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Updated on Tuesday, November 6, 2018
What is Popmoney?
Person-to-person (P2P) cash transfer services like Popmoney have become a popular and convenient way for exchange money via virtual hands these days. Powered by the tech service provider Fiserv, this service transfers cash from one bank account to another with a flat fee charged per transaction.
About 2,500 financial institutions offer Popmoney cash transfer services, allowing customers to send and request money by simply signing into their online bank account. If your bank doesn’t offer Popmoney for transfers, you can still send money through the Popmoney website or mobile app after creating a profile, but there are plenty of alternative payment apps out there to consider as well.
In this post, we’ll cover what you need to know about the service, including how to use the service, whether it’s safe and how it stacks up against other P2P cash transfer apps. Fees and pricing in this piece are accurate as the date of publishing.
How to send money with Popmoney
The process for sending money is different for people who have the Popmoney service offered through their bank.
If your bank participates with Popmoney: You initiate a transfer from your online bank account through your bank’s website. Find out if your bank participates here.
If your bank doesn’t participate with Popmoney: You need to create a Popmoney profile on the website to transfer money using your bank account or debit card.
You can send money to a friend or family member using their email, phone number or bank routing and account number. The recipient will be notified about the money transfer, and will be given instructions on how to receive the cash.
How to receive money with Popmoney
People can send you money in three ways — using your email, mobile number or bank account number. This process is a bit different for each method.
If someone sends you money using your phone number: You get a text with instructions on how to get your money.
If someone sends you money using your email address: You get an email with instructions on how to get your money.
If someone sends you money using your bank account: You get cash deposited straight into your account without a notification, unless the sender chooses to write a message.
You have 10 days to collect money if you get the cash by email or phone number. The payment is returned to the sender if it expires. There’s also an option to request funds. If the person you request money from isn’t already signed up, you should get cash within three days of them creating an account with Popmoney.
How long does Popmoney take to transfer money into a bank account?
It can take anywhere from one to three business days or more to transfer money depending on several factors including when you send the money, how you send the money and when the recipient accepts the cash.
Debit card transactions offer the speediest delivery. Payments can be delivered as early as the next business day if it’s sent using a debit card before 5 p.m. PST and the recipient accepts it by 10 p.m. PST.
Bank account transactions can take several days. Money paid by a bank account before 10 p.m. PST can take three business days to deliver.
Popmoney limits how much money you can send and request through the platform.
When sending money, the limits are:
- $500 per day and $1,000 every 30 days for debit card transactions
- $2,000 per day and $5,000 every 30 days for bank accounts
For money requests, the limits are:
- $1,000 per day and $2,500 every 30 days when you send money requests to someone else
- $2,500 per day and $4,000 every 30 days when you pay someone else’s request
Receiving money is free. Sending and requesting money is what’s going to cost you a little bit. It costs $0.95 per transaction to send money to someone. It also costs $0.95 to request money from someone. However, you won’t be charged a fee if you make a request and the person doesn’t pay it. The fee is only deducted when you receive the money, and you have the option to transfer the fee to the person who sent you the cash.
The service is only for people who live in the U.S. There are rules for how you can use the platform. Your payment may be canceled if you don’t adhere to the terms and conditions. Payments cannot be made that are related to the sale of tobacco, drugs, firearms or ammunition, illegal activities, gambling or gaming. You can read the full terms and conditions for the service here.
Is Popmoney safe to use?
Popmoney uses a verification process to make sure the person you’re sending money to owns the phone number or email address. If you send money to the wrong account, you can report it to the service, and an investigation may take place, but it offers very limited protection for users in this regard.
Popmoney may also give information to the receiver, like your name, address and phone number to fulfill the payment request. Because of this, you should be exchanging money only with people you trust. Overall, the service is safe to use. With that said, you should be cautious of any app when money is involved. There are two situations that could get you in trouble with a P2P app.
