Send money online via free money transfer apps and websites or pay the old fashioned way
By Barb Nefer
July 12, 2017
When you need to transfer funds to a friend or family member, look for one of the many ways to send money for free. You can send money online through various apps and websites, or use an old school method like cash.
Whether you’re paying your share of rent or a dinner check, making a quick payment has never been easier. Following are 12 easy ways to send money:
Transferring money with Square Cash is free. The service provides easy to use “Cashtags” to do a money transfer. If your recipient has a Square Cash account, ask for his personal Cashtag URL and visit the page. If you have your own Square Cash account, sign in, enter the amount to send and click “Pay.” If you don’t have an account, select the “Pay” option and follow the prompts. Other ways to send money through Square Cash include the Cash app, iMessage and Siri.
Transferring money to family members and friends is free with Square Cash. The service has a limit of $250 per week which increases to $2,500 in most states if you verify your identity with your name, date of birth and the last four digits of your Social Security number. You cannot use the service outside the U.S. or in U.S. territories.
Money transfer apps like Venmo let you send money and do other functions, like paying at participating businesses with your phone. Venmo, which is owned by PayPal, also has a social function so you can share your transfer history with friends. But if you just want to transfer money for free, Venmo lets you use a funding source like a bank account or money you’ve received from others through the app.
Click on the Venmo app to make a money transfer to other Venmo users. After you select an amount, you can add a note before completing the transaction. You can also send money via the Venmo website. You cannot send more than $299.99 within a seven day period, and Venmo is limited to use within the U.S.
Chase Bank offers a free Chase QuickPay bank transfer option to its banking customers. If you have a Chase Bank account, sign up for Chase QuickPay. Confirm your account safely by using the code sent to your primary email address during the sign-up process.
Recipients don’t have to be Chase Bank customers to receive a money transfer through this service; however, they must create a log in via www.chase.com/QP, verify their email address, and add a non-Chase U.S. account in which to receive the bank transfer.
Chase sets limits on transferring money depending on the type of transfer and whether the recipient has a Chase Bank account.
Account holders at banks that are part of the clearXchange network can take advantage of the new Zelle app which allows you to to securely send money to others by using your bank’s mobile app. With Zelle, users just need a mobile phone number or an email address to send money to their intended recipient.
No account information is shared when you send money; the program will only use your email or mobile phone number to send or receive money to or from your bank account.
Zelle is a newer offering, but more and more banks are joining. Ally Bank, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase Bank, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo are among the financial institutions offering this service. If your or your recipient’s bank doesn’t offer Zelle, you can still send or receive money through the service by registering at clearXchange.com.
Popmoney offers one of the easiest ways to send money via mobile devices or email if you have an account at a participating bank — Ally Bank, TD Bank, Fifth Third Bank, Regions Bank, U.S. Bank, Bank of America, Citibank, PNC Bank, SunTrust Bank and Wells Fargo. You can send money for free if a Popmoney user sends you a request. Otherwise, it’s only 95 cents if you initiate the transfer.
Recipients don’t need a Popmoney account to accept payment. They’re notified via text or email that you’re transferring money to them. Recipients provide their bank account information, and the money is safely deposited within three days.
A personal PayPal account lets you transfer money for free into another person’s account. You fund your PayPal balance through your bank account or with a credit or debit card.
When you’re ready to send money, simply enter the mobile phone number or email address of the person to whom you’re indebted and specify the amount to send. You can do this through the website or app. The funds go into that person’s PayPal account. If your intended recipient has a PayPal.Me link, go to the link and enter the money transfer amount.
Although transferring money via PayPal is free if you draw the funds from your bank account, you’ll pay a 2.9 percent fee for using a credit or debit card. You can send money internationally, but you’ll pay a fee that varies by country.
Facebook Messenger isn’t just for chatting with friends anymore. You can send money in a message by opening a chat with the person. Transfer money for free by clicking the dollar sign symbol, selecting “Next” to enter your debit card information and clicking “Pay” to process the transaction.
Your recipient must also add a debit card to access the money which takes up to three days to become available. Both you and the person to whom you’re sending money must be in the U.S.
Google Wallet lets you send money to anyone through their email address or phone number. The money comes from your linked debit card or bank account. Recipients don’t need the Google Wallet app to access the transfer provided they have a Google Account and a debit card or bank account to receive the deposited funds. Google Wallet doesn’t charge any fees, but you can only send or receive money within the U.S.
Dwolla directly sends money from your bank account into that of your designated recipient. The service is free for payments of $10 or less and only 25 cents for higher amounts, and it uses Automated Clearing House architecture to safely accomplish the money transfer.
You can send up to $5,000 from your Dwolla account or linked bank account. Use the recipient’s Dwolla ID, email address or phone number. If you send money to someone who doesn’t have an account, he will be prompted to create one before accessing the money. The service is only available for users in the U.S.
10. Online Bill Payment
Although online bill payment is geared toward recurring payments, like monthly utility bills, it also works for one time payments. Your bank will outline how to send money through its online bill payment system. The process typically involves logging onto the bank website, filling out the amount of money you wish to send and the recipient’s information, and authorizing the payment to be mailed out or transferred electronically. Make sure your bank offers this service for free so you’re not charged any unexpected fees.
11. Bill Transfer
Banks electronically transfer money via ACH. Although some charge fees for a bank transfer, many banks let you transfer money for free to other accounts. This is especially true of online banks, although some traditional financial institutions, like Chase, don’t add a fee.
A 2016 Total System Services, Inc. Consumer Payment Study found that cash is preferred for payments between individuals. It’s the favorite payment method of 18 percent of individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 and 17 percent of those between 55 and 64, according to the TSYS survey. Cash is the original easy way to make a payment.
Apple announced on June 5, 2017, that its money transfer service, Apple Pay, will be available in iMessage, the Apple messaging product. The new payment feature will launch in the fall as part of the new version of Apple’s operating system, iOS 11, and could prove to be major competition for Venmo, Square Cash and the other payment transfer methods. Stay up to date on payment methods to find the ones that best suit your banking and spending needs.