Best peer-to-peer payment apps

Send money

Whether you’re splitting the check, sending money to your family across the pond, or paying your bills, P2P payments have made paying and sending money easier, wherever you may be. They’ve increasingly grown in popularity due to the convenience and ease of use they bring to users. With just a few taps, you can send and receive money almost instantly.

With the wealth of P2P payment apps available for Android and iOS users, how do you know which one suits your needs best? What are the pros and cons you need to know before choosing any P2P payment system?

What Is P2P Money Transfer?

Peer-to-peer payments, also known as P2P payments or person-to-person payments, let you transfer funds from your account to another person’s bank account or to their preferred peer-to-peer payment app instantly.

The P2P payment system eliminates the need for physical cash, as transactions are done using the P2P payment app on your phone. To start using a P2P money transfer app, you only need to download the app of your choice, set it up, and link it to your bank account, credit card, or debit card. Depending on your chosen app, you might need to undergo several rounds of identity or information verification.

The rise of smartphone usage has ushered in increased use of internet services and applications, such as peer-to-peer payment apps. They’ve become so popular that it’s predicted that the P2P money transfer market will grow by 18% in 20291. The P2P money transfer market continues to grow and is estimated to generate over $9 billion by 20302. This indicates a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.3% from 2021 to 2030.

Top players3 in the global P2P money transfer market include:

  • Tencent
  • TransferWise Ltd.
  • Alipay
  • PayPal Inc.
  • Apple Inc.
  • Samsung Pay
  • Google Inc.

P2P money transfer is pretty simple. It involves entering the name of the person you’re sending money to, the amount you’re going to send, and your reason for sending the money. Then you click a button to send money to them. Often, P2P payment apps have a verification stage, some of which require you to enter your PIN, before you can actually send money to your peers.

For example, you’re having dinner at a restaurant with friends. One of them offers to charge the entire bill to their card. To pay for your share, you open your P2P money transfer app, find the name of your friend from the contacts list, input the amount of your share, and send money to the recipient.

It’s worth noting that depending on the money transfer app, the recipient may receive the money instantly or up to three business days.

Pros of Using P2P Payment Apps

If you’ve been using a peer-to-peer money transfer application, then you know how it makes payments more convenient. It’s also very easy to use. Aside from these well-known benefits of peer-to-peer payment apps, here are more pros of peer-to-peer payments you should know about:

  • P2P payment providers, such as PayPal and Venmo, let you send and receive money instantly.
  • You can pay without using physical cash, allowing you to complete transactions even if you’ve left your wallet at home.
  • Most P2P payment apps are free to use.
  • Peer-to-peer payment apps are available for both Android and iOS devices.
  • Some services charge low to no transaction, processing, or service fees.
  • Some P2P payment providers let you enjoy better currency exchange rates, compared to banks or traditional money transfer services, allowing you to save money.
  • P2P networks are encrypted and equipped with features to monitor fraud, providing you with ample security for every transaction.
  • Depending on your chosen platform, P2P transactions can offer some level of anonymity.

Cons of Using P2P Payment Apps

While a money transfer app offers convenience and security, it can have its share of drawbacks and risks, including:

  • Transaction durations can largely vary across P2P payment providers. Some let you send and receive money instantly, while for others, it can take several business days.
  • Some P2P payment providers charge transaction or service fees.
  • Refunds or disputes may be difficult to initiate, given the lack of middlemen.
  • There’s plenty of room for human error, such as when you’ve keyed in wrong transaction details like the recipient’s account number or the amount you’re supposed to send.
  • P2P transactions are still susceptible to potential fraud and security threats. While they have security measures in place, such as encryption, they’re not totally impervious to attacks and security risks. Given that your P2P account is linked to your bank account or cards, hackers may be able to bypass security measures and gain access to your account details.
  • Transactions using peer-to-peer money transfer can be unpredictable at times, especially if you’re dealing with different currencies, whose currency exchange rates may fluctuate.
  • Issues regarding privacy can also arise, as some apps may sell or use your data to third-party entities.

7 Best Peer-to-Peer Payment Apps

With the abundance of choices available when it comes to peer-to-peer payment apps, which one should you opt for? Here are seven of our recommended peer-to-peer payment apps:

1. Zelle

To use Zelle, users need to create and set up an account first. Users have two options when setting up their Zelle account: through the app or through their respective banks. Once set up, they can easily send or request money from other Zelle users by entering their email address or phone number. The app itself is easy to use.

