7 Best Cash App Alternatives and What They Do Better
Cash App is a great payment app if you’re based in the US or the UK and want to send and receive payments to anyone.
It’s even got some cool extra features (Like buying Bitcoin and investing in stocks).
But here’s the deal… Cash App has some key limitations. For example, it does not have bill splitting, a credit card and the social experience is pretty limited.
So if not Cash App, then who?
In this page, we reveal the 7 best Cash App alternatives with a variety of features to suit every need.
Keep reading to discover which is best for YOU!
Disclosure: This post may contain offers and affiliate links to save you money and it also helps us to keep providing the best information. For more information, see our disclosures here.
Cash App Limitations
The social experience
Crypto other than Bitcoin
International payments (beyond GBP/USD)
Funds aren’t FDIC insured (not a real bank)
You might also like our Cash App Review
Quick Comparison: 7 Best Cash App Alternatives
All our recommendations below are excellent alternatives to Cash App.
Find out which is the best for you!
|Zelle||Venmo||Apple Pay||Google Pay||Wise||PayPal||Xoom||CashApp|
|Instant P2P transfers||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||Yes (but chargeable)|
|Fee-free P2P payments||Yes||Yes (but fees apply when funded by credit card||Yes (but fees apply when funded by credit card||Yes (but fees apply when funded by credit card)||Fees apply (but low and transparent fee structure)||Yes for local transfers (but fees apply when funded by credit card||Fees apply (international money transfers only)||Yes (to other CashApp members)|
|Balance withdrawal Fees||No balance kept on app||Free (for basic 3-day transfer)||No balance kept on app||Free (for normal transfers)||Fees apply (but low and transparent fee structure)||Free for local bank account||This service is only for sending money||Free (for basic 1-3 day transfer)|
|Business transfers||Yes (with transfer limits)||Yes (but there are transfer limits and no protection)||Yes (for physical stores that have NFC-enabled readers)||Yes||Yes (dedicated business account for small and large businesses)||Yes||No||Yes (fees applicable)|
|International transfers||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes (through Xoom and PayPal)||Yes||Yes (only USD to GBP transfers)|
|Issues Debit/Credit Card||No||Yes - Debit card (only in the US)||Yes - credit card (no annual fees or foreign exchange fees while traveling abroad or shopping online)||No||Yes - debit card(multi-currency account and card with the ability to hold and spend 50 currencies; no fee while traveling abroad or shopping online)||Yes - Debit and Prepaid cards (no annual fees, no credit checks)||No||Yes - Visa Debit Card for online and instore purchases and ATM withdrawals|
|Access while traveling abroad||No||No||Yes (Apple Pay credit card)||No||Yes (MasterCard debit card + multi-currency account)||Yes (web application)||Yes (web application)||No|
1. Zelle — Integrated with most bank apps in the US
Summary (Why and why not to choose them): What stands out about Zelle (review) as a P2P payment system is that it’s already integrated with many existing banking apps.
If your bank is already a participating member, just activate it in your current banking app, and that’s it! No need to download any other third-party app.
The transfer limits are also decent.
While it serves this function well, that’s pretty much all it does. So this option is ideal for those who want a simple local money transfer system without the extra bells and whistles.
Compatible with: Zelle is embedded into the mobile apps of most US banks and credit unions (for example, Chase, Bank of America, Citi Bank, USBank, WellsFargo, etc. – see the full list of participating institutions here).
But if your bank doesn’t support Zelle yet, you can still use them to send money by downloading the iOS or Android app.
Payment limits: Each participating bank or credit union has its own sending limits on Zelle based on rolling windows (daily, weekly, monthly, etc).
For example, Bank of America allows individuals to make 10 transfers up to $3,500 USD (single transfer maximum) every 24 hours, while businesses are allowed to make 20 transfers of $15,000 USD each in the same period.
There are also rolling weekly and monthly limits.
If your bank or credit union isn’t a participating institution, you can still sign up for Zelle but your limit will be $500 USD per week.
Costs and fees: Sending and receiving money using Zelle itself is free (However, your bank may still charge a small fee)
Cool Extra features: None
Learn more in our Zelle review.
Bottom Line on Zelle
Zelle may already be built into you banks mobile app which means you don’t have to download another app and use an 3rd party app to make simple payments.
