How to transfer money using your mobile phone?

Adam Rozsa

Mobile banking apps have made it easier than ever to transfer money. No need to log into an account on your computer, as you can do it in just a few taps using the smartphone.

And there are other ways to send money using just your cell phone, including SMS mobile pay and mobile wallets.

In this helpful guide, we’ll show you how to transfer money using your mobile phone. And of course, how to send money to a phone number.

If you need to send money internationally, you can also check out the Wise mobile app - more on this, later.

Check out the Wise app today

What is a mobile money transfer?

A mobile money transfer is a payment made using your cell phone. There are a few ways you can do it, from sending an SMS to using a dedicated mobile money app.

How to transfer money using your mobile phone - your options

The good news is that there are lots of different options for sending money using your cell phone, so you can take your pick. We’ll run through the main ones here.

SMS mobile pay

SMS mobile pay lets you transfer money just by sending a text. However, you’ll need to sign up for it first. Contact your bank to see if it offers SMS mobile payment. If so, you may need to follow a few steps to register. Your recipient may also need to be registered for the service.

Once you’re all signed up and ready, your bank will give you instructions on how to transfer money by SMS. Your recipient will receive a text message explaining how they can claim the money. The funds will either come out of your bank directly, or be charged to your cell phone bill¹.

You can also use SMS mobile payments to make purchases with certain retailers and businesses.

Mobile banking

Many banks now offer mobile banking. This makes all the usual features of online banking available on a convenient mobile app.

One of the best is Zelle, a user-friendly system for making fast mobile payments. It’s already in over 1,700 mobile banking apps², so it’s likely that your bank already uses it.

Your bank’s mobile app is one of the easiest ways to send money using your cell phone. You simply need to download the app, sign in and set up your transfer in a few taps. With Zelle, you can send money to a phone number or email address, and the funds will arrive in minutes³.

💡 Interested in Zelle? Check out the provider’s fees here.

Mobile money apps

You can also use other apps to send money using your mobile phone. These money apps link to your checking account or debit card, or in some cases you can top up your balance in advance of sending money.

Popular mobile money apps include:

Save money internationally with the Wise app

If you need to send money internationally, check out the Wise mobile app. This lets you send money all over the world, in just a few taps. You’ll only pay low fees⁴ and always get the mid-market exchange rate. You can even track your payments on the go, all from one handy app on your phone.

Key features of the Wise mobile app include:
  • Send, convert and spend up to 50+ currencies
  • Make transfers to over 80+ countries
  • Order a Wise card for one-time fee of $9¹ and spend in 174 countries.
  • Low, transparent transfer fees¹
  • Mid-market exchange rate
  • No hidden costs
  • Business accounts available
  • Dedicated 24/7 customer support in 14 languages

Get the Wise app today

Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up-to-date pricing and fee information.

Mobile wallets

Lastly, there are mobile wallets. These virtually store your card details, so you can make payments and purchases using just your phone - so, there’s no need to carry plastic around.

But you can also use mobile wallets to transfer money, simply by sending a message. The most popular mobile wallets are:

Frequently asked questions

How can I transfer money to a mobile number?

If you’re signed up to SMS mobile payments, all you need to do is send a text to your recipient including the required information. You can also use a mobile money app.

Can you transfer money from a bank account to mobile money?

If you’re using a mobile money app, you can usually link it to your bank account. This means you can transfer money from your checking account whenever you need to.

After reading this guide, you should be all set to make your first mobile money payment. There are lots of ways you can do it, so you can choose the option that works for you.

Sources used for this article:
  1. Finder - How to transfer money through your mobile phone
  2. Zelle Pay - Get started
  3. Zelle Pay - How can I use Zelle?
  4. Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up-to-date pricing and fee information.

Sources checked on 06-Feb-2023.

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.

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