10 Best Ways To Send Money Quickly and Safely (2024)

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Whether you want to pay a friend back for your share of dinner, remit payment to your landlord for the rent or give a financial gift to a niece living in another state, sometimes you need to send money quickly and safely. There are several ways to send money in 2024. Here’s a rundown of the most popular and reliable methods.

10 Best Ways To Send Money

Here’s a look at the 10 best ways to send money quickly:

  1. Western Union: Best for in-person money transfers
  2. Xoom: Best for transparent pricing
  3. Zelle: Best for fee-free transfers
  4. Wise: Best for easy use of multiple currencies
  5. Bank wire transfer: Best for secure payments
  6. Walmart MoneyCenter: Best for international transfers
  7. PayPal: Best for widespread use
  8. Venmo: Best for sending funds in a social setting
  9. Cash App: Best for low fees
  10. Google Pay: Best for a robust digital wallet

Before you can send money, you’ll need to choose which money transfer service you’d like to use. Each offers something different in the way of exchange rates, fees and speed of the transaction.

1. Western Union

Best for: In-person money transfers

Pros

  • Can send or receive physical cash
  • Fast transfer options

Cons

  • Steep transfer fees

When you use Western Union to send money online, you’ll be joining the company’s 150 million customers. Fees range and you can use Western Union’s online calculator to pick the way you want to send the money — cash at a physical location, through the mobile app or directly to a bank account. The company works with 200 countries that utilize 130 different currencies.

Western Union delivers cash transfers made in person or over the phone within minutes. However, when you send money online with a credit card, you’ll have to wait one to three days for delivery. Money sent through your checking account can take up to five days.

2. Xoom

Best for: Transparent pricing

Pros

  • Low transfer minimum
  • Speedy transfers

Cons

  • No live chat support option
  • Slow delivery for some destinations

Xoom is a PayPal service with top-tier security measures that protect your money transfers. The company can also complete the majority of transactions in a matter of minutes. Customers have the option to send or receive money from 160+ countries. There is a minimum transfer fee of $1.99 for credit or debit card transactions although bank fees may be waived depending on the amount. Exchange rates depend on the country but are considered to be average.

Fees vary greatly depending on the amount and source of funds. For example, if you are sending $1,000 from your PayPal account to a bank account, you will pay a fee of $17.75. If the funds come from your bank account or savings account, it will cost $10.

3. Zelle

Best for: Fee-free transfers

Pros

  • Available through most major financial institutions
  • No fees

Cons

  • Cannot cancel a transaction
  • Some complaints of fraud

Zelle is a fast and free way to send and receive money between two bank accounts. Most banks offer Zelle, which makes it possible to send money using someone’s phone or email address. Even if the bank doesn’t support Zelle yet, you can download the mobile app to access the service. Banks set their own limits on how much you can transfer. If you use the mobile app, you can transfer up to $500 per week.

4. Wise (Formerly Transferwise)

Best for: Easy use of multiple currencies

Pros

  • Hold up over 40 currencies in a single account
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Not the cheapest option

If you need to send money overseas, Wise sets the bar other transfer services follow. Wise is transparent about the low fees they charge. Enter the amount you’d like to send and you’ll see a breakdown of how much it will cost you. For example, sending $1,000 converted to Euros will cost you $7.06 in fees. If you agree to the fee and rate, you can pay by bank account, debit or credit card. For the fastest transfers, card payments are instant; bank transfers may take two business days.

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5. Bank Wire Transfer

Best for: Secure payments

Pros

  • Secure payments
  • Fast delivery

Cons

  • Steep fees
  • Limited recourse if you make a mistake

If you need to send a large amount of cash quickly, a bank wire transfer is a worthwhile option. You can move thousands of dollars within a matter of minutes or hours. The downside is that bank wire transfers often come with relatively high fees. But the fee could be worth it if you need to send money quickly to someone you trust.

6. Walmart MoneyCenter

Best for: International transfers

Pros

  • Send money to over 200 countries
  • Estimator tool to determine exact fee in advance

Cons

  • Recent FTC lawsuit

Walmart customers can send money online through the Walmart MoneyCenter. In fact, their MoneyGram service allows for domestic and international transfers to more than 200 countries, including India, Mexico and the Philippines.

Funds can arrive within minutes, or they can take up to three days depending on the method used to send the cash. For most transfers the fee is under $20, however, it can be as high as $500. Walmart MoneyCenter has a free estimator tool that will not only tell you the exact fee you can expect to pay, but also the exchange rates.

7. PayPal

Best for: Widespread use

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • No fees for sending money to family and friends

Cons

  • Scams prevalent
  • Fees for instant access to the funds

PayPal has several ways to send money quickly. Send a transfer to an email address, request funds or use a custom PayPal.Me link. If the person you send money to does not have a PayPal account, they can open one for free right away.

There are no transfer fees when you use a linked bank account or PayPal balance to send money. You can also use a debit or credit card for a fee of 2.9% of the amount. Instant transfers are available when you need to exchange money right away. Standard transfers into a bank account take one to three business days.

8. Venmo

Best for: Sending funds in a social setting

Pros

  • Social elements can make it fun
  • Free to send funds from a debit card or bank account

Cons

  • Can’t cancel transactions
  • Limited to the U.S. only

Venmo calls money transfers “sharing payments” due to the social nature of the service. Over 70 million people use Venmo to send and receive money from friends and family. You can split bills and invite Venmo users to chip in, send or receive money and pay a growing number of businesses.

