- The modern global economy makes using money transfer services almost mandatory
- PayPal remains one of the most extensive remote-only services
- Western Union is one of the top choices for cash users while Zelle is an option widely used by banking institutions
The modern world has a global economy that makes money transfers an almost guaranteed part of life. You might use digital transfers to make payments to businesses or loan money to friends. But with so many different money transfer services currently in operation, it can be challenging to choose the best option.
Learn about the top money transfer services and how to choose the best one for your unique needs below.
PayPal continues to be one of the leading money transfer services. It’s used by millions of individuals and businesses, even going so far as to offer in-person transfers at certain stores. You can use PayPal to transfer money internationally or domestically, but be wary of the exorbitant international currency exchange fees.
Transferring money is simple and can be done with a few clicks on your phone or online. The company even offers cash cards that you can use as debit or credit cards. However, both participating transfer members must have a PayPal account to use this option.
XE isn’t as well known as PayPal, but it’s widely considered the most inexpensive money transfer service. There are no fees for basic transfers, but considerable charges are made for currency exchanges, including any transfers requiring these services. These costs are how XE makes its profit.
The downside is that funding transactions are limited compared to other options. Both users must have a bank account, and neither cash nor credit cards are allowed as a funding option.
Venmo is a money transfer and cost-sharing app created by its parent company, PayPal. The key difference between Venmo and other money transfer services is it operates more like a social media site. Users can add friends, family, co-workers and others to plan cost-sharing for such things as events and meals. Even better, fees aren’t charged on transactions between friends, though there’s a 3 percent charge on all account funding done via credit card.
Venmo can be integrated into PayPal as an additional service or used independently.
The primary benefit of using MoneyGram is convenience. You don’t have to set up an account or even have a bank account to use the company’s services. Instead, you can pay with cash at one of the thousands of locations inside regular stores. You can make domestic or international transfers while supplying only some basic identifying information.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily result in a top tier experience. Many users have reported issues with MoneyGram and left bad ratings on online review sites. For this reason, it’s recommended you only use MoneyGram to send money to people or companies you know personally.
Western Union has been around for more than a century and continues to provide innovative financial services to its customers. Like MoneyGram, Western Union allows you to pay cash at one of its locations, found in thousands of stores around the nation. It also offers strictly remote money transfers through its website and even provides services to various social media sites.
Western Union allows two people to exchange payments for goods, services or personal loans on social media. As with other services, you shouldn’t send money to people or companies you don’t personally know to avoid being scammed.
Cash App allows you to send money from a linked debit card or bank account. Transfers use Cash App tags or screen names, which you get to choose yourself. Transfers are free, but some fees are associated with transferring your Cash App balance to your bank account.
One significant benefit of this money transfer service is its referral program, which offers current users $5 for every new person they get to sign up.
Zelle is a money transfer service you might already use because it’s integrated with numerous banking institutions. It allows for fast transfers between anyone with a banking account with one of its providers. If your banking institution doesn’t participate in Zelle, you can use it as a standalone service and send money to anyone in its ever-growing network.
The only caveat is that Zelle isn’t made for commerce (buying or selling items), and you’ll receive no protection for those transactions. Zelle is only meant to send money between individuals.
Xoom is another PayPal money transfer service, proving what a dominant provider the parent company is. You can use Xoom to make fast international transfers to around 160 countries globally. Although you can send up to $100,000 in a single transfer, higher amounts require more personal information. For example, you may need to provide your social security number, passport or other identifying information for high-dollar transfers.
The one area where Xoom lags is that it offers lower currency exchange rates and higher fees for using a debit or credit card to fund purchases.
OFX is a unique money transfer service because it doesn’t charge fees. If you’re a customer in the United States, you can make transfers internationally to over 50 countries. The big catch is that you can only use OFX for high-dollar transfers as it doesn’t allow smaller exchange amounts.
The minimum transfer amount is $1,000, but there are no maximum limits. Since there are no fees, this could be an excellent secondary money transfer service provider for when you need to send a significant amount of money.
Consider: Which Service Is Most Popular Among Your Peers?
One significant consideration for choosing the best money transfer service is knowing which options are most popular among your peers. This ensures you can freely exchange money when splitting bills, chipping in for gifts and similar circumstances.
The popularity of each service varies by location, so ask your closest friends, relatives and co-workers which service they use. After all, it doesn’t help if you decide to use one service and everyone you need to share costs or transfer money to is using a different one.
Consider: Which Service Best Fits Your Needs?
No two money transfer services have the same capabilities. You’ll want to consider which offers the options best suited to your needs. For example, do you require a money transfer service that allows you to use cash or a credit card to fund transfers? Do you need a service you can access through your phone or that lets you link your bank accounts? Do you need a service that offers business accounts to accept payment for freelance services or homemade goods?
It also matter how frequently you anticipate using the service. If you regularly need to transfer money, you’re probably less likely to tolerate high fees or a poor user experience. If this is a one-off need, those things may not matter as much.
Consider: Do You Need To Send Money Domestically, Internationally or Both?
Most money transfer services allow both domestic and international transfers, but that doesn’t mean all. If you need to make both types of transfers frequently, you should look for a service that facilitates this since it’s significantly more convenient to use one company. If you’re torn between two or more transfer services that provide both options, comparing fees can help you decide. Pay attention to both transfer fees and currency exchange rates to get an idea of the actual costs of service.