How to send money to someone without a bank account

A mobile wallet, prepaid card or transfer agent may be your answer.

Updated

Fact checked

Approximately 1.3 million adults in the UK do not have a bank account, according to a 2019 report by the Financial Conduct Authority.

If you or the person you’re sending money to is one of millions who doesn’t have a traditional bank account, you can still transfer funds with alternative money transfer methods.

Can I send money if I have no bank accounts?

Yes, there are several ways to send money without having a current or savings account. Some methods include:

Money transfer agents

Several money transfer services allow you to fund the request in cash. Western Union, MoneyGram and similar agents allow you to send cash from storefront locations.

Your recipient could receive the funds the same day if they’re delivered via cash pickup or delivery.

Online credit card payments

Some transfer services allow credit cards for online transfers.

However, you should expect to pay more and for these transfers, and it could take up to five days for your recipient to get the funds.

Mobile payment apps

Services like PayPal, Pingit and Google Wallet make it easy to send money online on a desktop or via your smartphone. Each has a balance feature that lets you send money from and receive to the wallet.

Delivery is typically instant with these services.

Postal orders

A relatively easy and inexpensive way to send money without a bank account is by mailing a postal order through the Post Office. You can send up to £5 for 50p and up to £250 for £12.50.

This is potentially the slowest method of this bunch, as the money order has to be posted physically.

Can I send money if my recipient doesn’t have a bank account?

Yes, just as there are several ways to send money without a bank account, so are there to receive it without one. Here are a few options:

Cash transfer

Send funds online or at a location with a money transfer service that offers cash pickup. The same services that let you send cash typically have options to receive it in countries where they have storefronts.

Cash can typically be picked up the same day it’s sent.

Prepaid debit card

For something that allows your recipient to pay by card, mailing a prepaid debit card could be a viable option.

Because it’s sent by mail, it can take several business days for your recipient to get the funds.

Mobile wallet

Sending money to your recipient’s phone or mobile wallet can be done using the mobile wallet’s service, or potentially via a transfer service.

Funds are usually available instantly to use from the mobile wallet.

Do mobile wallets have to be linked to an account?

Some mobile wallets don’t require you to link a bank account. PayPal is a notable name that allows you to open an account and receive funds without linking a bank account or credit card.

Compare money transfer services

Table: sorted by a combination of service offering and the amount your recipient will receive

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
GBP 2,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.108 EUR
11,076
TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction (conditions apply).
Get bank-beating exchange rates and no fees when you transfer with TorFX.
Go to site Show details
GBP 5,000 Same day GBP 0.00 1.108 EUR
11,076
Universal Partners FX offers competitive exchange rates and same-day transfers for 100+ currencies. Go to site Show details
GBP 2,500 Same day GBP 0.00 1.108 EUR
11,076
Central FX’s dedicated private client team will guide you through the money transfer process from first call to final payment. Go to site Show details
GBP 1 Same day GBP 0.00 1.108 EUR
11,076
Whatever amount you transfer, XE will not charge you a fee for using their service. Go to site Show details
GBP 3,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.108 EUR
11,076
Get no fees as a Finder customer when you transfer your money overseas with Global Reach. Go to site Show details
GBP 5,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.108 EUR
11,076
Take advantage of fee lock-ins and live bookable rates, helping you save up to 85% in hidden bank fees. Go to site Show details
GBP 2,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.108 EUR
11,076
Make transferring money abroad as simple and safe as possible with bank-beating exchange rates - online, via the app or over the phone. Go to site Show details
GBP 1 1 - 2 days GBP 1.99 1.098 EUR
10,974
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Quick, affordable transfers around the world with both express and economy options.
Go to site Show details
GBP 5 2 days EUR 3.00 1.106 EUR
11,065
Special offer: Zero fees on your first 10 transfers.
Get bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Go to site Show details
GBP 10 Within an hour GBP 2.00 1.106 EUR
11,059
First two transfers free for new customers.
Instant or 1 hour transfers to over 50 countries, send money directly to bank accounts or over 280,000 cash pickup points.
Go to site Show details
GBP 50 Same day GBP 2.99 1.101 EUR
11,006
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
An online money transfer service with cash pick-up, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

Can I send money if neither one of us has a bank account?

Yes, you can do so using several of the options above. Sending and receiving cash via a transfer service, prepaid debit card and using a mobile wallet can all be used to send and receive funds without a bank account.

What’s the best way to transfer money without a bank account?

The best way to transfer money without a bank account depends on your specific circumstances. How fast you need to get the funds to your recipient, their location, what’s most convenient and how much you’d like to pay will all affect which choice fits you best.

How to choose a transfer method

To pick the transfer method that’s best for you and your recipient, consider the following:

  • How fast the funds need to be delivered. Prepaid debit cards or postal orders are likely to take significantly longer to reach your recipient than a mobile wallet transfer.
  • Affordability. Personal mobile wallet transfers that don’t use a credit card typically come without fees; however it might be more difficult to access the funds than if you use a cash transfer. Prepaid debit cards usually have a low cost, and using a credit card will generally be the most expensive option.
  • Convenience. Depending on where your recipient lives and what they’re using the funds for, certain options may be favourable. Someone looking to shop online, for example, may find a PayPal transfer more convenient than cash pickup.
  • Security of the transfer. Data encryption helps protect your and your recipient’s information. Sending a prepaid debit card or postal order comes with the risk of it getting lost in transit.

Bottom line

It’s possible to transfer funds without either party having a bank account. The method that’s best for you depends on several factors, including when the money is needed, ease of access and cost.

For more information about sending money and to compare transfer service options, check out our full guide to transferring money abroad.

Frequently asked questions

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site