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Best money transfer apps of 2021

Money transfer apps
(Image credit: Pixabay)

The best money transfer apps make is simple and easy to transfer money to friends, family, or pay for goods/services directly through your smartphone or other mobile device.

Best money transfer apps

Banks were slow to embrace the internet, allowing a number of third-parties to develop tools to make transferring money between people easy and painless. Even though banks have now made money transfers online easier, not least through apps, international payments are still difficult to make without a third-party money transfer provider.

This is where money transfer apps really excel, which have blossomed in much the way way as personal finance software.  Transfer apps offer the ability to send money across the world using different currencies in a way that is simple, easy, and pain-free. There is usually a charge associated with such transfers, so make sure you check the fees, but the best services usually offer reasonable rates that are worth the cost of convenience.

Security remains a key provision with money transfer apps, ensuring that your transactions are protected through a combination of features to keep them safe, which should include strong encryption between devices. 

Here then are the best in money transfer apps that are currently available.

The best money transfer app is WorldRemit

WorldRemit offers transfers to over 150 countries, and monies can be received by a range of simple and convenient options.  Processing takes just a matter of minutes, making WorldRemit the easy to use choice.View Deal

Send money online for what matters most by Remitly

Remitly makes international money transfers easier than ever. Choose how and when you send, with great exchange rates and low fees. Each time, every time.View Deal

Send Money Direct to a Bank Account

With so many options to send and receive money - through bank accounts, mobile wallets, at thousands of locations and online - MoneyGram lets you find your way.View Deal

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(Image credit: WorldRemit)

1. WorldRemit

Super-secure transfers to over 150 countries

Reasons to buy
+Easy to use +Fast and secure 
Reasons to avoid
-Unpredictable fees 

WorldRemit is also in tune with the fact that speed is the name of the game when it comes to mobile money transfers, and claims you can ‘send money from your mobile as quickly as a text message’ thanks to its iOS and Android app.  

With WorldRemit you can send money to contacts in over 150 different countries and transfers can be received as a bank deposit, cash pickup, mobile credit or an airtime top-up. Best of all, processing time is just a matter of minutes, making for near instant availability at the other end.  

When the transfer is completed, both sender and recipient receive an SMS or email notification, giving peace of mind that the money has arrived safely. The service also promises money protection of the ‘highest possible standards’ thanks to ‘industry-leading’ tech and licences with governments across the world.

Charges on your transfer depend on the sum of money and also the destination. There’s no fixed rate here, so it may be worth checking the tariff on sending to the country you have in mind before signing up. That said, your first transfer with WorldRemit is free of charge, so why not give it a go?


(Image credit: Azimo)

2. Azimo

International transfers you can trust

Reasons to buy
+Fast updates on transfers +Over 200,000 pick-up points worldwide 
Reasons to avoid
-No phone number for support 

Less of a household name, but well worthy of its place in our list, is Azimo, which has apps available in Google Play and Apple’s App Store for its international money transfer service. 

From the moment you hit send on your transfer to the point of collection, Azimo keeps you fully up-to-date on the status of your transaction via the app. But while the technology in money transfer services usually takes care of itself, the bureaucracy around collecting bank and cash payments in other countries can be far from simple, so Azimo’s location-specific instructions for collection are a nice touch.

Though dependent on destination, the fees are very reasonable, and the service can count on over 200,000 pick-up points worldwide. The customer service is strong too, even if it is restricted to email rather than phone.   


(Image credit: Venmo)

3. Venmo

The millennial’s go-to that’s wooing businesses

Reasons to buy
+Quick and easy +Added social features +Safe and secure 

Venmo believes it has both individual users and businesses winning via its money transferring app. While the everyday user can make quick and simple payments via their phone, businesses are able to give an increasingly mobile-first audience a smooth, handheld checkout on purchases. A big ecommerce box ticked.   

At present, Venmo’s reputation is a little stronger in the former category, while parent company PayPal continues its dominance in the business world. The ‘digital wallet’ nature of the service makes it appealing for mobile-savvy individuals wanting to make quick peer-to-peer transfers to friends, with the experience enhanced by the ability to share purchases on their Venmo feed and add comments and emojis to their contacts’ shared purchases.   

How does it work? Users make payments by linking their bank accounts or debit cards directly via the app, or by transferring the money stored within their Venmo account. These transfers can be stored as a Venmo balance to be used later or cashed out immediately to a bank account.

With its slick UI and all-round convenience winning favor among millennials, businesses seeking to tap this younger market will increasingly consider wrapping Venmo into their payment systems, and they can do so in the knowledge that it safeguards payment data with encryption for maximum safety and security.   


