How MagnifyMoney Gets Paid

Advertiser Disclosure

Banking

Top Apps for P2P Payments

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Written By

free checking accounts
iStock

The spread of peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps means that sending money to friends and loved ones has never been easier. A few taps on your mobile device can ease the awkwardness that can accompany dividing bills and paying people the money you owe them.

P2P payment apps allow quick and easy payment of rent charges, restaurant bills and travel expenses. They can replace pocket money and trips to the ATM. Collecting money for your coworker’s birthday? Use a P2P app to request and gather funds for a special gift. Just so long as you know the party to whom you’re sending money, P2P payment apps are a handy addition to your financial management toolkit.

The 2018 Fintech Adoption study from Q2 and Cornerstone Advisors found that PayPal leads the pack with the highest user adoption rate out of P2P payment apps across all providers. However, the study also showed that while consumers may prefer PayPal, P2P transaction volumes remain highest on services offered by financial institutions, as shown in the chart below:

Whether you opt to send, receive or request money using your bank or credit union’s P2P app or one from a fintech startup like Venmo or Square, you’ll probably end up using it frequently. Market research company eMarketer estimated in a 2018 report that nearly 130 million U.S. mobile phone owners will use P2P apps at least monthly by 2022.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular apps on the market today and how they make the task of sending and receiving payments less complicated.

The top apps for P2P payments

We like all of the P2P payment apps listed in the Q2 and Cornerstone Advisors tables cited above, as well as Apple Pay, which is a late entry to the space but is seeing growing adoption due to the market penetration of Apple mobile devices. SnapCash was seen as too small a player for our listing here. Note that Google Wallet was rebranded as Google Pay in 2018.

Here’s a look at our picks, including a side-by-side comparison of who you can pay and fees the apps may charge for sending money or cashing out your balance:

AppWho can you pay?Fees to send moneyFees to cash out
PayPal
  • Friends and family

  • Select online and store merchants

  • Funded from bank account or PayPal balance: No fee

  • Funded by a credit card or debit card: 2.9% fee

  • Standard transfer (next business day): No fee

  • Instant transfer: 1% of balance (max fee $10)

Venmo
  • Friends and family

  • Select online merchants

  • Funded from bank account, debit card or Venmo balance: No fee

  • Funded by a credit card: 3% fee

  • Standard transfer (next business day): No fee

  • Instant transfer: 1% of balance (max fee $10)

Google Pay
  • Friends and family

  • Select online and store merchants

  • Funded from bank account, debit card or Google Pay balance: No fee

  • Credit cards (only allowed for paying merchants): No fee

  • Standard bank transfer (up to five business days): No fee

  • Standard debit card transfer (up to 24 hours): No fee

  • Instant transfer (within minutes when using Google Pay balance): No fee

Apple Pay Cash
  • Friends and family

  • Funded from debit card or Apple Pay Cash balance: No fee

  • Credit cards are not supported

  • Standard transfer (One to three business days): No fee

  • Instant transfer to friends and family (within minutes): No fee

  • Instant debit card transfer (within 30 minutes): 1% fee (minimum $0.25, maximum $10)

Zelle
  • Friends and family

  • Funded from bank account: No fee

  • Credit cards are not supported

  • All transfers are made to and from users’ bank accounts

Square Cash App
  • Friends, family, and merchants.

  • Funded from bank account, debit cards or credit cards: No fee

  • Standard transfer to bank account (1-3 business days): No fee

  • Instant bank account transfer (within minutes): 1.5% fee

Popmoney
  • Friends and family

  • Funded from debit card or bank account: $0.95 per transaction

  • Credit cards are not supported

  • All transfers are made to and from users’ bank accounts

PayPal

Paypal PayPal allows you to send money to family and friends for free from a linked bank account or your PayPal account balance. PayPal charges a fee equal to 2.9% of the transaction value when you fund your money transfer with a credit or a debit card. Recipients must have a PayPal account, and they can quickly receive the money using the currency of choice. Many online merchants and brick-and-mortar stores accept PayPal P2P payments. PayPal also offers P2P users a handy tool that creates your very own custom URL, which lets other PayPal P2P users — friends and family, or even clients — pay money directly to your PayPal account. Just share the URL with them, and it makes it simple to collect money online, split a bill or get paid by clients

Venmo

Venmo Venmo permits payments between family and friends, and allows users to make purchases at selected merchants online. There’s no charge when you send money from your linked bank account, debit card or Venmo balance. Recipients can leave the funds in their Venmo account or transfer them to their bank.

