By now, I’m sure we’re all aware that one no longer needs to queue up at their nearest bank branch to transfer money to someone else. Whether it’s paying back a friend for dinner, or transferring birthday money to the grandkids, technology has ensured that we can now bypass the queues, the hassle of going out, and the trouble of asking people for their individual bank account numbers. The newest way the financial world has gone digital involves transferring money at the touch of a button on your smartphone. With more and more apps popping up, promising fast and secure means of transferring money between people, it can be tricky to know the differences between them. Here, Kindaba reviews and rates the most popular money- transferring apps so you can find yourself the best fit 🙂
What it does: You link your bank accounts to the app, and use your account to pay other Venmo users directly to their Venmo balances. It’s also moving towards becoming a business platform, where businesses can offer Venmo as a mode of payment to their customers. Forever 21 and Lululemon are just two popular stores to have jumped onto the Venmo bandwagon.
Drawbacks: Venmo also acts like a social media app, with details of all peer-to-peer transactions, bar the amount, made public on the app, which might not be for everyone. Also, recipients have to be Venmo users to receive the money. In addition, it takes 1-3 business days to see the funds in your bank account- although they’ve just introduced an instant transfer option at a fee of 25 cents.
Available in: The USA.
What it does: Similar to Venmo, you link your bank cards to the app, and use your account to pay other Circle users directly into their Circle balances. As a user myself, this app is pretty convenient and fast- I’m able to transfer money from my app balance to my bank account in under an hour. It’s probably the fastest option to get money from User A’s pocket to User B’s pocket.
Drawbacks: Recipients have to be Circle users as well. Since it’s an international platform, currency exchange rates can also be confusing, though Circle have tried their best to simplify the process.
Available in: USA and several European countries.
What it does: Enables users to transfer funds from user to user, and from user to business as well, as it’s commonly used as an alternate method of payment to the traditional card option, especially for online orders
Drawbacks: Paypal charges fees for cross-border payments and payments in foreign currency, which is less than ideal if your loved ones live far away. It can also add up pretty fast if you’re sending large amounts of money.
Available in: Worldwide 🙂
What it does: Upon verifying your personal and bank account details, you are able to send money to any Facebook Messenger contact you have
Drawbacks: I don’t know about you, but with the recent bad rep Facebook has been getting with the way they handle users’ data, I’m not sure if I’d want them knowing my bank details, let alone handling my money. It also takes between 1-3 business days to receive the funds.
Available in: Users in the USA, UK and France
What it does: Using a two-factor authentication process, Apple’s answer to Venmo and Circle enables Apple users to transfer cash between Apple devices using its iMessage service.
Drawbacks: Only available to Apple users, and it takes between 1-3 business days to receive the funds you transferred from the in- app balance into your bank account.
Available in: USA for now, though it’s supposedly heading to Europe soon.
What it does: You can send money to anyone who has a debit card and an email address. Just type the amount you wish to pay in the subject title, and CC firstname.lastname@example.org. It will then direct you to a page where you enter your bank account details.
Drawbacks: As this app is new to the UK, I can’t say I’ve found much information on it just yet. However, I think what makes it stands out is that there is no need to create an account on any app, or have the recipient create an account as well. However, with email having a notorious reputation for being easy to hack, I’d read more about the security features before using it.
Available in: USA, Canada, Japan, Australia; launched in the UK a few weeks ago
There you have it, folks – now go forth and explore a variety of new ways to make all your financial transactions. When using any new app or tech, it’s a good idea to review the security features and read online reviews of them, just to keep yourself informed. As we’ve seen recently, it seems that no tech is entirely hack-proof, so while we’re all for adopting new technology to make our lives easier, we have to be conscious about what we use and how we use it.
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