The first security risk is if someone gets access to your name, account number or debit card number, and initiates a transfer on your behalf. Identity theft is a real concern. People have reported fraudsters getting access to their bank account information and scheduling transfers. If this happens to you, and you catch it early, Popmoney offers some support.
According to the terms and conditions page, “your liability is no more than $50.00 should someone access your account without your permission” as long as you notify Popmoney within two days of finding out that your password or account could be compromised. Keep in mind, this means you need to notify them as soon as your wallet, password or bank account information is stolen. Your liability could be as much as $500 if you don’t notify them in time and they can prove that unauthorized use of your account could have been avoided if you had notified them earlier.
Ultimately, identity theft is something that can be challenging to catch right away. You may not even know someone has access to your personal information until money starts disappearing. Be vigilant and report stolen or lost information promptly.
Popmoney scams and how to avoid them
The second scenario where you can run into trouble with a P2P app is if you get duped into sending money to someone who’s requesting it as part of a scam. In this situation, there’s a good chance you won’t get the money back because transfers are cold, hard cash that someone can run away with. Popmoney does not offer fraud protection when you willfully make transactions. Compare this with a credit card which has certain purchase protections for members.
How can you avoid getting scammed? Remember — P2P apps like Popmoney are for transactions with trusted individuals. If you send cash for a one-off service or a Craigslist product that ends up not being what you want, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to file a dispute or track down that money.
Think twice if someone wants to sell you a used piece of furniture or show tickets, and can only take money from a cash app. These apps are meant to do straightforward transactions between trusted friends like splitting a bar tab or hotel stay, and are not meant for business transactions.
Which banks use Popmoney?
Popmoney and Zelle are two products available in the online bank account services of select financial institutions. Popmoney at this time has a wider reach than Zelle. Its service is offered by nearly 2,500 financial institutions including:
- BBVA Compass
- Commerce Bank
- Fifth Third Bank
- First Hawaiian Bank
- MidCountry Bank
- Midwest Bank
- PNC Bank
- Regions Bank
- US Bank
To see if your bank is participating, you can type in your bank name or routing number here to search.
Popmoney vs. other person-to-person payment networks
Here’s how Popmoney stacks up against the competition:
Popmoney vs. Paypal
PayPal is a household name. When using PayPal, your money goes from your PayPal balance, bank account, debit card or credit card to another person’s PayPal account.
Fees. PayPal is free if you send money to another person through your bank account. By comparison, Popmoney charges $0.95.
If you’re sending money through PayPal from one personal account to another via a linked bank account or eligible debit card (Visa or Mastercard), you have the option to do an Instant Transfer. Instant Transfers can happen within 30 minutes, and the fee is $0.25.
Things get a little expensive if you use a credit card with PayPal. There’s a 2.9% transaction fee, plus a $0.30 fixed fee when you transfer money using a card within the U.S. You pay a little bit more when you’re sending money from the U.S. to another country. You can review those international fees here.
Network reach. PayPal has a wider reach than Popmoney since you can send money stateside and internationally. PayPal connects with brick-and-mortar banks and even some online ones.
Payment types. There are more payment options here than Popmoney since credit cards are accepted.
Speed. Instant transfers arrive in a receiver’s bank account within 30 minutes, which makes this faster than Popmoney. However, the regular transfer via PayPal account is on par with the speed of Popmoney account transfers. Transfers from the PayPal account to the recipient’s bank account can take one business day if they submit the request before 7 p.m. EST. Transfers initiated on weekends or holidays can take several days. Popmoney also takes about one to three business days.
Safety. PayPal offers more robust fraud protections for buyers. If you’re purchasing something from someone — concert tickets, used furniture, memorabilia, etc. — PayPal is a better place to do it because of Purchase Protection benefits. You can file a dispute for eligible purchases and possibly receive full reimbursement. Read more about buyer protection here.
Popmoney vs. Zelle
Zelle lets you send money to other people enrolled in the app. Like Popmoney, Zelle is a system that’s offered by some banks within the online banking portal.
