Note: We receive a commission for purchases made through the links on this site. Our sponsors, however, do not influence our editorial content in any way.
They still say that cash is king, but the current generation isn’t bowing down to his highness like the generations before. When it comes to sharing money with each other, Millennials are taking their cues from their favorite places – technology and social media.
Whether they are sending a thousand dollars overseas to help a family member or chipping in for gas on a road trip, the new generation has left cash behind for a new crop of tech companies that are changing the way we interact financially with each other.
And with new technology comes a plethora of start-ups that are vying for your attention, which is good, right? Having options means you can chose the best service or services to suit your needs. Here’s an in-depth look at which services offer the best options.
Most online money transfer services make you go through a number of steps to send money. The process of creating usernames, linking and verifying bank accounts, and visiting websites or apps is fine if you are sending a large sum of money or setting up an ongoing payment, but what if you just need to send some quick cash?
Last year, the up-and-coming payment processing company Square jumped into the online money transfer world and shook things up. With the totally free Square Cash, sending money is as easy as sending an email. Simply compose an email, enter [email protected] into the Cc: field, and enter a dollar amount in the subject line. If it’s your first time using Square Cash, you will quickly receive an email asking you to enter a debit card number. That’s it. No accounts. No verification. Just a free, fast and easy way to send money.
The process is just as easy on the other end. Receiving money is as easy as getting an email and entering a debit card number. Rather than making users go to a website, link a bank account, and withdraw money, Square deposits funds directly into their account using the debit card information.
There are some limits on Square Cash. Users are restricted to sending $250 per week without verification. For a limit of up to $2,500 per week, they are required to take steps to verify their identity. And for now, Square Cash will only work for users within the U.S.
PayPal is the GE of the online money transfer business: They are everywhere, and do everything. Like any jack-of-all-trades, they aren’t great at everything they do. The one trait that makes PayPal stand out is its reach.
By being first to the market, PayPal has had the time to develop relationships around the world. These ties allow its users to send money to anyone with an email address in more than 190 countries and regions around the world and conduct business in over 20 currencies. Whether you’re paying a freelancer in South East Asia for a job well done, or sending money to family overseas, PayPal is there for you.
Of course, this worldwide access and flexibility does not come without its costs. If you are funding a transaction with a linked bank account or your PayPal balance, fees range from 0.5% to 2%. If funded by a credit or debit card, these fees jump to 3.4% to 3.9%, depending on the amount of the transaction. When you initiate the transaction, you can choose to pay these fees, or pass them along to the person receiving the money.
While many regard the prospect of transferring money online as risky, the fact is that these websites live and die by their ability to keep users’ information secure. All three of these services use the industry standard SSL protocol with a 128-bit encryption key to secure all transactions. This measure ensures that all information transferred to and from the site is safely hidden from prying eyes.
Beyond encryption, these sites work hard to identify ways their customers’ information could be compromised and find ways to guard against attacks. They all maintain robust fraud departments, which are responsible for rooting out scams, hacking attempts and other underhanded activities.
As tight as the security is, the reality is that most incidents of hacking happen because users have not secured their accounts, fall prey to email phishing scams or download a virus, giving hackers access to their information.
On this front there are several things you can do to keep your money safe online.