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What Kind of Money Transfers Are There, And When Should You Use Which?

Amelia Smith
Amelia Smith
Amelia Smith is a financial writing specialist with a wealth of experience in creating technical financial content and persuasive sales pages. With her expertise in financial storytelling, she has helped numerous businesses and organizations expand their reach and achieve their growth objectives.

DollarGeek's goal is to help you make the best financial decisions. To help us do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations or ratings.

Girl transferring money using mobile app
Table of Contents

Money transfer solutions that are easy to use and work well are important for making trade and business easier, reducing poverty and inequality, and letting businesses and people move money quickly and safely.

Takeaway Points

  • Consider the exchange rate, costs, speed, security, customer service, payment choices, availability, and restrictions before selecting a money transfer service.
  • Finding the most affordable transfer service requires doing some research to identify those that provide the most competitive rates and the most transparent pricing structures.
  • The safety of your personal information and money should be your first consideration when selecting a money transfer service.
  • It’s important to think about the many ways you may pay the service provider before deciding on one.
  • It’s important to use a service that is licensed by the appropriate authorities and that operates in both your own country and the nation to where you’ll be sending money.

Easy and efficient money transfer options are important for a variety of reasons. One of the main reasons is that they allow individuals and businesses to quickly and securely send and receive funds, both domestically and internationally. This can be particularly important for people living and working in different countries or for businesses that operate in multiple regions.

Another reason why easy and efficient money transfer options are important is that they can help facilitate trade and commerce. By making it easy to send and receive payments, businesses can more easily sell their goods and services to customers around the world, and consumers can more easily purchase goods and services from businesses in other countries.

Also, options for sending money that are quick and easy to use can do a lot to reduce poverty and inequality. By making it easier for people living in developing countries to access financial services and transfer money, they can more easily participate in the global economy and access opportunities for economic growth and development.

Overall, easy and quick ways to send money play a big role in boosting economic activity and helping people around the world get access to financial services. Statistics even show that in 2018, global digital money transfers totaled 64,173 million USD in transactions, and that a total of 143,096 million USD is expected by 2023, with an average annual growth rate of 15.9%.

What should you look for when trying to find the best option?

When trying to find the best money transfer option, there are several factors that you should consider, and they include:

  • Exchange Rates: Exchange rate refers to the value of one currency in terms of another. The interbank exchange rate is generally used to determine the amount of a transfer fee. Finding the best exchange rate is a must if you need to convert funds. Before committing to a service, it’s important to compare the rates and fees given by different suppliers.
  • Fees: Fees for money transfer services can be fixed rates, percentages of the total amount sent, or a combination of the two. Some service providers may also tack on fees for things like receiving funds or making a transfer quickly. If you want to save money on your transfer, it’s important to find a service with reasonable or clear prices.
  • Speed: Think about how soon you need the move to happen. It could take several days for some providers to execute a transfer, while others may provide faster transfer options for a price. Seek out providers that allow for speedy transfers, and factor in any fees that may be incurred, if time is of the essence.
  • Security: Security is an important factor to consider when choosing a money transfer provider. Look for providers that have a good reputation for security and use robust measures to protect your personal information and funds, such as encryption and two-factor authentication.
  • Customer Service: When deciding on a money transfer service, quality customer support may prove decisive. Think about the supplier’s degree of customer service, and make sure they can help you out if you have any queries or problems. It’s important to get a service provider that can be reached easily and is available during business hours.
  • Payment options: Some providers only accept bank transfer or credit card as payment options to transfer money. In some cases, you might want to use cash to transfer money. Make sure the provider you select accepts the payment option you prefer.
  • Availability: Availability is another important factor to consider when choosing a money transfer provider. Look for providers that are available in your country of residence and the country where you will be sending the money. Some providers may not be available in certain countries, so it’s important to check before you sign up.
  • Regulations: Regulations is an important factor to consider when choosing a money transfer provider, ensure that the provider is regulated by relevant authorities in the country of operation. This could help you know that the provider is following laws and regulations that protect the customers and their funds.

By considering these factors and comparing the different options available, you will be able to find the best money transfer option that suits your needs.

The Best Money Transfer Apps

Using one of the many money transfer apps that are available today, you can send and receive money from your phone. These apps make sending and receiving money simple and rapid. Some popular examples include:


Here, users can send and receive monetary payments with ease. The app allows users to send money to their loved ones and is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. In order to send money to others, Venmo users must first link their bank account or credit/debit card to their account. One of the social features of the app is the ability to share what you’ve bought and see what your friends have bought.


