Money transfer apps can make it far easier to manage your day to day financial needs - and even help you cut costs along the way.
Due to their growing popularity, there are more and more apps to send money out there. From apps like Venmo and Cash App to help you split your rent or pay a restaurant bill, to apps like Google Pay and Apple Pay which make mobile payments easy - with the right mobile wallet on hand, it’s easier than ever to manage your money on the go.
So - which money transfer apps are worth having? This guide to the best money transfer app options covers all you need to know.
Along the way, we’ll introduce Wise as a way to send and receive money internationally with low and transparent fees - always using the real exchange rate. Save up to 6x when you send money abroad - more on this later.
|📝 Here are the 6 best money transfer apps:|
Best for those who prefer a large customer base
PayPal is a safe payment method, in fact, it’s a global payment giant - from shopping online, to sending money to friends, family and businesses, the chances are you’ve used PayPal before one way or another. But what about the PayPal app?
Ease of use
Starting with accessibility, the PayPal app gets a pretty high rating on both Apple and Android phones:
Google Play Rating: 4.3 Stars¹
Apple App Store Rating: 4.8 Stars²
PayPal app money transfer options
Sending money with PayPal’s money transfer app is as simple as typing in a name, email or phone number. If the recipient you’re looking for has a PayPal account, you’ll be able to find them. If you’re paying for your transfer with a linked bank account or with your PayPal balance, it’s free for domestic payments to friends and family in the US. You can also request money and add some personality to your messages with animations, stickers and emojis.
It’s worth noting up front that PayPal may not be the best choice if you need to fund a payment using a credit card. There’s a 2.9% charge + a fixed fee for this³. And if you’re sending money overseas, you’re probably going to be better off with a specialist provider as PayPal has a 5% fee plus currency conversion charges of up to 4% for international transfers. Learn more about PayPal’s international fees here.
|💡 Learn all about how PayPal works here.|
Best for sending money abroad with low and transparent fees
Wise is a specialist in low cost international payments and currency services. That means this is a strong bet if you need a money transfer app to make sending and receiving payments from abroad a breeze.
Ease of use
The Wise app is available on both Apple and Android devices and comes with a high rating on both operating systems.
Google Play Rating: 4.5 Stars ⁴
Apple App Store Rating: 4.7 Stars ⁵
Wise app money transfer options
With Wise, it’s low-cost, easy and instant to convert currencies - and you can send payments in 54+ currencies to 80+ countries. Wise is also compatible with Apple Pay + Google Pay for on the go transfers and transactions.
Whenever you make a payment with Wise, you get the mid-market rate and incredibly low conversion fees. You can send payments direct to your recipient’s bank account, so they won’t need to open a Wise account themselves - and payments can usually be funded by bank transfer, credit or debit card. While the fees for different payment methods do vary, you’ll always see the costs and rates upfront before you get started.
See how much you can save with a free Wise account:
Best for splitting bills
Venmo has over 70 million users - so you can bet it’s an easy way to send money. Venmo payments are secure, but one of the main selling points of Venmo is that they can also be social. Send messages and emojis to interact as you send and request payments.
Ease of use
Venmo has good ratings on both Apple and Android operating systems - although judging by the ratings, it seems more customer friendly on Apple.
Google Play Rating: 4.2 Stars⁶
Apple App Store Rating: 4.9 Stars⁷
Venmo app money transfer options
Venmo is good for sending instant payments to friends locally. And as long as you fund the payment with a linked bank account or debit card, or your Venmo balance, there’s no fee to pay. However, you’ll pay 3% if you choose to use a credit card to make the payment⁸. Learn all about Venmo fees here.
Venmo is super popular for a good reason - it’s easy, quick and fun. However, it does have some limitations. Specifically, Venmo is not available for international payments - so if you need an international money transfer app you’ll want to check out competitors.
|💡 Find out more about Venmo, here.|
Best for sending money within the US
Cash App is only available in the US and the UK, so can’t be used globally. But that’s not to say it’s not a great provider. One of the big appeals with Cash App is that you can send a payment, tip, or make a donation knowing only an individual’s $Cashtag - no personal information needed at all.
Ease of use
Cash App was designed as an app first - unlike some services which were desktop providers which switched up to mobile. So it’s not surprising they’re pretty well rated across both Apple and android users.
Google Play Rating: 4.6 Stars⁹
Apple App Store Rating: 4.7 Stars¹⁰
Cash App money transfer options
Sending money with Cash App is fast, easy and largely free. You can send money with just a few basic details, but Cash App users also choose their own $Cashtag which they can use to request and receive payments. So even if you don’t know someone’s phone number, you can still Cash App them a payment. Handy for making donations or paying tips, for example. Read about the few Cash App fees that exist here.
Cash App cannot send global payments. You can send money within the US, and the UK - or between the 2 countries, but that’s it. Choose a different provider if you need cross-border payments elsewhere.
|💡 Want to know more about Cash App? Get this guide to Cash App now.|
Best for Android
Google Pay is Google’s digital wallet - so it’s our pick for the best option for Android users. You can also actually get it on Apple phones, but you won’t get the full functionality.
