With remittances to developing countries expected to grow at about 3.3 percent this year, to $444 billion, and the millennial generation having reached the working age, there’s a high demand for reliable, trustworthy online payments systems void of fees. The good news is that it’s entirely possible to avoid fees when sending money to family or friends altogether, but you need to know which payment systems to use and how.
With over 167 million users, PayPal has established itself as a highly reputable online payment system that stands behinds its users. Anyone can open a PayPal account within a few minutes and use it to purchase goods and services online, instantly send money across borders, and run an online store, among many other things.
It doesn’t cost anything to open and maintain a PayPal account, but the company charges fees for certain kinds of payments. Namely, they charge 2.9% plus $0.30 USD of the amount you send for personal payments using a debit card or credit card and for receiving money for goods or services. PayPal also charges extra for international payments, but you need to read the PayPal User Agreement if you want to learn more. But don’t worry—even with the fees, PayPal is still a much better option than regular or international bank transfers.
What’s important the most is the fact that domestic payments to family and friends, as well as payments for goods or services, are entirely free without any fees. As long as the sender of the payment funds it via a bank account or funds in their PayPal balance, PayPal won’t charge any fees.
Bitcoin is the most widely used cryptocurrency in the world. It was invented by a mysterious programmer who goes by the name Satoshi Nakamoto and released as an open-source project in 2009. It took a few years for Bitcoin to gain the attention of the general population, but its price hasn’t stopped rising to this day, making it not only an enticing online payment method but also a worthy investment.
If you’re interested in the nitty-gritty technical details behind Bitcoin, there are many online videos and articles that go far beyond what we could explain here. If you just want to use Bitcoin to send money to friends and family, don’t worry—you don’t need to know what a block chain or mining are to use Bitcoin.
All you need is a Bitcoin wallet. There’s no shortage of Bitcoin wallets for mobile devices, desktop computers, or web browsers. Each wallet offers a slightly different set of services, but all of them can help you send and receive money. We recommend you choose an established wallet owned by a reputable company. One such wallet that immediately comes to mind is Coinbase. It won’t take you more than a minute to create an account with Coinbase, after which you can send and receive money without any limitations. There are no fees for sending or receiving money using Coinbase, but you may want to consider paying an optional transaction fee to speed up your transaction.
Venmo is a progressive online payment service owned by PayPal. The primary goal of Venmo is to make paying friends and family easier and quicker. To do that, Venmo has created an app for Android and iOS, which ditches the typical user interface of payment services in favor of a much more accessible, conversational UI that resembles instant messengers, with its support for messages and emojis. The app has been featured as one of the best smartphone apps of the year by Time, and Forbes said that it’s “the crown jewel of all finance apps.”
To transfer money using Venmo, all you need is your friend’s name, @username, phone, or email. Then you enter the amount you would like to send, type in the optional payment description, and click on the Pay button. If you pay using your Venmo balance, bank account, debit card or prepaid card, Venmo won’t charge you any fees. A standard 3 percent fee applies only when you decide to use a credit card. What’s also free is receiving money and making payments to authorized businesses.
To start using Chase QuickPay, an online service that allows you to send money to and receive funds from virtually anyone, all you need is a valid e-mail address and U.S. bank account. There’s no need to be a Chase Customer—you can create a Chase QuickPay profile with nothing but an email address. The only limitation is that at least one person is required to have a Chase account. In any case, you can use Chase QuickPay to send and receive money at no charge.
The service is fast, convenient, and protected using the same state-of-the-art security technology that all members of the CXC network, a provider of innovative solutions, use to protect themselves against modern cyber threats.
Chase QuickPay is integrated into the company’s banking application, Chase Mobile. This app is available for Android and iOS devices, and you can use it to monitor your account, perform transactions, contact Chase, manage and receive the following account alerts through the Chase mobile app, manage your Chase credit card, and more.
Did you know that besides being an incredibly popular instant messenger, Facebook Messenger can also be used to send and receive money? As part of Facebook’s push to expands Messenger’s capabilities beyond, well, messaging, the company is adding new features left and right, including chatbots, games, and, of course, online payments.
Messenger’s payment system is still in its early stages, but we already like how usable it is. Any person with a debit card can send money to any other person with a debit card just by downloading the official smartphone app for iOS or Android and adding a new debit card in the Settings menu.
To send money, just open a chat with the person you want to send money to and click on the dollar icon. Enter how much money you want to send and confirm the transaction. Facebook doesn’t charge any fees for the service, but your or your friend’s bank may take up to 3 business days to make the money available to you.