When it comes to transferring funds, your first instinct is likely to complete a wire transfer through your bank. However, what if the person you are dealing with is among the 9 million Americans without a bank account? If you are sending money to someone without a bank account, there are alternative options to consider. In addition to traditional means of sending money, there are tons of fast and convenient ways to get the job done.
Western Union is one of the oldest and most reliable money transferring services around. Although you still have the option to send money in person, they have expanded their operations. Nowadays, they also allow you to send money online and by phone. Once you indicate where you want the funds to be sent, the recipient can simply walk into the nearest location and claim the money. One thing to keep in mind is that delivery and transaction fees will be deducted when they come to pick up the cash. Fees vary between transactions, so you may want to check the free estimator tool on their website before sending money.
Sending Money with Apps
Now that more companies utilize e-commerce, there are several online money transferring apps available to you. Simply sign up for a free account with your email address, and you will instantly be able to connect with members across the globe.
PayPal remains ones of the most widespread and versatile ways to send money to someone without a bank account. It has users in over 190 countries and allows you to claim your funds in 20 different currencies. It also allows its users to request a mailed check if they live in the United States. Checks are sent out within two weeks for a small fee of $1.50. These checks can be cashed at most banks, even if you do not hold an account there.
Venmo is another convenient mobile app for transferring money. It is free to sign up and receive funds from other members. However, there is a 3% transfer fee if you do not link your account to an accepted credit card or bank account. One unique feature of this app is its eponymous card. Users can purchase a Venmo card and load it up with funds much like a prepaid debit card.
Most services do not require a bank account as long as your balance or linked card covers transfer fees. These fees vary depending on the app, amount, and location of where you are sending money.
Money Orders and Prepaid Debit Cards
One of the most tried and true methods of transferring funds is through money orders. They work similarly to a check, but have no connection to a bank account. Instead, you purchase the money order, sign it, and then send it off. The recipient can then exchange it for cash. There is also more security sending a money order versus cash since you have a receipt and the ability to cancel them.
Alternatively, prepaid debit cards eliminate the hassle of purchasing and redeeming money orders. You can pick them up at many local stores and retailers. Prepaid cards not only allow you to transfer funds, but also include mobile check deposits. They offer many features of banking apps without a bank account.
At the end of the day, there are many ways to pay someone without using a bank account. If time is no issue, traditional means of sending payment suffice. However, online and mobile apps have made it easier and more efficient than ever to send money.
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Jenny Smedra is an avid world traveler, ESL teacher, former archaeologist, and freelance writer. Choosing a life abroad had strengthened her commitment to finding ways to bring people together across language and cultural barriers. While most of her time is dedicated to either working with children, she also enjoys good friends, good food, and new adventures.