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.
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:
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.
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
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.
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.
Typically, yes. Though the transfer to the mobile wallet is instant, processing times to transfer the funds to their bank account could range from one to five business days.
Yes, certain transfer services let you send funds to the recipient’s phone via a mobile wallet. Western Union is among the providers that allows this.
Costs vary based on the service you’re using, where you’re sending the funds and how they’re being received. Check with the transfer service, mobile wallet provider or prepaid debit card provider before you complete the transaction.
Rhys Subitch is a writer and editor at Finder who tackles topics across the site. With half a decade of experience researching, editing and writing for a Fortune 500 company, university and several independent publications, Rhys brings readers the most up-to-date and curated info on all things finance.
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