Whether you’re splitting a check, pitching in on a gift or paying back a friend who loaned you some cash, P2P payment apps make sending and receiving money easy. They connect to your bank account or a credit or debit card and quickly transfer money to whoever you want. Some include social features like messaging and sharing, while others are built-in features of social media platforms.
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Venmo is one of the most popular P2P payment apps. It’s simple to use and quickly transfers money to other Venmo accounts. When someone sends you money, it can take one to two business days for the cash to show up in your bank account. You can link your bank account, debit card or credit card. There are no fees to use Venmo unless you use a credit card – then the service charges a 2- to 3-percent processing fee to transfer the money.
One of Venmo’s most appealing features is its social feed that shows who your friends have sent money to. It doesn’t show the dollar amounts, but it’s another fun way to interact with friends.
Image Credit: Venmo
Square Cash is a P2P app created by the payment processing company Square. You may recognize Square’s name from small businesses or farmers market booths, and its Cash app makes it easy to transfer money between friends. You connect the app to an email address or phone number and a debit card. You don’t need create a special account or link to your bank account, so it’s easy to set up.
Businesses can also use Square Cash. It operates like a normal payment processing app, but the business can set up a “cashtag” with its name. Square charges businesses a 2.75-percent fee for each transaction.
Image Credit: Square
Zelle is a newer P2P app developed by some of the largest banks and credit unions. It’s also one of the fastest growing mobile payment apps. You access Zelle through your bank’s website or mobile app and can send money to anyone who also has a Zelle account. If your bank isn’t partnered with Zelle, you can download the app and connect it with a debit card to use it.
The biggest benefit of Zelle is its transfers are instantaneous. With most other P2P apps, it can take one to two business days for your cash to deposit – with Zelle, your money appears immediately. There are no fees to use this app.
Image Credit: Zelle
Using PayPal’s mobile app, you can quickly transfer money to another person’s PayPal account – just enter their email address, set the amount, hit send and you’re done. There’s no fee to send money if you use your bank account or existing PayPal balance. However, if you use a debit or credit card, it charges you 2.9 percent plus 30 cents. PayPal is one of the few P2P apps that charge for using a debit card to transfer money. The app also makes it easy to see your receipts so you can keep track of how much you’ve sent out.
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Circle Pay is a P2P app developed by Goldman Sachs and other investment groups. It’s similar to Venmo and other apps, though a bit more bare-bones. It lets your transfer money from a connected bank account or debit card. However, to keep transfers free, you can’t use a credit card with Circle Pay. Unlike Venmo, you can send money internationally with Circle. It also distinguishes itself by letting you transfer bitcoin – you can’t buy or sell bitcoin, but if you own some, you can transfer and receive it through this app.
Image Credit: Circle Pay
Google Pay combines Google Wallet’s and Android Pay’s main features, letting you store money, send money to friends and buy from businesses. One advantage of Google Pay is you can pay at stores with the app. Some cities, including Portland, Oregon, let you use the app for public transportation – in the coming months, more cities will add that capability. One of Google Pay’s drawbacks is it can take as long as three business days for money to transfer, which is longer than with some other apps.
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Messenger is Facebook’s chat app, but it also allows you to send money to friends. It’s very simple to send money – just add your debit card, fill in the amount and message the recipient. However, they need to have their debit card added to their Messenger account to receive the money. You can only use debit cards, though Facebook recently integrated PayPal with the app. One drawback of using Messenger for payments is it can take a few days for the transactions to complete, so if you need money immediately, Zelle is a better bet.
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