Personal Finance

Best Payment Apps

Payment apps are a great way to send money to others or receive money owed to you. Which ones are the best? We've found out.

Every now and then, you end up needing to pay someone or split a bill, but you don’t have cash on you. In a world that is increasingly cashless, it can be tough to make sure your friends and family get the money you owe them.

The good news is that payment apps allow you to split bills, send payments and even request money from those who owe you. If you want to send money–without having physical cash–here are some of the best payment apps available.

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10 Best Payment Apps

Payment App Best For
Apply Pay Apple users
Google Pay Android users
Xoom Sending money to other countries
Circle Pay Sending money to other countries
Facebook Messenger No-fee transactions and Facebook users
PayPal Low-fee transactions
Chime® No monthly fees
Zelle Credit union members or bank customers
Venmo Sending small sums
Cash App Sending small sums

1. Chime — Best for No Monthly Fees

Chime is an award-winning financial app and debit card. It offers a lot of great features, including an easy way to send money to friends and family.

Through Chime’s Pay Friends tool, you can send money to someone from your phone. All you need to know is their phone number. The money will leave your account and arrive in theirs within a day or two. If they also use Chime, the transfer only takes minutes. You can use Pay Friends to send up to $2,000 per month.

Chime also has some great features if you’re just looking for a savings account with a solid APY, such as no minimum balance or monthly fees, and the option to borrow up to $100 using its SpotMe® feature, without having to pay interest.

  • How to send money: Via the app
  • Payment limits:$2,500 per day
  • Fees: None

Visit Chime or check out our full review.

Chime Disclosure - Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC.

1Chime cannot guarantee when files are sent by the IRS and funds can be made available.

^Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.

2. Apple Pay — Best for Apple Users

This payment app is only available on iOS, so you have to have an Apple device in order to send and receive money. It’s convenient if you have Apple Pay.

  • How to send money: Text messaging
  • Payment limits: Up to $3,000 per message, with a limit of $10,000 in a seven-day period
  • Fees: Free, unless you use a credit card, then a 3% fee

Related: Best Mobile Banking Apps

3. Google Pay — Best for Android Users

Even though it’s a Google product, you can use this payment app on iOS as well as Android. Additionally, you can access your Google Pay account online. Plus, recipients don’t need to have Google Pay when you send them money. Realize, though, that you cant use a credit card to send money to friends and family.

  • How to send money: Via app or even from your Gmail account
  • Payment limits: Send up to $9,999 in one day, with a $10,000 limit every seven days. Different limits apply to Florida residents.
  • Fees: None

Related: Apps That Can Make You Money

4. Xoom — Best for Sending Money to Other Countries

This is a PayPal service designed to send money to other countries. With Xoom, you can send money to banks or worldwide pickup locations. This app is available for Android and iOS, and can be useful if you have a need to send money to friends and family, or even to pay a utility bill in another country.

  • How to send money: Swipe using the app
  • Payment limits: Up to $25,000 per transaction. However, initial limits are much lower. You need to increase your limits over time by providing personal information.
  • Fees: Depends on where you’re sending the money

Related: Apps That Loan You Money Now

5. Circle Pay — Best for Paying in Foreign Currency

If you’re looking to send money to another country and also have the option to pay in foreign currencies, this payment app might be the right choice for you. You can use this app on an iOS or Android device without any trouble.

  • How to send money: Via the app
  • Payment limits: Up to $3,000 in seven days. However, this limit is only reached if you provide more personal information. Otherwise, your limit is $400.
  • Fees: None (but your bank may charge a fee)

Related: Money Management Apps for Growing Your Net Worth

6. Facebook Messenger — Best for No-Fee Transactions and Facebook Users

For those who use Facebook and Messenger, it’s easy to send money with your account. However, in order to make it work, you need a Facebook account. Facebook and Messenger are both available for Android and iOS devices. Note, too, that you cant use a credit card to fund your payments. You must connect a debit card or your PayPal account.

  • How to send money: Send it from your Facebook Messenger app or use your Facebook account online to send money
  • Payment limits: Not available
  • Fees: None

Related: Best ATM Locator Apps

7. PayPal — Best for Low-Fee Transactions

PayPal is one of the oldest ways to send money person-to-person. You can download the PayPal app for your Android or iOS devices, or even access your account online. This makes it easy to send money, no matter where you are.

  • How to send money: Use the app or sign into your account online. The One Touch option can make it even easier to send money with the app.
  • Payment limits: You might face limits of $10,000 for a single transaction, but there are no limits if you have a verified account.
  • Fees: If you send money with a credit card or debit card, you’ll pay a fixed fee plus a 2.9% charge. There are also transaction fees for sending money to PayPal users in countries outside of the United States.

Related: The Best Investments Tracking App

8. Zelle — Best for Credit Union Members or Bank Customers

If you’re looking for a way to send money on a person-to-person basis through your credit union or bank, Zelle can make it happen. Zelle is part of your bank’s app, so the availability depends on which devices your bank’s app can be used on. In general, though, many banks develop apps for both iOS and Android.

You can also get the separate Zelle app to send money. The app works on Android and iOS.

  • How to send money: Go into your bank or credit union app and look for the send payments option. You might need to do something extra to set it up. Or, if your bank doesn’t offer Zelle, send money from the app.
  • Payment limits: It depends on your bank’s limits. If your bank or credit union doesn’t offer Zelle, you’ll be limited to $500 per week.
  • Fees: No fees from Zelle, but your bank or credit union may have their own fees.

Related: Best Apps to Save Money on Hospital Bills

9. Venmo — Best for Sending Small Sums

This is another PayPal-owned company that allows you to send P2P payments. You can download the app for Android and iOS and easily send money to friends and family, as well as use Venmo to pay at merchants.

It’s also possible to get an instant transfer from your Venmo balance to your bank account after people pay you. The fee for this transfer is a low $0.25, and your money appears in your account within minutes.

  • How to send money: Through the app (you can also get a debit card for use at merchants)
  • Payment limits: Initially, up to $299.99 weekly, but you can see the limit raised to $2,999.99 each week
  • Fees: None if you’re using your bank account to send money. However, if you fund with a credit card, there’s a 3% fee.

10. Cash App — Best for Sending Small Sums

This is Square’s cash app. This is a good way to send money to others or receive it, even if you don’t have a card reader. This app can be used with Android or iOS and makes it easy to send money to others.

  • How to send money: Via the app
  • Payment limits: At first, $250 every seven days. However, the limit can be raised to $2,500.
  • Fees: No fees if you arent using a credit card to fund. With a credit card, 3% will be added to the transaction total.

Choosing the Best Payment App for You

Which payment app you use depends on your individual needs and preferences. In some cases, you can send money to someone–even if they don’t have the same app you do. In other cases, both parties need the app to send and receive money.

Carefully look at fees as well. While many of these apps won’t charge fees if your funding source is a bank account rather than a credit card, you still need to be aware of whether you’re going to be stuck with a fee.

Don’t forget, too, that you can use more than one payment app. In fact, depending on what your friends and family use, and what’s available in certain countries, you might need to use multiple payment apps to meet all of your needs.

Read More: Best Online Budget Tools

Miranda Marquit

Miranda Marquit

Miranda Marquit is a nationally-recognized financial writer and money expert. She has contributed to NPR, Marketwatch, Yahoo! Finance, U.S. News & World Report, FOX Business, The Hill and numerous other publications. Miranda is an avid podcaster and writes about money and freelancing at her website, []. She lives in Idaho and loves reading, board games, travel, the outdoors and spending time with her son.

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