Zelle is ideal for users who want to send and receive money in their bank account instantly (for domestic transactions). This P2P service is also compatible with most major banks and credit unions within the country, making seamless transfers possible. Currently, Zelle is only available in the US for those with US bank accounts.

2. PayPal

One of the most popular P2P services in the world, PayPal is ideal for personal money transfers and online payments. It’s widely accepted by many local and international merchants, making online transactions more convenient for users. Part of its appeal is it has high transfer limits and it accepts multiple payment options for money transfers. While some transfers can be received instantly, transfers from PayPal to a bank account may take up to five business days.

3. Venmo

If you’re frequently splitting bills with friends and family, you may want to consider using Venmo. With Venmo, users can send and receive money for free, without having to top up their Venmo account to make a payment. This is because your Venmo account will be linked to your bank account. However, if you’re sending money via credit card, you’ll be charged a 3% fee4. If you’re using Venmo for instant cash-out transfers to your bank account, you’ll also be charged a corresponding fee.

4. Cash App by Square

If you’re looking for a robust P2P money transfer application, then Cash App may fit the bill. Aside from letting you send and receive money using a linked bank account, your Cash App balance, credit card, or debit card, it also lets you buy and sell Bitcoin. Moreover, with Cash App, you can buy and sell stocks, take out small personal loans, and enjoy savings with its “cash boost” feature.

Note that if you’re using your credit card to send money, you’ll be charged a 3% fee5. Additionally, if you’re using it for instant deposits, you’ll be charged a 1.5% fee6.

5. Apple Pay

Apple Pay makes it easier for Apple device users to send and receive money. You can also use it to pay for purchases online or in-store (via NFC transactions). It utilizes an anonymous, single-use token, which helps keep your credit card data safe.

6. Samsung Pay

Aside from enabling you to send and receive cash (via Samsung Pay eligible devices), Samsung Pay lets you pay for purchases, provided that the point of sale accepts credit card payments in the US and in up to 17 other countries. You can also use your smartwatch to pay for transactions for greater convenience.

7. WorldRemit

WorldRemit is ideal for international transfers, given its low fees and competitive currency exchange rates. With WorldRemit, you can send money to more than 130 countries in six regions7. The transfer type will vary depending on the country where you’re sending money from. Services can include:

  • Mobile money
  • Cash pickup
  • Bank transfer
  • Airtime top-up
  • Home delivery

The app is easy to use and accepts multiple payment options, including cards (prepaid, credit, or debit), Apple Pay, Klarna, and Trustly. One of WorldRemit’s best features is, in some cases, it can help you recall your money if you accidentally sent it to the wrong person. In such cases, it’s best to seek assistance from WorldRemit immediately.

Ultimately, the service you opt for will depend on what you’re going to use it for. Will you be using it often for instant transfers or international transactions? Will it make splitting payments among friends and family easier?

Consider factors such as transfer speed, ease of use, currency exchange rates, and fees. You also have to determine which P2P service your friends, family, or clients already use for greater convenience.

Are P2P Transactions Safe?

P2P payments are, for the most part, safe. However, while they offer convenience, speed, and security, they’re not totally foolproof.

To keep your account safe, here are some of the things you can do:

  • Only use a money transfer app when transacting with people you trust. If possible, avoid using P2P apps to send money to strangers. While this payment system makes paying bills more convenient, some retailers or P2P payment providers don’t offer purchase protection. In some cases, cyber criminals can trick your trusted acquaintances and ask them to send money via P2P apps. The biggest problem here is once fraud is committed, there’s no law requiring P2P payment providers to assist the victims8 in recovering their lost funds.
  • Create a strong password for your account. Avoid using birth dates, addresses, or other sensitive information as your password.
  • Add a personal identification number (PIN) to your account. Essentially, this lets you put a sort of barrier before you complete any transaction. It also prevents anyone from accessing your account details in case you lose your phone.
  • Leverage notifications. Notifications keep you in the loop with your transactions. Make sure to enable notifications to start receiving them via email, text, or push notifications for completed transactions. Notifications can let you know if anything fishy is going on, so you can immediately contact your bank.
  • With person-to-person money transfers, it’s crucial that you pay attention to every detail. Even a small mistake, such as a misspelled name or wrong account number, can end up being costly, as the money could be sent to the wrong person. To prevent such errors, it’s best to check every detail of your recipient’s information before clicking “send” or “submit.”
  • Always update your app. Older versions may have security loopholes that cyber criminals can exploit. Newer versions often come with new features and beefed-up security measures.

International Money Transfer Options

P2P money transfer is also useful if you want to send money to friends and family residing overseas or pay for services or products from another country. Boss Revolution, PayPal, WorldRemit, and Wise are some of the most popular money transfer apps for international transactions.

