Venmo is a great alternative to PayPal if you're only looking to send money to friends or people you know. Venmo is quick to use and payments can be sent within seconds. You can also make it easy to split payments on things like group trips or meals.
Venmo also works as a mobile payment option for many online stores, too. Interestingly, Venmo is actually owned by PayPal now, but it still stands as a competitor. If you're buying goods or services and want protection, this is where Venmo may let you down, however.
Venmo offers very little in terms of payment protection, so it's only a good option for sharing money between friends or people you can trust.
Google Pay is Google’s mobile payment system for Android, so its main functionality allows users to store their payment methods and loyalty cards in a single mobile wallet. You can use Google Pay to pay anywhere where contactless payments are accepted, and there are many layers of security in place to ensure your money and connected accounts are safe.
It’s also very easy to send money to other people via Google Pay. You simply enter somebody’s Google email on the payment page, enter the amount, and then press send. Money will be drawn from the payment method that is chosen and sent immediately to the recipient.
If your friends are on Android, use Gmail, or have a YouTube account, they’ll already have a Google Pay account too, so it makes it easy to send payments to people regardless of what payment app they may prefer to use.
Google Pay isn’t available on iTunes, but the feature to let you send money between friends is available as a standalone app called Google Pay Send.
You might not have noticed, but Facebook quietly added a payment feature into their Messenger app that allows Facebook users to send money to those on their contacts list.
Instead of holding a balance inside an account, Facebook Messenger Payments instead simply serves as a middleman to send payments to one another.
The recipient must connect their debit card through the app first and then the sender can send money by tapping the ‘+’ icon whilst in the message thread with that person. You will need to set up your payment account before you can press send, which also involves adding your own card.
You can then enter the amount you want to give and then press send. The amount will be charged to your debit card and then Facebook will send the same amount to the recipient’s card immediately. Transactions are usually instant and it’s easier than asking your friend for their bank sort code and account number.
There is also now an option to set up group payments, which makes it easier for everybody to help chip in for group meals and activities.
Circle Pay is another popular alternative to PayPal that shares similar functionality to Venmo. Everybody with the Circle Pay app gets their own wallet. You can deposit money to this wallet with a variety of payment methods and then use that money to send to friends.
If your Circle Pay wallet is empty and you want to send a payment, you can still send money, it’ll just be drawn from your preferred payment method. This is similar to how PayPal works.
Once money is received, it can be withdrawn to a bank account for free. Circle is also great for sending money internationally and there are no fees for sending money between GBP, EUR, and USD.
Square Cash is a mobile payment app that makes it easy to send and receive money between friends, but it can also be used for payments in stores with the included physical Cash card. It's very easy to keep track of anything you spend through Square Cash. You can even buy Bitcoin straight from within the Square Cash app, which is a bit of an oddball feature.
I'd consider using Square Cash as a standalone payment option for paying for meals, nights out, and activities with friends. It makes it easy to split payments and more importantly lets you keep track of expenses on elements of your life outside of your typical bills and expenses.