Venmo is a popular money-sending app for people looking to pay back their friends for lunch or pitch in for gas money during a carpool. It’s also becoming an increasingly popular form of payment in many businesses such as tattoo shops, gas stations, and even the local coffee shop.
Well now that digital payment method is starting to take off (in a big way), more people are searching for alternative payment options which means there are more and more great Venmo alternatives out there.
The alternatives to Venmo include:
- Cash App
- Wells Fargo Zelle
- Facebook Pay
- Apple, Google, and Samsung Pay
- Direct Transfers
- Cash, Check, and Money Orders
- Prepaid Gift Cards
The Venmo app is incredibly popular, especially among millennials. It’s making the rounds on social media, as well as with its own commercials. Venmo has made peer-to-peer payments convenient and fun.
To pay or to Venmo? Why can’t money be easy? It can be, with these nine Venmo alternatives. Try sending some cash to your friends and family without blowing up your bank account or playing annoying games. The future is now!
Thankfully, not everyone has to use Venmo as there are a plethora of alternatives to the app. Some of these are even offered for free with up-to-date smartphones and banking apps that are probably already on it. Keep reading for various options that allow for sending and receiving money that does not include Venmo.
Cash App is a mobile payment service app that allows users in the US and in the UK to send money to one another. It was developed by Block, Inc and has generated nearly 2 billion dollars in profit since its release on October 15, 2013. It is free to download for both iOS and Android. It also allows additional safety measures with passcodes, TouchID, or even FaceID.
Cash App is one of the most easily comparable apps to Venmo. Just about everything Venmo can do, so can Cash App. Therefore, if something very similar is needed, it might be the way to go. It’s also gaining quite a bit of traction in similar areas as Venmo, making it a good competitor.
PayPal is a massive multinational financial technology company that offers an online payment system. It supports online money transfers, invoicing, and other electronic money management methods. It’s free to sign up and use as long as there is a valid bank account that can be attached to it.
PayPal is extremely common across the internet due to how user-friendly it is. Not to mention, it makes for a great middle-ground to help protect personal information. Their invoicing system is available to everyone, not just users with a business account. These invoices are amazing for artisans and small business owners to receive payments, track their orders, and give out as receipts.
The biggest issue with PayPal is that their customer service is either going to be basically non-existent or stellar. There’s never really any way to tell if something is going to be addressed or not if there’s an issue. They also seem to be a bit shoot first ask questions later when an issue arises.
Not to mention they also promote cryptocurrency, so if that is something that’s a deal-breaker, perhaps look somewhere else.
Wells Fargo Zelle
Zelle by Wells Fargo is typically considered one of the primary competitors to Venmo and is free for anyone with a Wells Fargo account to use. It does not have the same protections as credit and debit card purchases, however. Therefore, care must be taken when using it. It is very easy for people to scam users out of their money using this service, and there is nothing that the bank is able to do in order to reverse it.
On a more positive note, it’s a perfect option if someone already has a Wells Fargo account. They do not charge a fee to use this service themselves. However, it is likely that any mobile carrier’s message and data rates will apply.
Wells Fargo banks are located almost everywhere, though many of their in-person branches are closing down. That means that the majority of their services are going to totally digital. This is a bit of a double-edged sword, as it means people can’t go in and address things on a personal level.
On the other hand, their customer service is top-notch. If there is an issue, entire teams will get ahold of users to try and help them get it fixed. They also send frequent safety information on well-known issues and known scams to keep their userbase informed.
Facebook has integrated a Facebook Pay option into its service. All that’s needed is to have a Facebook account and payment information can be added to Facebook Pay. This can then be used in a wide range of apps such as Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, or even within Facebook’s own marketplace.
It’s a free and simple to use service. It works great for someone who often needs to send money to friends and loved ones or for people who often utilize Facebook Marketplace. It does have advanced data storage and encryption within its security. It also requires a PIN upon the setup of the account.
Most people in the modern world have some sort of social media account and Facebook Pay can be used in conjunction with many of them in order to send money to people. It’s a genius service added to a system meant to connect people all across the globe. However, as with much of Facebook, their customer service definitely leaves much to be desired.
Apple, Google, and Samsung Pay
Apple, Google, and Samsung Pay are all similar services that do pretty much the same thing. They are each the payment system utilized on their respective devices. They are all free to set up options that are always included in newer smartphones but can be added to most of their devices just by going into their app store.
The attractive part about these services is that chances are, they’re already part of the device that’s going to be using the software in the first place. It allows for the physical cards to be left at home since the device itself can be used as a method of payment with a simple tap.