Google Pay

Google Pay For use with Android devices, users can send or request money via Gmail, in the Google Pay app or via Android messages. Similar to other P2P apps, Google Pay allows you to link your debit card or bank account. Recipients without a Google Pay account must claim the funds within 14 days or funds will be returned to the sender. Numerous online and in-store businesses also accept Google Pay payments.

Apple Pay Cash

Apple Pay Cash Only available for use on Apple devices, Apple Pay Cash uses your Apple Cash balance or linked debit card to send payments. Friends and family members with an iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch can use Apple Pay Cash as long as they have a valid Apple ID. Payments can be made and received via iMessage. Users can even use the Ask Siri feature to help make the transaction even easier. Collected funds can remain in the app to make future purchases or they can be transferred to a linked bank account.

Zelle

Zelle Zelle partners with over 100 banks and credit unions, who offer Zelle’s P2P payment service as an additional free feature. If your bank partners with Zelle, setting up is just a click away inside your existing account. If your financial institution isn’t a Zelle partner, then you will need to download the Zelle app to get started. You can send money to recipients using their email address or mobile number. If a recipient is not currently a Zelle user, they will receive instructions on how to access the funds along with the payment notification.

Square Cash App

Square Cash App The Square Cash App is the P2P service offered by payments fintech firm Square, Inc. Individuals and businesses can send and receive payments using credit cards or debit cards with no fees. Much like PayPal, Cash App lets you set up your own unique URL, which they call a $Cashtag, where friends, family, and customers can make payments to you privately and securely. The app is available for download from the App Store or Google Play.

Popmoney

Popmoney Popmoney is powered by Fiserv, an online banking company that also provides financial services to banks and credit unions. Users can sign up for the service at a participating financial institution or by visiting the Popmoney website. Like Zelle, Popmoney moves money directly from bank account to bank account, so there is never a Popmoney account balance.

With Popmoney, receiving payments is free, but sending and requesting money is costs $0.95 per transaction (you aren’t charged if you make a request and the person doesn’t pay it). Payments funded by debit cards are delivered as early as the next business day, while payments funded by bank accounts can take up to three business days to process.

Which P2P app should you choose?

P2P payment apps can simplify money matters with friends and family. The pros and cons of each P2P payment app can make it tough to choose the app that best meets your needs.

Fortunately, there’s no need to stick to one app. Select one or more that works with your financial lifestyle. The ease of use for one P2P app might outweigh the cost in fees of another. Sometimes, app compatibility with your device will be the deciding factor in app selection.

As with any technology that links to private financial data, users should read data policies and fee disclosures in full before linking their bank accounts. Download your preferred P2P app to send and receive money more conveniently.

Fees mentioned in this article are accurate as of September 25, 2019

How MagnifyMoney Gets Paid

Advertiser Disclosure

Banking

Money Management Tips to Help You Save Successfully

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Written By

Increasing your savings is easier said than done. The National Endowment for Financial Education’s most recent annual consumer survey found that saving money is the biggest cause of financial stress for more than 51% of Americans. If you feel the same way about your savings, don’t despair. There’s a way to manage your money instead of letting it manage you.

Top 14 money management tips

Have enough income to cover your monthly expenses, but can’t seem to gain traction when it comes to building a college savings fund, saving for a down payment on a home or growing your retirement nest egg? Start by taking charge of your finances by using these simple, yet practical, money management tips.

1. Use a budgeting app

Tracking your spending on the go is easy when you use a budgeting and personal finance app, like Mint or YNAB. Simply download your app of choice and, if you want to, link it to your bank account. You can then input your fixed and variable expenses and monitor your spending with the swipe of a finger. Keeping your budget within arm’s reach also helps you to stay on top of your daily spending and stick to a monthly budget.

2. Trim unnecessary expenses

Examine your spending habits to determine where you can cut unnecessary spending. Food is a common expense that can be reduced with a little planning. A grocery shopping list can be your first line of defense against overspending, as it’s easier to make impulse buys at the grocery store when you don’t have a shopping list to guide your purchases.

3. Commit to a written savings goal

Establishing a clear savings goal can keep you motivated and put a stop to impulse buys. Make your goal SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. For example: “I will transfer $100 a month to my savings account so that by Month 20YY, I will have $800 to put toward a new television.” Post your written goal in visible locations to help reinforce your commitment to achieving it.

4. Live below your means

Spending more than you earn is a recipe for financial heartburn. When you have more bills than money with which to pay them, you could be subject to late fees and other financial penalties which make it harder to save. Cancel services you no longer need or can access at a lower cost. For example, nix the gym membership if you haven’t used it in five months or downgrade your cable package to only include the channels you actually watch.

