We all pretty much use our phones for everything nowadays. From ordering take out to waking up in the morning, your mobile is an essential part of your life. But when it comes to finances, things get a little more complicated. Money sending apps have been around for a while now, and can be an easy way to split the dinner bill or send rent to your friend, or even help out a buddy in trouble. But if you want to send money by phone, how do you go about it?

The Problems With Money Sending

There are four real issues with sending money over your mobile. The first is the ability to get ripped off. Never, ever, send mobile payments to someone that you don’t know. Don’t believe text messages or emails you get (often saying that they’re from friends or relatives) asking for money until you’ve satisfied yourself that the person in question is who they say they are. Do this, and you should be fine.

The second issue is security. We can’t offer you any guarantees, of course, hacking happens, accidents happen. But the below-listed apps have mostly been around for a fair amount of time and have proven themselves secure so far. Still, it’s best to keep an eye on your accounts to make sure that unauthorised payments aren’t being made.

Thirdly, you’re going to need a credit card, debit card that has online payment facilities, or PayPal account. You need to have an account that money can be sent from, which will mean entering your personal info into the app you want. This could be a deal breaker for some, but in most cases, a PayPal account NOT attached to your credit card and with a limited amount of cash in it is the safest way to go. And lastly, in almost all cases the person you want to send money to will have to have the same installed as you.

Having said all that, sending money via mobile is actually incredibly easy, and there are tons of great apps that will do it for you. Which app should you choose? Check out the ones below.

For iPhone to iPhone Transfers: Apple Pay

Okay, the biggest downside of Apple Pay Cash is that it only works for transfers between iPhones (meaning both you and the person you want to send cash to have an iPhone). But, if you meet that condition, Apple Pay is one of the simplest pay apps around to use. It simply uses the credit/debit card already attached to your Apple account to send money. It’s integrated into iMessage, so you can send cash straight from there, and you don’t need to download or sign into any additional apps. If you happen to be an iPhone fan, and to be friends with lots of iPhone fans, then Apple Pay is the way to go.

For Complicated or Large Transfers: PayPal

If you’re sending more than a few pounds, or if you want to send cash to someone in another country or in another currency, then PayPal has to be the app of choice. It’s secure, has been around forever, and makes sending cash outside of the UK dead easy. It also deals well with larger sums, since you can simply transfer the appropriate amount directly from your bank account and then to the person you need to send it to. PayPal is trusted and widely used, and most people have an account with them, making this a convenient choice.

For Splitting the Dinner Bill: Venmo

For sending small amounts of money to friends, Venmo is by far the easiest option. Maybe you’re paying back a small loan (that beer money from Saturday night) or sending your share of the bill for the dinner you’ve just shared, Venmo makes all this simple. You just add friends to the app, and any time you need to send cash, click on the appropriate person and key in the amount you want to send. You’ll have sent your share of the dinner bill before the waiter gets back with your friend’s change. Venmo isn’t the best for large amounts though, so stick to PayPal for your rent.

For When You Don’t Know Which App to Use: Square Cash

Square Cash is super new on the UK market, it’s been around for just a couple of months, though it has a longer history in the US. It’s simple to use and sends money easily and quickly, and you can also request money from people as well. But the real selling point of Square Cash is that the other person does NOT need to have the app installed. You can send or request money from your Square Cash app to anyone at all, they’ll simply receive a link where they’ll need to enter their card info so they can receive your money (or so they can send you money). That’s pretty awesome, but as we said, Square Cash is pretty new, so you might want to proceed with caution until the app has a more established reputation.

For Sending Actual Cash: Western Union

Alright, let’s say you need to send some cash to someone who doesn’t have a mobile payment account, or who maybe don’t have a smartphone at all (maybe it got stolen). The benefit of the Western Union app is that you can use it to send money from your bank account or credit card through Western Union quickly and easily. The other person then can go to any Western Union branch anywhere in the world and pick up that cash. Okay, it’s probably not an app you’ll need often, but when you need to send cash to your brother in Thailand who just got all his holiday luggage stolen Western Union is really the only solution.

There are tons of ways to send money using your mobile phone, including things we haven’t mentioned here (Google Pay, for example). The important thing is to ensure the app you’re using is safe, and to ensure that the person you’re sending money to is really who you think they are and that they can receive the money you’re sending. Splitting the dinner bill has never been so easy!

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