Do you carry cash around with you?
Increasingly, people are carrying less cash and relying more on their cards. Along with cards, many have switched to apps. You’ll find many apps built around sending money to friends, quickly and securely. Furthermore, some of the major social media platforms have even integrated payment systems into their services.
So what solution should you and your friends trust when you need to make a quick payment? Here are several apps to help you send money to friends—or to anyone!
1. Cash App
Cash App (formerly known as Square Cash) is an instant cash transfer app from Square. The company is well-known for its smartphone point-of-sale systems for Android and iOS devices.
Cash App allows you to send or request cash from other users of the app. It also integrates with your email account, so you can send and receive requests there. You can add a “$cashtag,” a unique tag in the Cash App ecosystem that your friends and family (and others) can use to send you money.
Personal payments to friends and family are free using the Cash App. Like most of the other apps on this list, credit card payments through the Cash App attract a three percent fee, while an instant account deposit results in a 1.5 percent charge.
This app also supports Bitcoin payments.
Venmo remains the most popular choice to transfer money between friends. The app and overall experience are slick, plus a huge number of people already have Venmo accounts. If you need to send your friend money, there’s a strong chance they already have a Venmo account waiting to go.
Sending money using your existing Venmo balance, bank account, or debit card costs nothing. However, if you send a Venmo payment using your credit card, it incurs a three percent fee. Similarly, a standard transfer from your Venmo account to your bank account costs nothing, but an instant transfer (which sometimes takes only 10 minutes) attracts a one percent levy. The fee is a minimum of $0.25 and a maximum of $10.
3. Facebook Messenger Payments
The social media giant can process payments through Facebook Messenger. You’re also able to send money to friends directly without any fees. The payment and transfer features are straightforward to use, integrating seamlessly with Messenger.
Like Venmo, there’s a strong chance your friend already has a Facebook account. You only need to look them up in Messenger, hit the Dollar symbol, and make your payment. Better still, Facebook doesn’t need to monetize its payment system because of its other revenue streams, so payments from bank accounts and debit cards don’t attract a fee.
4. Gmail and Google Pay
All the best payment apps have the same underlying feature: you and your friends probably already use the platform for something else.
Gmail is just that, as it allows you to send money too. Open a new email, select the Dollar symbol, add your payment request or attach money, then send it to your contact. The Gmail method is great because you can email anyone with a payment request. Furthermore, you can make requests or send money using Google Assistant.
Google Pay works as you would expect. You can transfer money to anyone, regardless of whether they have a Gmail account or the Google Pay app. Google Pay also integrates nicely with every other Google service, too. It makes it easy to send and receive money throughout the entire Google ecosystem.
Like Facebook, Google doesn’t need to monetize its payment system, so transfers and payments from debit cards and bank accounts are free. However, credit cards do attract a 2.9 percent fee.
Despite its detractors, PayPal is still an incredibly popular choice for sending money to your friends in a hurry. The recent app redesign means the PayPal experience is now effortless to use, too.
The app is available for Android and iOS, and at this point, most people have an account due to PayPal’s integration throughout our digital lives. You can use your PayPal account to purchase all manner of products, pay bills, and so on. This almost guarantees that your friends can accept payment for last night’s bar tab.
Sending money to friends and family is free if you use their PayPal.me link. A friend or family member can send you their link from within the app. Debit and credit card payments via the PayPal app invoke a 2.9 percent fee, plus $0.30 for processing. This is how PayPal makes money, so it’s probably wise to give that a miss.
6. Apple Pay Cash
Apple Pay Cash is one of the best payment apps around. But only iOS users can send and receive cash. However, if you use an iPhone and predominantly send money to other iOS users, it’s definitely worth checking it out.
The Apple Pay Cash app has a bunch of extra functionality, plus it integrates smoothly with everything Apple and iOS. For instance, you can send and receive cash using Siri commands, or add your store loyalty cards for easy access.
There is no charge for iOS to iOS payments or those that come from your debit card. However, credit card payments attract a three percent fee.
What Is the Best Payment App?
In my experience, the best payment app comes down to two aspects: is it free, and are your friends and family already using it? If it ticks those boxes, you’re on the right course. The apps discussed here let you send cash to your friends easily, securely, and without having to spend money to send money.