The Best Money Sending Apps

Money-sending apps have made it easier than ever to do everything from paying bills to splitting bar tabs. These apps have grown extremely popular in recent years, and there are a variety of options to choose from. Which money-sending app is best for you depends on your particular situation, including what you’re using the app for and to whom you’re sending the money.

In this article

    The 6 best money-sending apps of 2021

    • Venmo – Best overall
    • CashApp – Best for instant deposits
    • Facebook Messenger – Best for friends and family
    • PayPal – Best for freelancers
    • Zelle – Best for bank-to-bank transfers
    • WorldRemit – Best for international transfers
    ProviderPlatformTransfer feeSpeedKeep Funds in the App?
    VenmoiOS, AndroidFree for debit cards and bank transfers, 3% for credit cards and 1.5% for instant transfer1-2 daysYes
    CashAppiOS, AndroidFree1-2 days after first linking a card, then instantNo
    Facebook MessengeriOS, Android, BlackberryFree1-5 business daysNo
    PayPaliOS, AndroidFree for linked bank accounts and PayPal Cash, 2.9% fee for debit and credit cards3-4 daysYes
    ZelleWithin existing banking appsFreeOne dayNo
    WorldRemitiOS, AndroidVaries by country1-7 daysNo

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    The 6 best money-sending apps of 2021

    Venmo – Best overall

    Venmo is a branch of parent company PayPal that’s specifically designed to quickly and easily transfer money between friends, family and other contacts. The app is integrated with Facebook and your phone contacts, so you can see others’ activity in your newsfeed and easily find the right contact to send a payment to. If you get paid through Venmo, you have the option of transferring funds to your bank account. There’s a 3% fee if you choose to send payments via a credit card.

    CashApp – Best for instant deposits

    CashApp, formerly known as Square Cash, is from parent company Square, which is best known for providing payment processing platforms to small businesses. With CashApp, you can send and receive funds instantly via a linked debit card. There’s no charge for using the service with a personal account, but there is a 3% fee when you use the business version. CashApp only works with debit cards, so it’s not the best fit if you prefer to use a credit card or linked bank account. CashApp also lets you invest in stocks and cryptocurrency, which is a neat feature if you’re looking to experiment with small-scale investments.

    Facebook Messenger – Best for friends and family

    Facebook Messenger is a surprisingly convenient way to send money to family, friends, and other people you’re connected with on Facebook. The payment feature is free to use and already integrated with Messenger. The service requires using a debit card, and recipients will also have to provide their own debit card information in order to receive a payment. Given Facebook’s privacy concerns, some people may be wary of forking over their debit card info to the company. Fund transfers are also somewhat slower than other money-sending apps, at one to five days.

    PayPal – Best for freelancers

    PayPal is ubiquitous when it comes to payment options for freelance work. The service is an established giant in the industry and is quick and convenient to use. Users also have the option or requesting money from friends, family and other contacts. There are no transaction fees when you send money using a linked bank account or PayPal Cash, but there is a 2.9% fee when you use a credit card, debit card or PayPal Credit. Users can also send money internationally, which is a nice feature if you have loved ones or professional contacts who don’t live or bank in the United States.

    Zelle – Best for bank-to-bank transfers

    Zelle is a money-sending app that allows direct bank-to-bank transfers between individuals. If you and the person you’re sending money to have accounts with a participating bank, you can send funds within the same business day. Participating banks include Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, Capital One and Ally, among others. In most cases, individuals are able to transfer funds via Zelle within their banking app rather than having to download a separate app. The service is free, and funds can often arrive in your account in a matter of minutes.

    WorldRemit – Best for international transfers

    WorldRemit is a good choice for the best money-sending app for international transfers. While some other money-sending apps have limited international capabilities, WorldRemit is specifically designed to facilitate international transfers. The app is simple and easy to use and you can send money to more than 150 countries around the world. It does come with associated transfer fees, which can vary depending on which country and what bank you’re transferring money to. However, WorldRemit’s fees are on average 48% cheaper than sending money via banks and 25% cheaper than other international services like Western Union.

    What is a money-sending app?

    A money-sending app allows individuals to transfer funds to one another through an application on their phone. Rather than giving someone cash or writing them a check, money-sending apps make sharing money easy, convenient and digital. Whether you use a money-sharing app to pay rent or to split dinner with friends, pay someone for professional work or to send a gift, these apps make sending money easier than ever before.

    A money-sending app isn’t the same thing as a payment platform, although many payment platforms also have associated money sending apps. For example, Square provides payment processing software to businesses but also owns CashApp, which is a money-sending app.

    How should I choose the right money-sending app?

    The best option when it comes to a money-sending app depends on your individual needs. Some apps are also better suited to particular purposes than others. If you already bank with a bank that uses Zelle, quick and easy money transfers are often already available within your mobile banking app. Venmo is a popular option when it comes to splitting restaurant bills and bar tabs. If you’re looking to send money internationally, WorldRemit may be the best choice. If you’re a freelancer accepting payments from clients or sending money to contractors, PayPal is a popular option.

    Some people may prefer to choose an app that the majority of their friends, family members or business partners also use. This can make it easier to quickly transfer payments to and from the personal and professional contacts that you exchange money with most often.

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    We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the money-sending apps we recommend. Contact us at inquiries@inforeadersusa.com with comments or questions.

    Margaret Wack

    Contributing Writer

    Margaret Wack writes about personal finance, health, wellness, arts and culture, among other topics.