Sending money used to be a job handled exclusively by banks and other large financial service institutions. They did their job well, but left a lot to be desired. High international exchange rates, added fees, and exceedingly long turn around times were the norm. While nobody will claim that bank transfers are entirely outdated, modern Americans have so much more choice in the matter.
These days, you can send money anywhere you please, from just about anywhere. Same-day deliveries are the norm now, thanks in large part to the various apps and online transfer services available to anyone with an internet connection. Today, we’re going to round up the best and most popular money transfer services on the market to help you find your ideal option.
There are a lot of benefits to using PayPal. The popular money transfer platform is lightning fast and about as secure as it gets. Their intuitive dispute system helps protect against error and fraud. Users can even pay for a variety of online purchases from their PayPal balance directly.
It isn’t all positive. PayPal does charge high fees on international transfers, and your account may be subject to transfer limits. Still, PayPal remains an industry leader, and a great option for those looking to transfer cash domestically.
- Platform is incredibly secure.
- Funds are available instantly in most cases.
- Can be used to fund purchases without the need for a bank transfer first.
- PayPal’s foreign exchange rates and fees can be expensive.
- Both parties require a PayPal and/or Xoom account.
- PayPal has a reputation for freezing accounts over trivial offenses.
Cash App is easy to use, and offers a much more versatile selection of financial services than some of the other companies on today’s list.1 It’s free to download and doesn’t charge any fees to spend or receive money. The app lets you load up your account and do all sorts of things, including investing, buying crypto, and making purchases.
- Fast and easy to use app.
- No fees for sending or receiving money.
- Offers additional services like investing, buying crypto, and making payments.
- Difficult to be reimbursed for erroneous transfers.
- Cash App is not FDIC-insured.
- Charges a 1.5% fee, or incurs a waiting period on all withdrawals.
Though it can only be used in the U.S., Venmo remains incredibly popular. That popularity makes the platform that much more effective as a means of transferring money to friends and family members. It means more online retailers and third-party apps accept Venmo payments too.
Venmo offers a number of no-fee transfer options, and users can even opt-in for a complimentary debit card. The platform uses a combination of multi-factor authentication and QR code readers to maximize account safety and boost transfer security.2
- No fees for one-time payments.
- Seamless integration with PayPal.
- Send money from any device.
- Does not support international transactions.
- Low weekly spending limits.
- Charges a 1% fee for fast cash outs.
Zelle doesn’t charge you a penny to send or receive money using their internationally recognized money transfer platform. Setting up a transfer for the first time can be as simple as signing up with Zelle directly.3 The popular transfer service is already integrated with close to 10,000 financial institutions, making sign-up even easier.
- Already integrated with most banks.
- Zero fees for sending and receiving money.
- Deliveries can be completed in a matter of minutes.
- Zelle won’t charge you fees, but your financial institution might.
- Fraud and error protections are limited.
- You may be subject to a daily transfer limit determined by your bank.
Western Union is one of the most recognizable names in the money transfer industry. It’s an established company that offers a vast selection of services and is widely available all over the world. It does best in instances that require the transfer of physical cash, though it’s admittedly not the cheapest option.
Western Union is very easy to use, and has the reach to deliver cash to places that their competitors are usually unable to reach. You’ll want to shop around to ensure you don’t pay too much, but depending on where you plan on sending money, Western Union may be your only reliable option.
- Easy to use online platform.
- Expansive reach that extends to over 200 countries and territories.
- Best for sending physical cash across great distances.
- High fees and unfavorable exchange rates.
- Complicated pricing system.
Choosing the Right Money Transfer Service
Consumers are spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing a safe, affordable, and reliable money transfer platform. There are so many choices in fact, that it creates a different problem altogether. It’s hard to know which ones offer the best value for your money without doing your own research.
It’s safe to say that today’s list is far from comprehensive. There are way more money transfer services to choose from. Having said all that, the ones mentioned above are quickly setting themselves apart from the rest. We stand by our list of top money transfer service providers, but there’s no harm in continuing your search until you find your ideal platform.