Last editedAug 20213 min read
Peer-to-peer payment apps let you send and receive money without going through a middleman like a bank. They’re ideal for everything from splitting the dinner bill to sending cash gifts to friends and family. However, not all apps are created equally, and some are better than others in terms of fees, transfer times, and features. Here’s our pick of the best peer-to-peer apps out there today.
1. Cash App
Created by Square, Cash App is first on our list for its user-friendly interface and flexible mobile payment options. When you want to send a contact money, you can do so using either your Cash App balance or a linked credit card, debit card, or bank account. In addition to sending and receiving money, you can also use Cash App to buy and sell Bitcoin or invest in stocks. One thing to note is that Cash App does charge a transaction fee if you decide to use your credit card for payments, making it a more costly option than some others on this list.
2. Circle Pay
If you have a lot of international contacts, Circle Pay ticks all the boxes for peer-to-peer mobile payments. It lets you make payments to retailers as well as send and receive money from peers without paying any fees. The app links to bank accounts and debit or credit cards. You can place payment requests or send money over the messaging interface, using text messaging and email. It’s also secure, with two-factor authentication, TouchID, and PIN lock features to keep your payment details safe across international borders.
3. Apple Pay Cash
Apple’s digital wallet enables mobile payments to merchants and individuals alike. The Apple Pay Cash app is connected to the usual Apple Pay app, allowing Apple users to send and receive money through their Messages. To register, users can sign up with Apple Pay and link a payment card through the Apple Wallet app. You can purchase goods and services through a variety of retailers using Apple Pay, provided your device supports NFC transactions. Apple Pay Cash works best if your friends and family are also Apple users – it’s incompatible with Android devices.
While Zelle is currently only US-based, it’s worth knowing about if you deal with any friends and family with US bank accounts. This popular peer-to-peer app lets users send and receive money either directly into bank accounts or their Zelle account. Transfers are processed within minutes, and the app’s compatible with most major banks and credit unions within the United States. Users benefit from sending and receiving funds directly into their bank accounts, without waiting on processing times.
If you’ve ever bought anything online, you’re probably well aware of PayPal’s various payment services. Did you know you can use it to make peer-to-peer payments as well as online purchases? The PayPal app allows individual users to send money to one another with linked credit cards, debit cards, and bank accounts. To send or request money, search for the individual’s username, name, email address, or phone number.
A major plus to using PayPal is its high transfer limits. While many of the best peer-to-peer payment apps have limits to what you can send, PayPal’s are quite high – up to £5,500 for a single transaction. The downside is that transfers aren’t instantaneous, and you will pay transaction fees, unlike some others on this list.
Revolut is a UK-based competitor to US-based P2P apps like Venmo. Once you’ve signed up for the app, you can send and request funds from other Revolut users without the need to input bank details. Revolut works with transfers in over 28 currencies, making it a popular option for travel. It also enables transfers using alternative payment options like commodities and cryptocurrencies. Whichever currency you choose to send or receive, the app promises a market exchange rate without any added fees.
You can also take advantage of instant bank transfers or scan QR IBANs to make a quick transfer to a merchant. You can send mobile payments to bank accounts outside of the UK, but these can take up to five business days.
Added features of the best peer-to-peer apps
We’ve covered some of your main options above, all of which offer quick payments and low (or free) costs. However, the best peer-to-peer payment apps might also include some extra little perks. Look for the option to split payments with friends. This is useful not only when going out to eat, but also for sharing bills among housemates. Additional features include the ability to place advance orders with merchants, or even benefit from reward points and gift cards. By downloading several apps, you can tailor your payment to the situation with the greatest flexibility.
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