(Image credit: PayPal)

4. PayPal

Tap into the payment giant’s offering from your phone

Reasons to buy
+Loose limit on transactions +Simple way of selecting recipient 
Reasons to avoid
-Charges on debit card transfers   

We weren’t exactly going to leave PayPal out of a conversation about money transfers, were we? The service has become ubiquitous in ecommerce but the company’s acquisition of the aforementioned Venmo suggested it had work to do to establish itself as a popular app for peer-to-peer transfers.

With Vemno clearly pitching itself at the younger market, PayPal’s app maintains the more corporate look and feel. Its tight security measures – making you enter your password every time you open the app, for example – further emphasizes the business heritage. While this may feel like a slight inconvenience, it’s surely a wise security measure.  

PayPal’s mobile transfers match the rest of the field in terms of speed, but you do get charged on debit card transactions, a rarity when it comes to domestic transfers. This drawback is countered by more lax spending limits, with individual transactions able to go as high as $10,000 (£7,500).  

The simplicity of entering just an email address or phone number to direct your payment will always carry appeal on PayPal’s platform, but if quick peer-to-peer transfers are more important to you than international transactions, those debit card fees may push you towards its cool little sibling, Vemno.   


(Image credit: Western Union)

5. Western Union

Convenient mobile payment from a money transfer mainstay

Reasons to buy
+Handy shortcuts +Multiple payment methods +Trackable transactions 

It’s likely Western Union is one of the first names that springs to mind when you think of money transfers, so it should be of little surprise that the company has mocked up a very handy app to take its global service to your mobile. 

WU appears mindful that the attention span of the average mobile user has shrunk to that of a gnat, so time-consuming entry fields to insert your details have been scrapped where possible. If your phone has Touch ID, you can get your transfer rolling with a press of your thumb, while a card scanning feature spares you the 16-digit input haul on setup.   

The option of paying direct from your bank account, via card or in cash adds to the convenience factor, as does integration with Apple Pay. Keeping track of your transfer is also possible through the app – simply enter your tracking number (MTCN) to see when it’s been processed, collected and completed.  


(Image credit: TransferWise)

6. TransferWise

Move your money about with TransferWise

Reasons to buy
+Solid mid-market rates+Great apps for iOS and Android
Reasons to avoid
-Customer service number not immediately obvious

TransferWise is a peer-to-peer money transfer service, originally started by two Estonian Fintech innovators, Taavet Hinrikus, (Skype’s first employee) and Kristo Käärmann, that is based in the UK. It offers a variety of products and services resulting in over £5 billion being moved around every month. 

TransferWise states it saves individuals and businesses £3 million in hidden fees every day. Currently the service is available in 59 different countries, although it is also adding to that list and now has offices in 14 different locations around the world. 

Alongside its transfer service that offers mid-market rates, TransferWise has recently added a multi-currency account, which lets you hold over 50 currencies at once and convert them when you want, along with a TransferWise debit Mastercard.

(Image credit: MoneyGram)

7. MoneyGram

One of the oldest money transfer services

Reasons to buy
+Use it anywhere+Global network
Reasons to avoid
-Can be pricey-Some negative reviews

MoneyGram is one of the largest and longest running money transfer companies in the world. The very well seasoned service has a huge array of agent locations dotted right around the globe with all kinds of presence in at least 200 different countries. The business offers a selection of services such as sending and receiving cash along with the ability to pick up money from outlets too. 

While there are plenty of positives, especially thanks to the worldwide availability of MoneyGram, the services it provides can be costlier than rivals and exchange rates aren’t always the most competitive. As with most exchange models, you get a bit of a mixed bag and, it seems, quite widely varying levels of customer satisfaction. Well worthy of inspection nonetheless.

Best of the rest 

Google has been ramping up its presence in the peer-to-peer payments market for some time, and Google Play Send is the latest iteration of its money transfer app. Though only available in the US at present, its super-quick functionality and convenient bill-splitting feature suggest it’s an app that’s here to stay.  

Facebook wants to get in on the act too, and so it has lumped peer-to-peer payments into its Messenger app. Once you’ve entered your bank details, up to $2,500 (the limit is £2,500 in UK) can be flicked off to a Facebook contact at the tap of a button. Will it catch on? 

Not about to miss out on a tussle with its fellow tech titans, Apple has Apple Pay. The platform allows you to make secure purchases in stores, in apps, and on the web, and you can now send and receive money in Messages too – a potential game-changer.

Though not hailing from the same tech super league as the previous three, Square’s Cash App is a major player in this field. First came its instant peer-to-peer payments, then came a business-friendly extension to the service, and now it even supports Bitcoin trading.   

Getting back to the international specialists, we have OFX. In addition to speedy international transfers from your mobile, the app offers live insight and commentary on market rates and can count on very solid customer service thanks to its support teams in Australia, US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore.   

Lookout too for variations on the theme with our reviews of both Melio and Zelle