If you need to send someone money—to split a check, settle a bet, or just for a treat—there’s no need to spend time swapping bank account details or searching for bills and notes. All you need is a smartphone and the right app.
In fact, you’ve got multiple apps to pick from, so you can choose the one that’s most convenient for your specific needs.
To pay someone, select them directly from your contacts, enter their phone number or email address, or scan their Venmo profile QR code. Then, enter the amount, write down a subject line describing the payment, and tap Pay.
There are no fees if you use a debit card or bank account as your funding source, but if you go for a credit card, Venmo will charge you a three percent fee.
The money appears in Venmo accounts instantly, and you can keep it there if you want to use it for future payments. You can also transfer it to your bank account for free, but it’ll take between one and three business days. If you’re in a hurry, you can also make an instant transfer for a 1% fee.
Venmo also has a social media aspect to it—you’ll see a feed in the app where you can browse your past incomings and outgoings, and also take a peek at how your friends are spending their own money.
From the home screen, tap Send, then enter a name from your contacts list, an email address, or a mobile number. Enter the amount and an optional message, and tap Next to move on.
Choose Friends and family as the transfer type, and then select your funding source. You can use your existing PayPal, but if that doesn’t cover the amount, you can also link a debit or credit card, or a bank account. To finish, tap on Send.
Transfers take up to one business day and there are no fees for payments.
3. Apple Pay
This platform comes built into iOS and, unfortunately, it’s not available to download on Android devices.
Apple Pay doesn’t charge any fees for personal transfers, making it a great alternative between Apple users. To get started, go to your iPhone Settings and select Wallet & Apple Pay. Here you can add debit and credit cards, and link new ones to the app to use as funding sources. Make sure to enable the Apple Cash toggle switch at the top for person-to-person payments.
With that done, go to the Messages app and open or start a new chat with whom you want to send money to. There, tap the Apple Pay button at the bottom, enter the amount, and select Pay. To finish transfering the money, tap the send button (upward arrow).
Transfers are instant on this app, though bank withdrawals can take up to three days.
4. Google Pay
This platform comes installed on Android phones by default and it’s also available for iOS.
Like Apple Pay, it’s a comprehensive payment option for all kinds of goods and services (there’s even a ‘split the bill’ feature), but it works well for sending money to friends and family too.
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First, set up a funding source on Google Pay—you can use debit cards and bank accounts. Then, tap Pay friend or group and choose a name from your contacts. You can also set a recipient by entering an email address or phone number. Tap Pay, enter your amount, and you’re done.
There are no fees with Google Pay and transfers are instant, but bank withdrawals can take from minutes up to five business days.
5. Samsung Pay
Samsung Pay comes preinstalled on phones from the company, but the platform is also compatible with any Android device.
As with Apple Pay and Google Pay, you can use it to make contactless purchases in stores and online, and it also lets you send payments to people. The only downside, is that for this platform to work, both the sender and receiver need to have a virtual card inside the app called a Samsung Pay Cash card.
You can add funds to this card from a debit card or a bank account. Once that’s done, all you need to do to transfer money to someone else is tapping Pay and choosing a contact name or entering a phone number.
There are no fees, and transfers are instant, though Samsung doesn’t give a timeframe on how long it takes to withdraw money from a bank account.
6. Cash App
As soon as you open the app, you’ll be able to input the amount you want to send. Then you’ll need to tap the Pay button and pick a recipient. You can choose one from your contacts list, input an email address or mobile number, or use the user’s $cashtag, a sort of profile name that makes it easier to find the person you want to send money to.
As with other platforms on this list, you can link debit cards and bank accounts to Cash App and transfer money for free. But if you use a credit card for funding, the app will charge you a three percent levy.
Cash App says most transfers take just minutes, but depending on your bank, they can take up to three days.
7. Facebook Messenger
Well, this is also a convenient place for sending and receiving money for free. The only drawback is that transfers can take up to five business days to complete.
If you haven’t registered any payment information with Facebook already, you’ll first need to set up your funding sources—you can use debit cards and PayPal accounts. Once you’ve done that, open or start a conversation with the person you want to send money to. Tap the + button and then the $ button, and enter the amount you want to transfer. Click the Pay button to confirm.
Correction – June 14, 2021, at 10:39 a.m.: This story stated that bank accounts and debit and credit cards could be used as funding sources for Google Pay. However, the platform only accepts debit cards and bank accounts.