6 minutes, by Erika Nesto
Welcome back for another fintech class! If you missed the first one, hop on over to P2P Transfers 101: How Sending Money Really Works.
If you don’t have time, no worries, here’s a brief overview:
- The “P2P” in P2P transfers stands for peer-to-peer. P2P transfers are electronic payments made directly from one person to another through an application like Venmo, PayPal, CashApp, WellPaid, or Zelle.
- To conduct these transfers, personal information is used to validate the following: You are not pretending to be someone else, you’re the account owner, and you agree to compliance with state or federal laws.
- P2P apps help users find their friends and family by revealing user avatars, handles, friends in common, and frequent connections.
- Depending on the P2P app, a user can connect a bank, debit card, credit card, or digital wallet balance to fund a transfer.
- There are typically 3 main transfer models to move money from you to a friend. Funds can be sent from your bank or card: direct to bank, intermediary transfers, or to a digital wallet.
Now that we’ve introduced you to P2P transfers, we want to dig in even deeper…
P2P Brand Comparisons
By comparing the leading P2P brands and applications.
Venmo is a peer-to-peer service that focuses on sending or requesting money from friends, roommates or family members. Venmo’s angle is providing a social hub for paying during those quick occasions when you don’t want to deal with getting out cash. Common uses for the app would be splitting an Uber or divvying up a group lunch bill.
CashApp is a mobile app developed by Block (formerly Square) that allows users to meet banking needs from their smartphones. CashApp is similar to Venmo without the social feed and allows for sending or receiving funds speedily. Additionally, Cash App provides a bank account and debit card that can be used at any ATM. Users can also invest in stocks and Bitcoin in the app.
Zelle allows peer-to-peer money transfers through a standalone mobile app. Zelle offers integration with many major participating banks such as Chase, Bank of America, Citi and Wells Fargo. Unlike Venmo, money transferred using Zelle moves strictly from one bank account to another. While bank transfers can take up to several business days, Zelle can complete the fund transfer in moments.
Western Union is a money transfer servicer and has the biggest store front network in the world. Western Union is great for people who need to send or receive physical cash which works especially well for those without a bank account. Western Union also allows for money transfers to locations that are not widely covered by other providers, such as prisons and U.S. military bases overseas.
Facebook Pay is a secure way to make payments on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp and various online stores. Once your card or banking account information is entered, you can send money, make purchases or donate to a cause. Making payments on Facebook can be as easy as sending a message to a friend.
WellPaid is a new peer-to-peer payment and subscription management service that provides simple automation for transfers. On WellPaid, users can view their subscriptions and bills in one place, track charges with others, and automatically split the cost. An individual can split any charge in connected bank or card accounts by simply selecting the bill and tagging a friend. The service also allows users to send money between their accounts at different banks on a routine.
Ease of use: Easy to use and intuitive
Funding and disbursement types: Venmo balance, bank account, debit card, and credit card
Speed & Costs: Sending to another user’s Venmo account is instant, but withdrawing the money to a bank takes 2-3 biz days unless the user pays 1.5% for instant service. Also, transferring money from a credit card costs 3% while sellers pay 1.9% + $0.10 for purchases.
Overall: Good social sending tool and extremely easy to use. Does not allow transferring between personal accounts, recurring transactions, or directly connect to banks to split prior purchases.
Ease of use: Handy, simple and convenient
Funding and disbursement types: Link eligible bank account to Cash App to fund payments
Speed & Costs: Cash App offers standard deposits to your bank account and Instant Deposits to your linked debit card. Standard deposits are free and arrive within 1-3 business days. Instant Deposits are subject to a 1.5% fee (with a minimum fee of $0.25) but arrive to your debit card instantly.
Overall: CashApp is the easiest tool to use to send money or access bank-like services (investing, debit cards, bank accounts, etc). However, the service does not allow transferring between personal accounts, monitoring of purchases, a social feed, or recurring transactions.