Fees. There’s no fee to use Zelle, although, Zelle recommends that you check with your bank to confirm that they don’t charge a fee for transfers through the app.
Network reach. Like Popmoney, Zelle can be accessed through your online bank account. Zelle currently participates with 100+ banks, far less than Popmoney’s 2,500 financial institution network. But the Zelle network is made up of major banks like Ally Bank, Bank of America, Citibank, Citizens Bank, Wells Fargo and more. Plus, if your bank or credit union doesn’t offer Zelle, you can download the app to send money anyway as long as the receiver has Zelle.
Payment types. You send money using someone’s mobile number or email address. Payments go directly from one bank account to another for those who have the app in online banking. If one party doesn’t have a Zelle account through online banking, it’s a transaction between a bank account and a debit card (Visa or Mastercard) instead.
Speed. Zelle is faster than PopMoney. The transfer can happen in minutes when both the sender and recipient have Zelle. A transfer between someone enrolled in Zelle and someone who isn’t can take one to three business days.
Safety. Like Popmoney, there may be some protections when someone initiates a fraudulent transaction from your account if you report it early enough. However, the Zelle’s terms and conditions clearly state that this is a service meant to send money bank and forth to people you know. Zelle takes no responsibility for loss or damages incurred because of scams. You’re also responsible for entering the recipient’s email and phone number in correctly.
Popmoney vs. Google Pay Send
Google Wallet used to be the name of the Google app used to send and receive money. Rebranding has caused some reorganization. Google Pay is now the umbrella payment system you can use to make in-store payments and much more. Within Google Pay is the Google Pay Send app, which can send and receive payments using your friend’s name, email address or phone number.
Fees. There are no fees to use this service compared with the $0.95 cost of Popmoney.
Network reach. You can use the Google Send Pay app on mobile or on desktop. Google Pay Send is part of Google Pay, which has more features overall since it’s a full mobile wallet. You can use Google Pay to pay for takeout, rideshares, transit and easy checkout when buying Google products.
Payment types. You link a debit card or bank account. Credit cards, prepaid cards, and PayPal accounts can’t be used to send and receive money at this time.
Speed. Again, PopMoney gets beat on speed. Money transferred will go to the recipient’s default payment method. If there is no method specified, it will go to the Google Pay balance. Money transferred to a debit card often happens within minutes, but it could take up to 24 hours depending on the bank. Bank account transfers can take up to three business days.
Safety. Google Pay offers Google Pay Fraud Protection which covers 100% of unauthorized transactions that are verifiable. Google Pay, like other services that offer P2P transfers, still recommends you only send money to people you know to avoid scams.
A transfer you make to someone who ends up scamming you could be considered authorized rather than unauthorized, and may not be covered. So, again, be careful with where you send money.
You need to report fraud within 120 days if you think you’ve been a victim of unauthorized payment activity. Google gives you double the amount of time to report fraudulent transactions compared with Popmoney.
Popmoney vs. Venmo
Venmo is a P2P payment service by PayPal. Money can be transferred from a Venmo balance, bank account, debit card or credit card. Compared with PayPal, Venmo has a more social interface because you can interact with users.
Fees. Using Venmo to transfer money with a bank account or debit card is free, $1 cheaper than Popmoney. Venmo lets you use a credit card for a 3% transaction fee.
Like PayPal, there’s an instant transfer option to move money from your Venmo balance to your debit card within 30 minutes. This feature costs an extra $0.25. Alternatively, standard ACH transfer from your Venmo balance to your bank account can take one to three business days.
Network reach. You need to live in the U.S. and have a U.S. bank account to transfer money from your Venmo balance. Venmo is not available through financial institutions like Popmoney.
Payment types. You can use a bank account, debit card, credit card, prepaid card or Venmo balance to transfer money. The credit card option is available (Popmoney doesn’t have this), but the convenience costs a 3% fee.
