Online cross-border payments are on an upward trend. In 2018, the total transaction value of P2P money transfers worldwide was $65,761,000 –– by 2022; it’s projected to reach $133,795,000. The U.S. is leading this trend in 2018 with transaction values accounting for $15,138,000. If you are thinking of joining the millions who are using P2P money transfer to send money across, it’s important to know about the best money transfer apps available.
Thanks to technology, we are more connected with people around the world and can easily send money almost anywhere we want. Whether internationally or domestically, transactions can be done from home within a few minutes.
The question becomes, which money transfer apps are the best? The most affordable? The quickest? We’re here to help you answer those questions so you know which ones to use to send money online.
Check out five of the best money transfer services on the market today.
WorldRemit is not the cheapest company, but it combines low fees and fast transfers.
XE: Quick and easy international transfers to almost anywhere
XE is one of the three companies that make up Euronet Worldwide, which is the third largest money transfer business in the world. It supports a wide range of countries and currencies.
After creating an account, you can send money in four quick and easy steps. It doesn’t charge any fees but does take a cut on the currency conversion.
- Trade in over 50 currencies
- Send money to recipients in over 170 countries
- Make transfers 24/7
- Strongly recommended by past customers
- Helps 100,000 people and 6,000 businesses to transfer money every year
- Pay by bank transfer
- Transfers take one to four working days
- No transfer fees
- Makes the profit on the exchange rate markup
- Send up to $535,000 online
TransferWise: International transfers with transparent pricing
TransferWise is a different kind of money transfer service, and it’s saving people eight times more than they spend when making transfers through a bank.
It provides transfers in 58 countries and over 22 currencies without sending money across borders. The company does this by having accounts in all of the countries it serves.
When a person from one country makes a transfer, the money goes into the TransferWise account in their country – it is then dispersed from the TransferWise account in the recipient’s country without ever sending it there. Everyone achieves their goals while saving time and money.
TransferWise charges a percentage of the amount that’s converted plus a flat fee. You can see the cost of a transfer using the TransferWise fees tool.
This model is different from many transfer services because it is transparent, whereas most companies mark up the exchange rate by an undisclosed amount to create a profit margin.
- Send money to 58 countries
- Send and receive over 22 currencies
- Transparent fees
- Very competitive exchange rates
- A mobile app for Android devices, iPods, and iPads
- Offers transfer times as fast as instant and as slow as two working days
- Supports payment by bank transfer, Apply Pay, Android Pay, debit card, or credit card
- Send up to $1,000,000 per transaction
3. Venmo: A simple, fun way to pay friends in the U.S.
Venmo is a service of PayPal that helps make it easy for users to send and receive money within the U.S. You can sign up with Facebook or your email address. Then, easily send or receive payments through the app.
You can charge or pay friends simply using their Venmo username or registered phone number. You can also link your payment method to the Venmo app, so you don’t need to fund your account to send money.
Sending money is free when using a debit card, prepaid card, bank account, or Venmo balance. However, when sending money using a credit card, it costs 3% of the amount you send.
Venmo also recently released a debit card and Mastercard, which can help users easily make purchases and withdraw funds directly from their account.
Further, the app has a social aspect where others can see who you paid and why. A Facebook-like feed allows others to view and “like” transactions. You can set your transaction to private if you don’t want others to see it.
An unverified Venmo account is limited to a $299.99 weekly rolling limit for payment and purchases. Verified Venmo accounts have the following limits:
- Sending funds: $2,999.99 weekly rolling limit
- Venmo Visa debit card transactions: $2,000 per transaction
- Authorized merchant payments: $2,000 per transaction
- Venmo Mastercard: $3,000 per purchase
- Venmo Mastercard cash withdrawals: $400 per day
- A rolling weekly limit for all transactions: $4,999.99
- Maximum of 30 authorized merchant payments per day
- Easy person-to-person transfers within the U.S.
- Free transfers except when paying by credit card
- Transfer money out of Venmo (free for standard service, $0.25 for instant transfer)
- Social element to transactions
- Credit and debit cards available
Square Cash (Cash App): Easy, anonymous app for sending and receiving money within the U.S.
The Cash App by Square, Inc. enables people within the U.S. to send money to each other through a dedicated mobile application. Additionally, it allows for the exchange of bitcoins.
If you send a personal payment from a credit card, the fee is 3% – but payments sent using a debit card are free.
Users can create a $cashtag, which is a unique username that allows them to get paid anonymously. Payers then simply enter Cash.me/ [your$Cashtagname] in their browser and can pay through their own Square account or using a credit or debit card (no account is required).