Opening an account is free — and so is sending and receiving money unless you fund the transfer with a credit card. Card transfer fees are 3% but the fee can be avoided, thanks to the other options available to send money.

9. Cash App

Best for: Low fees

Pros

  • Relatively low fees
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • No FDIC insurance, unless you have a Cash Card*
  • Limited to U.S. and U.K.

Cash App was developed by Square as a good way to send money between app holders for free — if you don’t mind the funds arriving in one to three business days. You could always pay the 0.5% to 1.75% fee ($0.25 minimum) if you need the funds deposited into a debit card right away. To use Cash App, you need a phone number, email address or $Cashtag, which uniquely identifies you or your recipient. Cash App only supports transfers within or between the U.S. and the U.K. at this time.

10. Google Pay

Best for: Robust digital wallet

Pros

  • Useful digital wallet features
  • Refunds might be available for fraudulent activity

Cons

  • Limited to a handful of countries

Google Pay aims to make money transfers easy as long as you use your Google Pay balance, a bank account or debit card — credit card transfers aren’t supported. All you need is an email address and phone number to send or receive funds. If you receive cash via Google Pay, you can transfer it from your wallet straight to your linked debit card for free in minutes.

How To Send Money Online

Use one of the following methods via one of the top money transfer services mentioned above to send money online to friends instantly:

Money in Minutes

  1. Download Western Union’s app or bring up your account on a laptop.
  2. Log in and select the “Money in Minutes” service.
  3. Enter the name and address of the intended recipient in the appropriate boxes.
  4. Select the debit or credit card you’d like to use to send the money.
  5. Enter the amount and submit your request. You’ll receive a tracking number in your email once the request has been processed.

Send Money Online Using a Bank Account

  1. Log in to the money transfer service of your choice.
  2. Choose the bank account or debit card you wish to send money from.
  3. Insert the dollar amount and the other party’s bank information in the required boxes.
  4. Confirm the transaction.

Send Money to Mobile Phone

  1. Log in to your money transfer service account.
  2. Select a dollar amount and a destination.
  3. Add the recipient’s name and cell phone number.
  4. Choose whether you’d like to pay with your credit or debit card.
  5. Select the send to a mobile phone option and click submit.
  6. Watch for a confirmation alert, which will come by SMS notification.

Send Money to an Inmate

  1. Open your money transfer app or visit the company’s website to log in.
  2. Select the correctional facility where the inmate is currently lodged.
  3. Enter the inmate’s name and inmate number.
  4. Type in the amount of money you want to send.
  5. Choose whether you’d like to pay with your bank account or credit card.
  6. Submit the information.

Send Money Internationally

  1. Sign in to your money transfer service account.
  2. Choose your payment method and enter the amount you’d like to send.
  3. List the receiver’s location and how you’d like them to get the funds.
  4. Review the fees and exchange rates before submitting.
  5. Make the payment and wait for confirmation to show up in your email inbox.

Good To Know

Customers sending money internationally would do well to use each money transfer service company’s estimator tool to compare costs. Next, you’ll want to add the transfer fees to see which organization is truly the cheapest. Of course, if time is a factor, you might not mind paying a few dollars extra to get the money to your recipient within minutes instead of days.

Making Instant Money Transfers Without Verification

Most banks and payment apps will allow you to make instant transfers using routing and account numbers without verification for each transfer. Simply input the required information for the sender and recipient, and follow the steps in the app. Here are some key takeaways:

  • For some banks and payment apps, you can also turn off two-factor authentication, or 2FA, by adjusting your account settings. This removes the need to verify transfers via one-time password or other verification methods, but it varies by bank, and there may be limits on the amount of money you can transfer this way.
  • Once you’ve turned off 2FA, you can make instant transfers by providing the routing and account number of your intended recipient.
  • Before attempting this method, carefully consider whether the convenience of removing 2FA is worth the security risk. Two-factor authentication is an extra layer of security that helps protect your account.
  • If you already have a bank account or an account with a money transfer provider, it’s possible to send money with just your account and routing number. Since you’ve already provided identity verification, you won’t be required to pass any additional verification steps.
  • The initial process of linking your bank account to a money transfer app will likely require a verification step. This process varies from bank to bank but may involve inputting your Social Security Number or other identifying information.

Final Take To GO

Sending money to someone else is often a necessary chore. The good news is that choosing the right money transfer platform or mechanism can keep your transactions safe and make your life easier. Explore all of the best ways to send money before moving forward with the best choice for your situation.

FAQ

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about sending money.

    • How can I send money to someone immediately?
      • A few ways to send money to someone immediately include Zelle, PayPal and Venmo.
    • What is the safest way to send money?
      • A bank wire transfer is one of the safest ways to send money.
    • How can I send money without ID verification?
      • While most payment apps do not require you to verify your ID for every transaction, almost all of them will ask for it during the initial registration process. If you do not want to provide your ID at all, one of your options is to send a limited amount of money through Cash App which allows you to send and receive up to $1,000 per month without ID verification. If you want to send or receive more than that, you must verify your identity by providing your SSN, source of funds, full name and date of birth.
    • Why do money transfers require verification?
      • Most banks and money transfer apps require identity verification when registering an account. Additionally, banks or payment apps may ask you to verify your identity when transferring money to other accounts. However, many payment apps allow you to transfer money without requiring verification for each specific transfer, as long as you have passed the initial verification process.

    Sarah Sharkey, Caitlyn Moorhead and Alicia Bodine contributed to the reporting for this article.

    *Prepaid debit cards issued by Sutton Bank. Balance is FDIC-insured through Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Member FDIC for up to $250,000 per person.

    Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

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