Speed. You can invest in instant transfer for $0.25 and get money faster here than you would from Popmoney. Otherwise, money comes in one to three business days, which is the same as Popmoney.
Safety. Similar to Popmoney, Venmo doesn’t offer buyer or seller protection, and the service takes very limited liability for mishaps. Payments for products or services are considered high risk and should be avoided. Both services are comparable as far as safety.
Popmoney vs. Square Cash
Square Cash is a mobile app known simply as the Cash App. You can send cash through debit card, credit card or from the balance you have in your Cash App account. You can pay through iMessage, Siri or Cash.me.
Fees. There’s no charge to send personal payments, making this option cheaper than Popmoney. However, personal payments sent through a credit card costs 3%. Standard deposits are free, but instant deposits cost 1.5%.
Network reach. The Cash App can be used in the U.S. only. If you are sent money through the Cash App, you’ll be asked to cash out by linking a bank account or debit card.
Payment types. Payments can be made with a debit card, credit card or the balance that you have in your Cash App.
Speed. There are two speeds that you can choose from — instant and standard. The instant deposit option sends money to your bank account right away and costs 1.5% for the convenience. The standard deposit happens within one to three business days.
Safety. The app offers security locks with two-step authentication that can prevent fraudulent transactions. However, like Popmoney, you need to be careful about who send money too because reimbursement for scams is not mentioned in the security terms.
Popmoney vs. Circle Pay
Circle was founded in 2013 and is a payment app that’s available in 29 countries. Circle Pay is the person-to-person cash transfer part of the Circle brand. Beyond Circle Pay, there’s Circle Invest and Circle Trade for investing and trading cryptocurrencies. You can transfer money using Circle Pay in U.S. dollars, British pounds, and euros with no exchange markups or fees.
Fees. Circle Pay doesn’t charge fees to transfer funds, although your credit card company may charge fees for a cash advance when using the app.
Network reach. Circle Pay has a farther reach than Popmoney because it’s something that you can use internationally. You can also use a credit card to transfer funds. Despite there being a possible cash advance fee from your issuer, it’s still an option not offered by Popmoney.
Payment types. You can use a debit card, credit card or bank account to make payments.
Speed. There’s an option to cash out instantly without a fee when depositing to a debit card.
Bank transactions can take one to four days, excluding holidays which is pretty much the same as Popmoney.
Safety. Circle Pay uses two-factor authentication and encryption to secure your account. There’s also reimbursement offered if an unauthorized transaction happens from your account. An unauthorized transaction is one that you did not initiate from your account. You must notify Circle Pay within 60 days of fraudulent transfers.
Same PSA applies here as with all the cash apps. The reimbursement comes into play if you did not authorize a payment. If you have authorized a payment for a product or service, and you’re duped by a seller, this transaction will probably not qualify for coverage.
Popmoney vs. Facebook Messenger
Over a billion people use Facebook per day on average. Sending and receiving money through this platform could be the most accessible for current users. There’s no need to sign up for another app when you use Facebook Messenger for payments.
Fees. It’s free to send and receive money through Facebook Messenger.
Network reach. You can send and receive money if you live in the U.S., France or United Kingdom. The preferred currencies are U.S. dollars, pounds and euros.
Payment types. You can send money using a debit card or Paypal account. To get started, you need to add one of these accounts to your Facebook messenger profile.
Speed. PopMoney has the edge here. Facebook Money transfers right away, but it may not show up in your account for five business days, depending on your bank.
Safety. According to Facebook, payments can only be made to family and friends. If they discover you’re making payments for business reasons, your account can be shut down. Facebook lists some popular scams here under commonly asked questions. Facebook works with users to identify users who are trying to swindle others.
People using Facebook Messenger to send or receive money may have to provide information to verify their identify like a legal name, date of birth, last four digits of their social and photo ID. This is more information than what’s required from a recipient through Popmoney making it a potentially safer option.