Sending money doesn’t have to be hard.

There are lots of reasons you need to transfer money from your account to someone else’s. Perhaps you owe family or a friend some cash, or you want to pay for your share of dinner, the bar tab, or another reason. Maybe you just want to cover your share of the rent, send a birthday gift, or pay for an online product or service.

When you transfer money, you want it to be fast, secure, and simple. It is also better if you don’t have to pay a fee to be able to do it. We’ve got a list of some of the best ways to transfer money when you need to. We’ve outlined what these ways are and what, if any, the cost might be for them.

Venmo

This is one of the most popular ways to send money. In fact, it’s so popular that many people use the word Venmo as a verb. As in, “I’ll Venmo it to you when I get back home.” It is popular for a reason.

Venmo is as easy to set up as it is secure. Both users have to be part of the app to be able to transfer money to each other, but signing up couldn’t be easier. The app allows you to connect to transfer money from your bank account to your Venmo account and between the accounts of other users.

With Venmo, the amount you can spend is limited. In a one-week span, you can only send 299.99. If you need to make larger transactions, you’ll need to use something else.

Venmo also has some other features that make it exceptionally user-friendly. For example, there are social functions that help track transactions and communicate with other users. In addition to that, it is free to use.

On the less user-friendly spectrum, it’s only available in the U.S., and the amount you can spend is limited. In a one-week span, you can only send 299.99. If you need to make more significant transactions, you’ll need to use something else.

PayPal

PayPal is another extremely popular money transfer app. Perhaps, even more than Venmo, it has made its way into the public lexicon. Transferring money is a bit simpler with PayPal than with Venmo. All it requires is a phone number or email address of someone who’s also in the system.

The app is free to use if you’re connecting to a bank or another user. There’s a 2.9 percent fee if you’re going to use a credit or debit card. Both individual consumers and businesses use PayPal, and its huge network of users is a plus.

One advantage over PayPal instead of Venmo is that its available both in the U.S. and in other countries. It is pretty easy to use online as well. You can frequently find it as a payment option in a number of shopping carts as you make web purchases.

Apple Pay

Apple Pay is a digital wallet that’s designed specifically for users of Apple products to allow them to make cashless transactions. The system works internationally and within the United States by connecting to banks, credit cards, and debit cards.

One of the most significant advantages to the system is how many real-world vendors take payment this way, many of them even connecting it to their Apps. You can use it to buy food, buy merchandise, purchase tickets to an event, and shop online. It can get you everything from a Starbucks latte to plane tickets and clothing.

Apple Pay is secure and works with a variety of devices — as long as Apple makes the device. That includes smartphones, tablets, and even the apple watch. You manage transactions through your Apple wallet, and when you want to pay, wave your device over the payment processor.

Facebook Messenger

Gone are the days when Facebook was just used for posting status updates to friends and family. Now the app has grown ancillary buy/sell sites and a messenger site where you can message, set up private groups, and transfer money within the U.S.

This service is especially useful for people who use the buy/sell pages for resold items, antiques, and collectibles.

To use the app, both parties in the transaction need to be connected using the app and to have their debit card/account information placed in Facebook’s secure system. Then one party needs to click on the dollar sign icon and input the amount.

Once the transaction takes place, the money is moved from one account to another. There’s not a charge and the process couldn’t be easier. It is especially useful for people who use the buy/sell pages for resold items, antiques, and collectibles that are frequently available on these pages.

Google Pay

If you don’t have an Apple device, Google wallet is another way to easily send money on Android, phones, tablets, and watches. Like some of the other, simpler apps, all you need to do if you want to send money is to input the user’s email address or phone number.

Google pay only works within the U.S., but it doesn’t charge fees. Once you connect it to your credit or debit account, it is easy to use and widely accepted by many merchants.

The platform has been marketed as a replacement for a previous version of a similar service for Android devices. This version is considered an improvement, in part, because of security measures that keep sensitive information from being insecurely downloaded to a merchant.

Popmoney

Customers at a certain selection of bank accounts or who visit Popmoney.com have access to this simple, easy to use, and secure app. It works through email or through your smartphone, and you can transfer money to just about anyone whether they use Popmoney or not.

The service is free if another user sends you a request. If you initiate the transfer, the cost is .95 cents. This is pretty reasonable, especially for larger sums. Using the service doesn’t require a specific account, either.

As it turns out, there are a few differences between transactions between a bank and non-bank transfers. For example, debit card transfers happen more quickly than bank account transfers. Also, bank transfers have higher transfer amount limits than their counterparts. There are different transfer times for each as well.

Zelle

Zelle is another bank-to-bank money transfer service. The service is designed for members who are part of the clearXchange banking network. Like PayPal, this app uses a mobile phone number or email address to connect with other users for transfers.

While the service is generally free, some banks may have their own fees for withdrawals from their accounts.

Like Popmoney, bank users can transfer money to members who are outside of the clearXchange network. There aren’t fees for the service, and transfers typically happen very quickly, generally within minutes.

Some of the terms of how Zelle works can vary from banking institution to banking institution. For example, while the service is generally free, some banks may have their own fees for withdrawals from their accounts.
They may also have various processes in place to allow small businesses to accept payments and manage transactions.

Straightforward bank / ACH transfers

Though it may sound a little old-school when compared to more modern money transfer apps, bank transfers/ACH (automatic clearing house) transfers are still a viable option to get money from one user to another. It is commonly used to receive wages, pay bills, and make credit card payments.

There are lots of advantages to moving money this way. The process is secure can reduce paperwork when used by companies for things like payroll. They take one to three business days to complete, though this may vary based on the processes connected to a specific situation.

In terms of fees, the process is almost always free though there may be minimal charges for certain situations. One thing to keep in mind is that ACH transfers can be reversed in certain situations. If your employer makes a mistake on your payroll, for example, they can reverse it.

Cash under a mobile phone
Pixabay

Wire transfers

Wire transfers are an automated and extremely secure, way to move money from one kind of account to another. They work internationally as well as within the United States and some consider this method to be similar to using a cashier’s check. In many cases, a wire transfer needs to be reviewed by a bank employee before it is finalized.

A wire transfer is often the best choice for people who are in a situation where money needs to be received as quickly as possible. In some cases, if the transfer has been started early enough in the morning, funds will be collected the same day. That can be a big advantage in the right situation.

One of the drawbacks of using a wire transfer is that it isn’t cheap. Banks charge fees for both outgoing and incoming wire transfers. These can range between $0 and $30 or more and increase if you’re transferring fees internationally.

Of all these methods, which is best?

As you consider each of these methods for moving your money from one place to another, you might be wondering which one really is the best? Unfortunately, there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ answer. It depends on your lifestyle and the specifics of each transfer.

If you’re looking for money quickly, a wire transfer is a top choice over an ACH transfer. If you’re looking to share money between friends, you may want to use PayPal over Venmo if you need to move your funds internationally. If you’re choosing between types of digital wallets, your choice for a platform may depend on the devices you have.

Your best chance at finding the right platform is to take some time to consider what you really need and what you’re comfortable with. Experiment with a few options if you need to. In the end, you’ll come up with the best fit for you.

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