5. Pay off debt

Eliminating debt may allow you to save more money. By bringing your balances to zero as quickly as possible, you’ll save on future interest charges. To potentially save money now, consider refinancing your debt to a lower interest rate or transferring your debt to a credit card with a lower interest rate.

Once your credit cards and loans are paid in full, you’ll have additional funds to contribute toward your financial goals. Use the same amount you were paying your creditors each month and deposit those funds into your savings account.

6. Build an emergency fund

Financial experts recommend stashing three to six months of living expenses in a liquid high yield deposit account in case of an unexpected job loss or another financial emergency. If this sounds overwhelming, start with a smaller goal of $500 for your emergency fund.

You can grow your emergency fund account by setting up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your emergency savings account each pay period. To grow your emergency fund faster, consider cutting unnecessary expenses, selling unused items around your home, depositing your tax refund or starting a side job.

Without an emergency fund, you risk paying for your next dental emergency or major car repair with your credit card or a personal loan, which can keep you in a debt cycle that’s hard to escape.

7. Increase your income

As long as you save the money instead of spending it, increasing your income with a side hustle, part-time job or more hours at the office is one of the quickest ways to reach your savings goal.

Before adding additional work to your already busy schedule, determine how many hours you have available along with how many months or years you’ll need to commit to the side hustle. When searching for side jobs, be wary of jobs that require an initial outlay of money to get started.

8. Plan for a regular review

Block out time on your calendar to evaluate your progress toward your savings goals. Consider establishing a monthly or bi-weekly financial review. Asking yourself if you’re still on track or if you’re able to contribute more towards your objectives is key to meeting your goals. A quick assessment of your savings plan can also help identify areas where you may still need to reduce expenses.

9. Never pay full price

Online and mobile coupons make it easy to save on groceries, clothing and big-ticket items like televisions and computers. When saving money is convenient, you’re more likely to stick to your savings plan. Do you do most of your shopping online? Install browser extensions that give you cash back when you shop through their online portals. Is mobile shopping more your thing? Download your choice of mobile app that offers cash back, gift cards and notifications of online and in-store deals.

10. Eat out less

Brown bag lunches and meal planning are smart money management strategies that can save you thousands of dollars annually, but sometimes you’ll want to treat yourself. To keep your spending under control, be selective about when and where you eat out. Make a list of local happy hours, upcoming culinary events and prix fixe restaurants to reinvent what it means to eat out on a budget.

11. Bank your financial windfalls

While it may be tempting to go on a shopping spree, upgrade your ride or take a weeklong vacation in the Caribbean when you get a financial windfall, that might leave you with a financial hangover. Once the thrill has subsided, you’re no closer to your savings goal. Instead, be strategic with any unexpected funds that come your way. Commit to adding at least half of these funds to your savings account.

12. Make savings automatic

Contact your financial institution to sign up for electronic funds transfer. This allows you to designate a set dollar amount for transfer from one account to another before you spend it on something else. For example, set $50 to automatically transfer from your checking account to your savings account on the fifth of each month.

If you have multiple savings goals, use a money savings app connected to your bank account to help to make auto transfers goal-specific.

13. Entertain your options

Movie buffs and avid readers rejoice! Free and low-cost services are available that allow you to binge-watch or read the latest big hit without busting your budget.

Movie rewards programs are available across the country. These programs allow you to earn points based on the amount you spend. Points can then be redeemed for additional movie tickets or concession items. Movie clubs allow fans to consume at least one movie per month at a discounted rate in addition to concession discounts.

The public library is an often overlooked resource for endless media entertainment. Look beyond the hardcover and paperback books, and you’ll find CDs, DVDs and magazines. Many libraries now provide a portion of their catalog online, which means you can access e-books, audiobooks, movies and music on your device of choice — for free.

14. Become rate savvy

Online search tools can reduce the time it takes to locate financial institutions offering the best returns on savings deposits. Use the Maximize Your Bank Savings tool from DepositAccounts, another LendingTree company, to help you identify the best place to park your funds to meet a specific goal. The higher the annual percentage yield (APY) the account pays on deposits, the faster your money can grow. Generally, certificates of deposit (CDs) limit withdrawals but offer higher APYs over savings accounts.

Next steps

A consistent savings habit is necessary to reach both short-term and long-term financial goals. If you’re intentional with your money, you’ll see the results. Recognize each achievement for what it is — documented proof that you’re in control of your financial future. Open a dedicated savings account today, and you might only be a few months away from achieving your first savings goal.