  • Easy to use
  • Convenient
  • Venmo allows users to share their transactions with their friends and see their friends’ transactions.
  • Widely accepted


  • Limited use
  • Security concerns.
  • Limited international transfers
  • Fees: Transactions using credit card will incur a 3% fee


It is an online payment service that makes it easy for people and businesses to send and receive money. An early innovator in the field of online payment processing, PayPal is now among the most popular services of its kind. Users can send money to other users or to merchants who accept PayPal by linking their bank account, and cards to their PayPal account.


  • Widely accepted
  • Secure
  • Easy to use
  • Multi-currency support


  • Fees
  • Limited customer service
  • Limited functionality in certain countries
  • Limited control over the funds

Cash App

The Cash App is a mobile money transfer app created by Square Inc. To send money to other Cash App users or make purchases at businesses that accept Cash App, users need only link their bank accounts or credit/debit cards to the app. In addition to buying Bitcoin and other assets, the app also lets users build and manage investment portfolios.


  • Simple and easy to use
  • Convenient
  • Allows Instant deposits.
  • Has additional features involving cryptocurrencies and stocks.


  • Limited use
  • Security concerns
  • Limited international transfers
  • Fees
  • Limited customer support


Zelle is an electronic money transfer service. It’s an interbank payment system comprised of financial institutions in the US. Here, users can transfer funds directly between their bank accounts by providing only an email address or phone number. You can get it through different banking applications and websites, and now there are also separate apps that provide it.


  • Convenient
  • Quick transactions
  • Secure
  • Widespread access


  • Limited to U.S. banks and credit unions
  • Limited features
  • No protection for disputed transactions
  • Limited customer service
  • Unlike other apps that support credit card and debit card transactions, this app only supports bank account transfers.

Google Wallet

The Google Wallet is a digital wallet and payment platform created by Google. The Google Wallet app makes it simple to pay for things online or in-store using a variety of payment methods (debit, credit, gift cards, loyalty programs, and offers). You may send money to other Google Wallet users just like you would with Venmo or PayPal.


  • Integrated with Google ecosystem
  • Multi-payment options
  • Easy to use.


  • Limited acceptance
  • Limited international use
  • Limited features compared to other digital wallets
  • Some user have reported issues with the security of the app and some fraudulent activities reported

Alternatives To Apps

There are several alternatives to mobile payment apps that can be used for sending and receiving money electronically. Some of these include:

Wire Transfer

A wire transfer is a way that money can be sent from one bank to another using the Internet. The money is moved through a network of banks or other financial institutions, which makes it easy and safe for people to send and receive money.


  • Speed
  • Reliability
  • Convenience
  • Wide availability


  • Fees
  • Limited to certain currencies
  • Requires account information
  • Very difficult to reverse
  • Not Anonymous

Prepaid debit cards

They are a type of payment card that allows users to preload funds onto the card and use them to make purchases or withdraw cash. These cards work similarly to traditional debit or credit cards, but they do not require the user to have a bank account or a credit history.


  • Easy to obtain
  • No credit check
  • Budgeting tool
  • Convenient
  • Useful for people without bank accounts


  • Fees
  • Limited features
  • Lack of protection
  • Limited spending
  • Limited acceptance

Traditional Bank Transfer

Also called a “wire transfer,” it is an electronic means of transferring money between two different banks. Most of the time, the sender starts the transfer by using the online banking system of the sender’s own bank or by going to a bank branch. Once the funds have been sent, the recipient can get them at any time by using his or her own bank’s branch or online banking services.


  • High level of security due to the use of financial institution’s own networks and security protocols
  • High level of reliability, the transfer is usually completed on the same business day or within one or two business days
  • Widespread acceptance
  • Ability to transfer large sums of money


  • Can be relatively slow, particularly if the transfer is international
  • Can be relatively expensive, particularly if the transfer is international
  • Transactions can be subject to high minimum and maximum limits
  • Can be less convenient, as the sender and recipient are sometimes required to be customers of the same bank or have an account with the same financial institution
  • The sender or receiver may have to pay additional fee or transaction cost

Choosing the best option for your needs

When selecting a method for the transfer of money, you should also consider the location of the recipient as well as the method by which they will receive the funds.

While some service providers allow recipients to pick up their cash payments in person, others can deposit funds directly into the recipient’s bank account or mobile wallet.

Additionally, certain service providers may have restrictions on the locations to which they may send money. Because of this, it is essential to verify that the service provider in question can transfer money to the particular nation or territory that you want.

Checking with the service provider to see if they have any compliance or regulatory procedures in place, as well as whether there are any limits on the amount of money that may be sent, is another vital step to take.

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