Ease of use: Using is easy, but signing up not as much
Funding and disbursement types: Sends money between bank accounts with others
Speed & Costs: Unlike certain other P2P transfer services, Zelle does not charge any fees. Transactions arrive within minutes.
Overall: Tool is embedded into mobile banking app of participating banks, so you do not need an additional app. However, there is no fraud protection for authorized payments and the service is more difficult to use. No sending between accounts is allowed.
Ease of use: WU now has ways to send and transfer money online, receiver can even receive deposits into their bank account
Funding and disbursement types: Accepts cards and banks but charges different fees based on the funding source.
Speed & Costs: Definitely the more time consuming and expensive option
Overall: Good for those without a bank account or users who are not as tech-focused. However, pricing is complicated and difficult to compare costs as exchange rates or fees vary dramatically.
Ease of use: Easy to use if you have a Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram account
Funding and disbursement types: Credit or debit cards (American Express, Discover, Mastercard, Visa, JCB), PayPal, Bank account (direct debit) in supported countries. Local manual payment methods in supported countries and currencies.
Speed & Costs: Facebook won't charge you to send or receive money in Messenger. Payments process quickly. It may take your payment provider up to 3-5 business days to post the money to your account. To help keep your account secure, we verify your information before processing payments. Most payments are reviewed within 24 hours.
Overall: Facebook Pay can be used to shop at participating stores, so you can shop directly with Facebook Pay account. Great if you’re already on the site. However, not all customers can use it and the site integrations are not as comprehensive as PayPal.
Ease of use: Find charges and split the cost with friends in seconds. Autopay options available to cut out monthly requests or reminders.
Funding and disbursement types: Sends money with others or to other accounts from a bank account.
Speed & Costs: Transfers arrive in the recipients’ bank within 2-3 biz days and do not need to go through a digital wallet. The service is free for simple transfers.
Overall: Transfers can be automated and recurring bills split on autopay with friends. The service allows transfers between personal accounts. However, there is no social feed and transfers are sent directly to the receiver’s bank.
Which of these brands are best during specific scenarios?
Which app is best for…
- Moving money between personal accounts?
WellPaid: WellPaid is the only service that allows sending money between your accounts at different banks. The service is simple and let’s users set savings or other routines to move money where they need it without complex bank transfer portals.
- Picking up cash for someone who prefers non-digital?
Western Union: Western Union is one of the few cash pickup options available in the United States and makes sending money to cash easy at 57,000 locations in the US.
- Transfers for recurring bills?
WellPaid: WellPaid allows for recurring transfers that makes it simple to automatically split and transfer for monthly bills between friends. Users can get paid back on autopay for subscription or bill charges without typing in monthly requests or reminders.
- Simple transfers for social items?
Venmo: Venmo was the OG transfer service that simplified P2P transfers and allows users to quickly send or request money easily. The social features let you check out what friends are spending and sharing seamlessly.
- Simple one time transfers for non-social items?
Cash App: Cash App is the simplest way to send money to a friend with only a few fields. Similar to Venmo, but using debit cards primarily for funding, users can send and request money from others by typing in simple transfer instructions.
- Splitting multiple charges for a trip?
WellPaid: WellPaid enables ledgering or adding multiple bills to a group to split the total cost. Designed to simplify trips or group gifts, WellPaid makes adding charges from connected bank or card accounts as easy as a couple clicks to keep track of group expenses.
Requesting and making payments with friends or family members should be free of fuss and drama, so we hope checking out this article brings you one step closer to achieving that. Finances are one of the most important areas of our lives, and we all deserve to have full control over our payments and subscriptions. Choosing the right P2P service for one’s specific needs is essential! However, there’s pressure in making the right decision. We hope we’ve made it easier for you by providing the knowledge you deserve to know about P2P service options, features, pros and cons. Check out our LinkedIn or home page for more updates and information about WellPaid! We’d love to connect with you.