There are many reasons why you might want to send money online to a family member, friend, or business. Maybe you need to send an international remittance back home to loved ones. Maybe you need to transfer money into a child’s bank account for school expenses. Or, maybe you’re looking to pay a utility bill before the end of the month. Whatever the reason, online money transfers are efficient and convenient for all parties involved.
There are many ways to send money online, and each option comes with different fees and different timelines for when the money will arrive in the recipient’s account. Here are all the ways you can send money online, and the pros and cons of each option.
Peer-to-Peer Apps and Websites
There are many peer-to-peer transfer apps and platforms that have risen to popularity over the last decade. Apps that send money from one user’s account to another in a matter of minutes. These apps are usually free when you link your debit card to the platform, but may charge fees if you choose to pay using a credit card. Fees and restrictions also change if you are transferring money to an international recipient. These platforms also vary in whether you can send money online to a business account; read the fine print to make sure you can pay bills using a peer-to-peer transfer service.
The Sigue Money Transfer App is a free app for both iOS and Android that allows you to send money to more than 50 countries and to all 50 states. Sigue charges a flat transfer fee for each transaction, adding transparency to the whole process: see upfront how much you will pay and how much your recipient is getting. For those looking to send an international remittance, Sigue offers special Foreign Exchange rates for first-time customers Mexico, Guatemala, Philippines, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Ghana, Nigeria, and Togo.
Online Bill Pay
Online bill pay is a service provided by banks that lets you set up electronic payments online. Many service providers, like phone companies and utility providers, will also allow you to set up online bill pay through their system. You just need to login to your account and authorize the provider to withdraw funds from your linked bank account each billing period.
“Online bill pay also allows you to manage your payments to various companies — all in one place,” reports NerdWallet. “There’s no need to pay a Verizon bill on Verizon’s website, a Wells Fargo credit card with Wells Fargo bill pay, then write a check to your landlord. Instead, you could do it all from your financial institution’s website or mobile app.”
You can also set up bill payments to either pay the minimum amount due or the entirety of the bill. If the person you’re trying to send money to online doesn’t have a bank account, online bill pay can also be set up to send a paper check – just be aware that when your bank issues a check, it may take a few days to arrive at the recipient.
There are a number of services that banks offer that make it easy to send money online. Here are a few options:
- Internal bank transfer: send money between two accounts at the same bank (e.g., between your savings account and checking account);
- Wire transfer: for larger amounts, send money from one bank account to another using the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) network or FedWire network.
- External transfer: send money to a recipient at a different bank or a credit union – sometimes subject to fees.
The best type of transfer you could make through your bank depends on a few factors: the amount you are sending, how quickly you want the recipient to be able to access the funds, the fees involved, and the recipient’s bank account. Generally, wire transfers and other external transfers are more expensive and time-consuming. Banks tend to charge less (or nothing at all) for transferring between internal accounts. Do your research to make sure you know upfront how long online bank transfers will take.
Facebook offers a way to send money online through its messaging platform – with some restrictions. In order to send money using Facebook Messenger, you (and the recipient) must both live in the US and be able to fund payments using a US bank-issued card (Visa or MasterCard only). You also must be 18 or older.
Payments through Facebook Messenger are free, but may take several days to complete the first time you send money through this popular chat platform. Login to Facebook Messenger to learn more and get set up.