An Effortless Guide to Choosing the Best Money Transfer App for You
Search for ‘best money transfer app’ online and you’ll be flooded by more than one million results and countless lists of more or less familiar money transfer solutions.
But finding the best app for money transfers is, in fact, the wrong way of looking at things. What you should be asking instead, is what is the best money transfer app for you?
While we tend to look at cost first and foremost, a lot more factors have to be taken into consideration when selecting a money transfer service or app. Cost does matter, but it is far from being the first step towards making a decision.
Here are the 8 questions you should be asking yourself when selecting an app for your money transfers.
1. Where will you be sending money?
Where you will be using the app and the countries in which you need to make transfers to is the first thing to think about.
This all has to do with how you intend to use the app. Do you need a quick solution for splitting bills or sharing payments with friends? If so, a locally available mobile app (Venmo is such an example if you live in the US) will get the job done.
But if you are working, studying, or simply travelling abroad frequently, you’ll probably send and receive transfers from your home country. This means that you need an app that allows international transfers and in several currencies.
Currencies carry a lot of weight in the decision because currency exchange results in extra-costs which may not be immediately apparent. Such costs revolve around the exchange rate (which is fluctuating and hard to predict), double currency conversion costs, and currency exchange fees.
You’ll find that most apps and services today cover dozens, if not more, of the most common currencies. Fin.do, for example, enables transactions across 150 currencies, with direct currency conversion — meaning there is no intermediate currency exchange and you get the best exchange rate between any two supported currencies.
What’s more, you can transfer any currency no matter the country you are transferring from or to. You can easily send USD from Israel or EUR from the UK, at the same speed and cost as if you were making a same-currency transfer.
2. How fast do you need your transfers to be?
Transfer time should be the next most important item on your list, especially if you expect to be dealing with time-sensitive transfers.
While most services and apps are able to process money transfers much faster than banks, you still need to expect that most international transfers will take a few days to complete.
If you anticipate that you’ll need to make urgent transactions, make sure you select an app that processes transfers instantly.
Peer to peer payment apps usually allow you to transfer funds from your credit or debit card in near real-time, if the transaction is local. But there are apps — Fin.do included — that allow instant international peer to peer transfers.
3. How much will it cost you?
Here is where things get interesting.
Contrary to what one might think, the total cost of making a money transfer (or the total cost of using a money transfer service) comes down to much more than the transfer fee.
Here is a breakdown of the costs you should be aware of.
- The money transfer fee
This is what you pay for each transaction you make. The amount is usually stated upfront when you read about the service or initiate a transfer.
The fee can either be a flat sum or percentage of your transaction, which can vary depending on the amount you send, how you send the funds (i.e. delivery time), or the type of card you use.
- Currency exchange rates
Not all providers use the same exchange rates, but most, if not all of them, will make their exchange rate public. Be sure you check and compare services if you need to make frequent currency exchanges.
- The currency exchange fee
This can be a substantial cost when you make an international bank transfer to a different currency, but it will be lower with money transfer services and apps.
Essentially, because currency exchange rates fluctuate, a small markup is added to the exchange rate used by the service. It tends to be lower for the major currencies (USD, EUR, GBP, etc), and higher for less used currencies.
- Topping up costs
If the app is a wallet which you need to top up from your bank account, be careful about fees that your bank might apply if a currency conversion is required.
With Fin.do, no top-up is required and currency exchange is made directly between the currencies used, provided that the card currency is correctly indicated in the app. No extra fees or costs apply to the exchange.
4. Will you be making personal or business transfers?
Do you intend to make personal transactions (transfers to your family, splitting bills with friends, etc) or will you be using the app for business reasons as well (for getting paid, for example)?
If you anticipate you’ll carry out business transactions, keep in mind that you might need to access payment invoices or receipts, so check whether such documents are provided in the app.
5. Are there any transfer limits?
There is no way you can predict every transfer that you’ll be making; sometimes, you might need to transfer very small or very large amounts of money.
To avoid finding yourself in a situation where a transfer is denied or delayed, check beforehand that the solution you’re considering doesn’t have minimum or maximum transfer limits that might pose a problem.
Keep in mind, however, that an upper limit on money transfers is often imposed to ensure compliance with financial regulations. This helps protect you and your money from potential fraud.
We’ve written more about security for large transfers here.
6. Is the app easy to use?
Ease of use and customer support are other factors weighing on your decision. This includes everything from app usability to supported payment methods.
Ask yourself questions such as: is the app intuitive and frequently updated? Does it work equally well on any operating system and device? How long does it take to activate your account? Does it have known bugs or issues reported by other users? Is customer support easy to reach and responsive? And so on.
When it comes to actually transferring money, you don’t want to spend five whole minutes to send a payment — in fact, you’ll probably want to do that in seconds.
Fin.do allows users to make transfers with just a few taps, both to users of the Fin.do app (send to a contact), and to non-users (send to a card number). This makes it easy to make instant transfers to anyone, without them having to join the app.
7. What about security?
Don’t take this for granted; before connecting your card or bank account to a new service, take some time to do your research.
Does the company feel legit? Does their process seem aligned with what you’d expect from a financial service? Do they perform an account verification for new users? Who will actually hold your money?
Here is a list of things to be aware of to ensure that both your data and your money are safe online.
8. What does the future hold?
Whether you go for the ‘market darling’ or a recently launched local solution, make your decision looking at the wider picture.
A newer app might not have all the fancy features off the bat, but they might also not have a lot of limitations that could come with older, more established solutions.
Also, a new service will tend to be both more competitive in terms of fees and more innovative in terms of functionality. Fin.do, for instance, is built on a flexible infrastructure that can easily accommodate any present and future payment methods.
So whichever way you decide to go, keeping an eye on market and technology trends can pay off.
This concludes our guide to choosing a money transfer app that’s right for your needs. We hope the guide will come in handy.
At the end of the day, you can’t always anticipate every flaw and every benefit, so remember to trust your intuition too from time to time!
Feel free to download and try out Fin.do here.