Ease of use
While it’s not got the very top rating possible, it’s still a credible app with a solid user performance - and pushing 7 million reviews in Google Play Store
Google Play Rating: 4.2 Stars¹¹
Apple App Store Rating: 4.3 Stars¹²
Google Play money transfer options
You can send money with Google Play to anyone in the US, Singapore or India¹³. You’ll just need their QR code, phone number or email. Depending on the way individuals have set up their Google accounts, you may also be able to search for other users to arrange a payment using just a name - even if you’re not completely sure of their details.
|💡 Learn all about how to use Google Pay here.|
Best for bank-to-bank transfers
We’ll close out our list of the best money transfer apps with Zelle. You can often use Zelle direct from your own bank’s online banking service - and if you can’t, you can still download the app. Payments land in the recipient’s bank account directly for convenience - you just need to register.
Ease of use
Solid rating across both major platforms.
Google Play Rating: 4.3 Stars¹⁴
Apple App Store Rating: 4.3 Stars¹⁵
Zelle app money transfer options
It’s a strong option for bank payments in the US - but unfortunately Zelle is not available internationally. One of the big attractions for the Zelle app is that it has such a huge user base, as it’s available through many bank’s own online banking services.
That means a couple of things - probably the person you’re looking to transfer money to has an account already. And the sheer volume of payments passing through also offers reassurance that they’re at the top of their game in terms of customer satisfaction and reliability.
Zelle doesn’t charge a fee for payments, but does recommend you check your own bank won’t add a charge.
|💡 Looking for more? All about Zelle - in this guide.|
Let’s see how the 6 best money transfer apps measure up side by side on key features.
Free within the US to a PayPal account 2.50% plus a fixed fee to send money via a credit card
5% when sending money abroad with your PayPal balance or bank accountAdditional 4% if currency conversion is involved³
|1 USD||iOS and Android|
|Wise||Low, transparent fee - always using the mid-market rate||Varies by currency - from 1 USD||iOS and Android|
Free within the US
Credit card fees may apply
|No minimum||iOS and Android|
|Cash App||Free within the US or UK||No minimum||iOS and Android|
|Google Pay||Low fees using the real exchange rate in India, Singapore and the US||Not specified||iOS and Android|
|Zelle||Free within the US||1 USD||iOS and Android|
The best money transfer app for you will depend a bit on what you need to do and what features you value. There are lots of options for fast, fun, and often free money transfer apps within the US. So choosing is likely to be down to a simple question of personal preference. Use this guide to help you narrow your options and get downloading.
If what matters to you is sending money internationally, you’ll have a somewhat more narrow choice of great money transfer apps. But choosing a specialist provider like Wise can be an excellent way to avoid high bank fees and poor exchange rates when you send and spend foreign currencies.
To narrow down from a pretty broad field of possible money transfer apps, we looked at a few different features. We checked out usability as voted for by customers on Google Play and the App Store - while review ratings are dynamic and do change over time, a well rated app is likely one which customers like and find intuitive and easy to use.
We also looked for apps which have unique features and functionality, to make them stand out from the crowd. That means that no matter whether you’re looking to split a restaurant bill or send a large international payment, we’ve probably found an app to suit you. By narrowing our search on these factors, then looking at the costs of use, and the security of each app, we came up with this list of the 6 best money transfer apps for 2021.
The money transfer apps listed in this guide are all safe to use as long as you take normal, sensible precautions like keeping your personal data safe, and avoiding making payments to people you don’t trust.
Downloading money transfer apps is usually free. Many apps also offer some services for free, but there may be fees for some types of payment - like international transfers and payments funded by credit card. Check the terms and conditions before you get started.
1] Google Play - PayPal
2] App Store - PayPal
3] Paypal fees
4] Google Play - Wise
5] App Store - Wise
6] Google Play - Venmo
7] App Store - Venmo
8] Venmo fees
9] Google Play - Cash App
10] App Store - Cash app
11] Google Play - Google Pay
12] App Store - Google Pay
13] Google Support - send money
14] Google Play - Zelle
15] App Store - Zelle
All sources checked on 17 November 2021
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
Both N26 and Revolut are disrupting traditional banks. But which one is the better choice between N26 vs Revolut? Find out in this article.
When exchanging money, you might have seen a 3-letter-code next to a country flag. But what do they mean? Learn everything about ISO currency codes here.
Intermediary and correspondent banks are similar, but not the same. In this article, we'll explain what is a correspondent bank, and how does it work.
There are two types of ACH transactions, and in this article, we'll talk about ACH debit. Learn more about how does it work and what are the pros & cons.
In this article, we'll cover the key differences between Zelle and Venmo. Learn all you need to know, right here.
Wondering how to pay someone on PayPal? Curious if you can actually pay an invoice or request without opening an account? Here's the guide you're looking for.