There is a bit of an issue with these services, however. Such issues include:
- Not all point-of-sale systems are compatible
- Cases can interfere with them
- They are a heavy target for scammers and thieves
- Customer service tends to be lacking
While it’s nice to not have to carry around a whole bunch of cards, it also poses a lot of safety risks. If going with this option, take extra steps to ensure that personal banking information stays where it is supposed to.
Square is a quickly growing service for all sorts of small businesses. It is extremely easy to use. Their little devices can be used anywhere as they plug into both Apple and Android products. This device allows people to use credit and debit cards to pay someone as they would anywhere.
It also has a tip function and allows for receipts to be emailed. This is a huge luxury in places such as art shows or fairs. It is also a massive boost to the earning potential of small businesses and artisans. The best part is it can also be used online as an alternative to other payment systems, including PayPal and Venmo.
Direct Transfers is a service nearly every bank in existence has. Sometimes also referred to as a wire or a wire transfer, this is a method of sending money directly from one bank account to another. This almost always has a fee to use, especially if the sender and receiver have different banks. However, it’s also very fast and very secure, unlike some other options that could replace Venmo.
The perk about direct transfers though is that every bank will have its own. There’s no figuring out how to use a new app or a new program. Just get ahold of a bank that is already being used and have them directly send money to the other person. Simple as that.
Cash, Check, and Money Orders
If worse comes to worst, there’s always the old school method of cash, check, and money orders. The bonus of these methods is that there almost never is a fee involved with obtaining or using them.
Cash can usually be withdrawn from the user’s bank or their ATMs without a fee. Checks are often given with the creation of the account in a whole box. Money orders may or may not have a fee depending on where they’ve gotten.
Not to mention, there’s nothing like pulling out a crisp bill to pay someone with. It’s also a little easier to keep track of finances and budget when it can literally be seen disappearing.
While it might not be quite as secure, carrying cash when going shopping makes for a perfect way to budget or to clearly split the bill. If nothing else, the person with the cash can leave the tip at a restaurant.
Prepaid Gift Cards
It’s well known that cash is not always the safest thing to carry around. So few people actually keep checks around in the modern world. Money orders involve going into a bank and talking to a teller or finding a Western Union or their affiliate to get one. The problem is so few places are seeing customers face to face due to the current state of the world.
Thankfully, there is another option that floods the impulse buy sections at the front of nearly every store. Prepaid gift cards are godsends and are even a little safer than just some bills.
The big banking companies Visa, American Express, and MasterCard all have prepaid gift cards that can be used anywhere. If that’s a little too much, there are always gift cards to just about everything under the sun anyway.
Options that Don’t Involve Cash
Sometimes the reason money should be sent to someone is because they are a friend, family member, or another loved one and the point is to pay them back or split a bill. However, some people just do not want to make others feel obligated to do so or won’t take money no matter how hard someone tries to force it on them.
If that is the case, consider these options for paying them back without cash:
- Give them their favorite treat, preferably homemade
- Write a thank-you note or card
- Offer to get the next one
- Give a warm hug and thank you to those who are physically affectionate
- Pay it forward
- Surprise them with a gift later
Regardless of what it was or why the other person won’t take money, always remember proper manners and be sure to thank them for their kindness. A smile and a thank you really do go a long way. It makes people feel like you actually appreciate the generosity they gave. Even if that’s all that there is to give, it’s definitely worth it.
Why Not Use Venmo?
Venmo is a great app to use for quick cash transfers. This works well if someone forgot their wallet but still wants to help split the bill. It’s also great if someone wants to help pay for a ride for their coworker to get home with. Unfortunately, that’s about where it ends as far as being good.
It doesn’t have much in the means of fraud protection or good customer service. Due to this, many scammers love to use Venmo as a way to convince people to send them money without ever reciprocating their end of the bargain.
Another issue that has caused some contention with users is that their transaction history does not start out private. Anyone can see it unless they have specifically gone in there and changed it.
This is unusual, considering most apps do not share any personal financial information so easily. It also gives yet another method for scammers to decide who to target which isn’t something anyone wants.
Conclusion: Venmo Alternatives
As you’ve just seen, Venmo is a very popular peer-to-peer money transferring app. It’s very easy to use, and it has a fun social component. However, many users are looking for other payment platforms to replace it or complement it with. The Venmo alternatives listed above have their pros and cons, but they all offer something different to make them worth considering.
Some of them are built for international payments, which Venmo cannot do. Others have built-in business models or special features that appeal to niche communities within the larger P2P space. Whatever the reason, they are all worth your consideration if you use P2P services regularly.
Since Venmo is the most popular of all these mobile payment apps, the market for Venmo alternatives will likely be huge. And since there are so many in this crowded space, you’re probably going to have your pick of the litter. I hope you found out which Venmo alternative is best for you in this blog post! Thanks for reading!