With nearly everything transitioning online, it’s no surprise that you can send money online through multiple channels. If you’re thinking of sending money online, check out the five best ways you can get that done.
Starting life primarily as a payment processing service for eBay, PayPal is now one of the biggest players in online money transfers. The site lets you connect bank accounts and credit cards to fund purchases or send money. For money transfers between friends or family (you identify these), there are currently no fees.
PayPal also makes it convenient for users. You can access PayPal online at their website or through their mobile app, which is available for iPhones and Android phones. While the apps limit certain account features, you still easily send money from your phone.
One of the more venerable ways of sending money, wire transfers used to happen in-person at banks or, sometimes, you could initiate them over the phone. These days, banks have embraced the Internet with online and mobile banking. While not every bank offers an app, almost all of them maintain websites that let you sign in to your account.
Once inside your account, you typically set up a wire transfer from one bank account to another bank account. This lets you easily send some money to anyone in the country with a bank account. You will need the other person’s bank routing number and account number for the transfer.
Once known for its telegram services, Western Union became a money transfer business starting the 1980’s. Since then, it has kept pace with the changes in technology and lets people send money online easily. You have two main options for sending funds.
You can send funds via the Western Union website either directly to a bank account or to be picked up in person. You can also use their phone app for similar transfers. Western Union specializes in international money transfers, so it may be preferable if you want to deposit funds in a friend or family member’s overseas bank account.
A relatively new player in the money transfer business, Cash App opened its virtual doors back in 2013. Unlike most of the other options, Cash App functions primarily as an app-based service. The website exists mainly as a place for transaction records and somewhere you can adjust your account settings.
The app connects with your bank account. Then, it lets you transfer money on a phone-to-phone basis. The recipient can access the cash by adding Cash to a mobile wallet service like Apple Pay or Google Pay. Cash App also issues debit cards that directly access the cash in your account.
A final option for online money transfers is Zelle. Unlike most of the other options on this list, Zelle isn’t meant to double as a payment method for regular purchases. It’s a peer-to-peer service intended exclusively for depositing money from your bank account into someone else’s bank account.
You can typically access Zelle through your online banking portal, bank app, or a dedicated Zelle mobile app. The catch is that your bank must support the account-to-account service. While many major banks do support it, not every bank does allow Zelle transfers. You can get around that by connecting your debit card through the dedicated Zelle app.
The mass transition from in-person financial transactions to online transactions has extended far beyond businesses accepting credit cards online. These days, you have lots of excellent options for domestic, international, and peer-to-peer online money transfers.
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