apps need to move money from one place to another. Transactions speeds vary from app to app, and you want to ensure that your money gets where it needs to be on time.
- Your Geographic Location: It's important to consider where you live and where you will regularly be sending your money geographically. Some apps don't allow international transfers at all or discourage them with exorbitant fees. Security can play into this as well. Some money transfer apps can present security issues, particularly when transferring overseas. If you are regularly sending funds internationally, it's important to ensure that your app of choice can secure your money from one place to another.
- Quantity of Transfers: It's important to keep in mind how much you anticipate transferring at a time. Many apps have a limit on the amount of money you can send at once, while others have caps on the totals you can send in a week, a month, etc. Others will charge a percentage of what you transfer, making them less-than-ideal for moving around large sums of money.
- Who You're Transferring To: Be sure to think about who you are downloading this app for. Who will you be sending money to on a regular basis? How do you intend to utilize the app? Many money transfer apps are geared toward cash transfers between people that know each other. If you intend on sending to strangers, you may want to look into apps that have protections if you need to get the money back.
Why Use a Money Transfer App?
Also known as peer-to-peer payments, money transfer apps allow you to transfer cash from one place to another almost instantaneously. This means that the next time you and a friend decide to split your happy hour bar tab, you don't need to worry about counting out cash, digging out your checkbook, or having an awkward "I'll get you next time" conversation. Instead, you can simply whip out your smartphone and initiate a transfer from your bank or credit card. Depending on what kind of app you use, these transfers either come at a small fee or are entirely free of charge.