The estimated transfer time for payments is two days.
Unverified accounts can send up to $250 per week and receive up to $1,000 per week. Verified accounts can send up to $2,500 per week (in most states), and there is no limit to how much can be received.
Further, businesses can receive payments via Square Cash, and it costs 2.75% of the payment amount. Lastly, you can also have your paycheck directly deposited into your Square Cash account.
It’s quick to get started, and the mobile application is easy to use. A debit card for the account will also be sent to users after signing up, which allows you to make domestic purchases and withdraw money from an ATM.
- Easily send and receive payments within the U.S.
- Free to send and receive payments for personal users from a debit card or Cash App balance
- 3% to send payments from a credit card
- 75% to receive payments as a business
- Transfer money to your bank account free (or pay 1.5% for instant transfer)
Western Union: Best for worldwide coverage
Western Union is the largest money transfer service in the world, serving over 200 countries and territories and having over 550,000 agent locations. While well-known for offline money transfers, the company also offers an app to allow for easy online transfers.
You can fund transfers up to $5,000 using Apple Pay, a credit card, a debit card, or a bank account, and recipients can receive the money in their bank account or in cash at an agent location.
Note, the amount you’re allowed to send can change based on your transfer history, your location, the service you choose, the country’s receiving limits, and other factors.
After you send the money, you can follow up on the transfer through the app by simply entering the tracking number.
Western Union charges a transaction fee and marks up the exchange rate. The amount you are charged varies depending on how you pay and where you are sending money. Note, you can join the loyalty program (My WU) and may receive fee discounts.
Transfers funded by a credit or debit card usually process in one to two business days, while those funded by a bank account take four to six.
- Largest money transfer service in the world
- Send up to $5,000 online
- Multiple funding options
- Over 550,000 cash pick up locations
- Charges transfer fees and marks up exchange rates
- Deliveries can be completed within minutes
- 24/7 service by phone and available by live chat or email
- Very competitive pricing for bank transfers to accounts in developing nations
Which money transfer service is right for you?
These are five of the best money transfers apps available today. However, with our ever-evolving economy, the demand for these services is growing, and there is no shortage of providers cropping up. Finding the right one for you will depend on your needs.
How do you figure it out?
First, ask yourself, “Where do I need to send money?” If it is just within the U.S., that will narrow down your options considerably. If it’s internationally, you will need to seek out the services that support transfers to the country you want.
Once you have identified the companies that support the destinations of your payments, compare:
- Transfer speeds
- Transfer limits
- Accepted payment methods
- Payment receipt methods
- Costs (Remember, when a company says they don’t charge any fees, that doesn’t mean the transaction is free. Most services that perform currency conversions take a cut on the exchange, so be sure to compare exchange rates.)
- The level of customer satisfaction from past customers
- Other features (tracking, notifications, social features, etc.)
FAQ on Money Transfer Apps
Are Cash app transfers instant?
Transfers made after 7 p.m. ET or on weekends or holidays, will typically arrive on the second business day. There is no fee to make a standard bank transfer using either P2P service. Instant deposits are sent to the recipient’s bank account immediately. Cash app charges a 1.5% fee to make an instant deposit.
What is the cheapest way to transfer money internationally?
Find the cheapest international money transfer means fair, low-cost transfers, every time. Compare TransferWise exchange rates and fees with some of the biggest money transfer and remit services, such as Western Union, Worldremit or MoneyGram.
What details do I need for an international bank transfer?
Your recipient’s name, address, and the account type they have with the bank (checking, current, savings, money market, etc.) Your recipient’s account number or IBAN (International Bank Account Number – much of the world uses this format for their bank account number).
How long does it take to send money through Western Union?
Direct to bank deposit typically takes between 2 to 5 business days, but could vary, depending on country. Bill Payment may vary depending on the selected speed of delivery or the biller. Mobile money transfer (transfer to a receiver’s mobile wallet) – generally delivered within minutes.
Companies can vary greatly from one to the next in how they function, so it will pay (literally) to do your research. Not sure where to start?
Head over to SuperMoney’s Money Transfer Services Review Page. You’ll find dozens of reputable companies that you can easily compare side-by-side.
Jessica Walrack is a personal finance writer at SuperMoney, The Simple Dollar, Interest.com, Commonbond, Bankrate, NextAdvisor, Guardian, Personalloans.org and many others. She specializes in taking personal finance topics like loans, credit cards, and budgeting, and making them accessible and fun.