The best ways to send money to friends and family instantly with your iPhone
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Apple Pay might soon let you send person-to-person payments, but you don't need to wait on Cupertino to split the cost of a pizza without cash. AppleInsider took a look at some of the most popular money transfer apps available now for iOS.
PayPal-owned Venmo is the grandaddy of mobile phone-based money transfer services. It made its bones on American college campuses, and has become an integral part of many lives since.
You can fund your account using either a credit card or debit card, or directly from your bank account. Payments can be push or pull — that is, you can either send money preemptively or respond to a request for money.
Once received, the money will remain in the your Venmo account until you decide to transfer it to your bank account, a process that usually takes around 24 hours.
Venmo transfers from a bank account or debit card are free, while those funded from a credit card will be charged a fee of 3 percent.
In practice, Square Cash works similarly to Venmo — just sign up with your credit or debit card and you can send money to any e-mail address or phone number. The difference comes in cashing out: you don't need to.
When you receive money via Square Cash, the services processes it similarly to a debit card refund. That means that the money hits your bank account almost instantly, without being forced to wait around for a transfer.
Square Cash also offers an easy way to request money via a customized cash.me URL. Transfers are free for consumers, no matter whether you use a debit or credit card.
Google Wallet and Dwolla
Google Wallet and Dwolla are nearly identical in form and function to Venmo. Both services allow you to send and receive money for free via debit cards or linked bank accounts, though Google Wallet does charge a 2.9 percent fee to use a credit card.
Banks have stood on the sidelines of this market. Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Simple — among others — have all introduced instant transfer features that allow you to send money to other customers using just a phone number or email address, so it's worth checking to see if your bank offers a similar option.
Which one is best?
At the end of the day, your choice of service will be heavily dependent on your friends and family — the people you need to pay. If most of your network is already using Venmo, for instance, there aren't really any compelling reasons to switch to Google Wallet.
If you're starting from scratch, though, you should take a hard look at Square Cash. The user experience is excellent, and receiving transfers directly into your bank account without the hassle of cashing out is an underrated perk.