BOSS Revolution

BOSS Revolution Money Transfer is an innovative service that lets you easily stay connected with those who matter. It combines three services: affordable international calls, mobile top up, and money transfer.

With BOSS Revolution Money Transfer, you can send money to loved ones worldwide safely and securely. Moreover, it has low fees, starting at $1.99. Its competitive exchange rates ensure that your loved ones will receive more value.

BOSS Revolution Money Transfer also has four delivery methods: cash pickup, bank deposit, home delivery, and mobile wallet. This gives you and your loved ones more flexibility and convenience when it comes to sending and receiving funds. Sending money overseas with BOSS Revolution can be done in six simple steps:

  1. Create your account or download the free app.
  2. Select the country where you’ll be sending the money and the amount you’ll be sending. Here, you’ll get to see your transfer fees and the exchange rate.
  3. Select a delivery method that’s convenient for your loved ones. Note that delivery methods vary by country.
  4. Add the recipient’s information or choose from your existing contacts.
  5. Choose a payment method. With BOSS Revolution Money Transfer, you can pay using a debit or credit card.
  6. Wait for your loved ones to receive the money.


PayPal is one of the most widely used money transfer apps in the world. If you’re transferring money to another PayPal user, they can receive funds instantly. One of the advantages of using PayPal for international money transfers is it doesn’t require the recipient to link their PayPal to their bank account. In this case, the recipient can opt to keep their money in PayPal and use their balance to pay for services or products.

If you’re using PayPal to send money to friends or family domestically from your bank account, the service is free. If you’re sending money via credit or debit card, you’ll be charged the corresponding transaction, funding, and fixed fees. This goes for both international and domestic transactions.

One of the drawbacks to using PayPal is it carries hefty fees for international transactions. Additionally, its currency exchange rates may occasionally be lower compared to other P2P services such as Wise.


WorldRemit’s appeal is partly due to its low transfer fees and better currency exchange rates. It also offers several payment options, adding to its versatility. To use WorldRemit, you need to sign up for a free account.


For frequent travelers, Wise is an option worth looking into, as it lets users manage their money in multiple currencies without the hefty exchange rate fees.


Remitly is another money transfer app that can be used for international remittance. You have the option to send the money in US dollars or in the destination country’s currency. Fees may vary depending on factors such as the currency exchange rate or how much money you’re sending.

The time it takes for the recipient to get the funds can also vary. If you’re using Remitly’s economy service, it can take up to three or five business days for the funds to arrive in the recipient’s bank account. For express transactions, funds can be received within minutes.

How Much Does It Cost?

Rates and fees vary across different providers. Signing up for a P2P money transfer service is free most of the time. However, not all platforms offer free or low-cost transaction or service fees. Some charge 2% or 3% for processing fees if you’re using a credit or debit card. If you’re using Zelle, for example, it lets you send and receive money domestically for free9 (for bank account transfers). With PayPal, expect to pay a certain percentage of the amount you’re sending, plus a fixed fee, if you’re using a credit card, debit card, or PayPal credit.

Some platforms may charge a one-time fee for every transaction, while others may charge a corresponding transfer or processing fee depending on the amount you’re sending and where you’re sending it.

Do P2P Transfers Happen Immediately?

Transfer durations also vary. Some providers can send funds instantly to the recipient’s account. Depending on the P2P service you’re using, transfers can take anywhere from one to five business days10. For example, transfers made using PayPal can take from three to five business days. If you want to send money instantly, you may want to choose P2P services that provide this option without charging exorbitant transfer or processing fees.

Where the money is being sent can also be a factor for how long it takes to arrive in the recipient’s account. For domestic transactions, funds can be received instantly. For some international transactions, it may take up to a few days before the funds can be received. Other P2P platforms may also team up with third-party services, allowing the recipient to pick up the funds in person from any of the third-party service’s physical locations.



Sources: all third party information obtained from applicable website as of February 8, 2022











This article is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to address every aspect of the matters discussed herein. The information in this article is not intended as specific personal advice. The information in this article does not constitute legal, tax, regulatory or other professional advice from IDT Payment Services, Inc. and its affiliates (collectively, “IDT”), and should not be taken or used as such by any individual. IDT makes no representation, warranty or guaranty, whether express or implied, that the content in this article is current, accurate, or complete. You should obtain professional or other substantive advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the information in this article.

You might also like
Cash pickup services Read full story
A short guide to foreign currency accounts in the US Read full story