It’s not often you write a personal check these days — plenty of landlords use online rent-payment systems, and it’s easier than ever to pay your utility bills through your bank. Plus, there are plenty of money transfer apps that make splitting restaurant bills or Lyft rides easier than ever, no physical cash required. To be sure, there are situations where checks can come in handy regardless of how technologically savvy you are, but money transfer apps that can do the work of a personal check with a lot less hassle and time spent. As you look for ways to pay bills and transfer money to other people, consider these options: Checkbook.io Checkbook Checkbook.io is a digital checkbook alternative that replaces the act of writing and mailing paper checks with a simple email exchange. The best part is, neither the sender or the receiver of the “check” needs to sign up for a service to get started and neither side sees each other’s financial information. Checkbook.io is also free for consumers and inexpensive for businesses to use with a flat fee ($1 per check) instead of the traditional percentage of each transaction. You can use Checkbook.io to pay bills or send payments from over a week to overnight, although the app also has an “instant pay” feature. Funds can be direct deposited into any bank account. Zelle Zelle Zelle is a fast and easy way to send money to individuals and businesses via your bank or your bank’s online app. You can get started by enrolling in Zelle with your bank’s app or the Zelle website, and you can use the app to send money from your bank account to almost anyone. Keep in mind, however, that the person you’re sending money to will also have to sign up for Zelle to accept payment. Zelle is free to use for senders and receivers, so that’s a plus. But some recent reports have shown that Zelle is being used by scammers since money transfers are one-way and not refundable. Before you send money using Zelle, make sure you know and trust the person on the other end. Venmo Venmo Venmo is yet another helpful app that lets you transfer money to other people or make purchases with select retailers. Once you sign up, you can use the app to pay people or merchants with money you deposit into your Venmo account or link a bank account for transfers from your bank. Venmo has become an extremely popular option for people who want to split dinners or cab rides with friends or borrow and pay back money with a few clicks on their smartphone. However, you can also use Venmo to order food or shop online with select merchants since millions of websites allow you to select Venmo as a payment option. While Venmo is free when you use your balance, your bank account, or a debit card to make a payment, there is a 3% transaction fee when you make a payment using a credit card. PayPal PayPal Finally, let’s not forget one of the earliest players in the world of mobile payments — PayPal. On the personal side, PayPal lets you transfer and receive money online or using its mobile app. You can also make purchases using PayPal with approved merchants, and you can link your account with a credit or debit card. PayPal also offers its own rewards credit cards and debit cards that integrate seamlessly with the app for easy money transfers and purchases. PayPal credit cards, including the PayPal Cashback Mastercard and PayPal Extras Mastercard, let you earn rewards for each dollar you spend. Unfortunately, PayPal isn’t always free to use. You can transfer money to family and friends using your balance and receive money from them for free, and there is no fee for using PayPal to purchase goods and services. However, you will pay a 2.9% + $.30 fee for other transactions, such as accepting payment from one of your freelance clients.
4 money transfer apps to use when you need something faster than a paper check
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