2. Venmo — Easy bill splitting with fun, social features
Summary (Why and why not to choose them): Venmo was started by PayPal in 2009, and remains one of the most popular P2P payment systems in the US.
Check out Venmo Vs PayPal if you want to understand the difference.
What makes it different from other apps is mostly the “social” aspect of the features like adding emojis to your transfer notes and a friends update feed on the main page.
There are several cool personal finance extras like receiving your paycheck and buying or selling cryptocurrencies. This is great if you want extra value from your P2P payment app.
The main drawbacks are poor customer service, inability to perform international transactions, and the transfer limits are low when your identity hasn’t been verified.
Compatible with: Android, iOS
Payment limits: When you first create a Venmo account, your ability to send payments is capped at $299.99 USD per week. However, once you have your identity verified, it is possible to send up to $60,000 per week. If you have a Venmo MasterCard debit card, you can make larger transactions, with a weekly limit of $7,000 USD and a per-transaction limit of $2,999.99 USD.
Costs and Fees: Opening a Venmo account and sending and receiving payments with Venmo is free. If you have a Venmo MasterCard, withdrawals at in-network ATMs are also free.
However, you’ll pay 3% of the transfer amount for instant transfers (because these are funded by credit cards). You’ll also pay $2.50 USD per withdrawal at out-of-network ATMs.
Cool Extra features: Bill splitting, personalize transfer notes with fun emojis, buy cryptocurrency, credit card, debit card, virtual card, and more.
Bottom Line on Venmo
Venmo is better if you want to buy and sell a wider variety of cryptocurrencies, have access to their credit card, and be able to have more “social” money transfer features — like sending emojis or updating friends about your transactions on your feed.
You might like our full Cash App Vs Venmo comparison.
3. Google Pay — Higher payment limits with money management features
Summary (Why and why not to choose them):
Google Pay is a payment platform that enables users to pay for items using their mobile phone without having to open the app.
One of the major benefits of using Google Pay is that its payment limits are significantly higher than those of Cash App, which makes it an attractive option for those who intend to carry out frequent transactions.
Also if you are already a regular user of Google services, then using Google Pay to send payment requests is very convenient. You can also tap into other Google services, such as Gmail or Google Home.
In addition, Google Pay has recently introduced some other goodness. By partnering with various banks, it now offers some basic checking and savings account functionalities, which can be a helpful addition if you want to keep you money in one place.
To be clear, Google isn’t providing banking services. The Google Pay app becomes the banking app for your own bank by connecting your bank account debit or credit cards to it.
Compatible with: Android and iOS
Payment limits: Google Pay lets you send up to $10,000 USD per transaction.
Costs and fees: P2P payments are free when funded by debit card or bank account, but a 2.9% fee applies when funded by credit card.
Cool extra features: Bill splitting, deal recommendations based on where you shop frequently, “Insights” feature gives you a summary of how you’re spending and saving, and limited banking features.
Bottom Line on Google Pay
If you have an Android phone (or use Chrome) chances are you are already part of the Google ecosystem and it is easy to signup.
4. Apple Pay — Simple interface with high payment limits
Summary (Why and why not to choose them): Similar to Google Pay, Apple Pay has relatively higher transfer limits, and they’re also free for transfers funded with a bank account or debit card.
This is a good choice for P2P payments if your friends and family are all on the Apple ecosystem like you. You can easily request payments on iMessages through your iPhone or Apple Watch.
However, the big drawback is that Android users won’t be able to use Apple Pay and there are also not many added features.
So if all you’re looking for is a simple, straightforward P2P payment system that’s exclusively on iOS, Apple Pay is the way to go.
Compatible with: iOS
Payment limits: You can send a minimum P2P payment of $1 USD, a maximum of $10,000 USD per transfer, and $20,000 USD per week.
Costs and Fees: There are no fees for P2P and online payments (when your debit card is linked to Apple Pay). But if you pay your friends, family, or businesses with a credit card linked to your Apple Pay account, you’ll pay a 3% fee.
Cool extra features: None
Bottom Line on Apple Pay
If you, your friends and family are in the Apple ecosystem it’s easy to request payments on iMessages through your iPhone or Apple Watch.
5. Wise — Affordable bank-to-bank and card-to-bank transfers in the US and abroad
Summary (Why and why not to choose them): We included Wise for those wanting to do international transfers as well as make occasional local payments.
Wise has an app, but it is far more than a payment app.
Wise lets you make both small and large transfers in the US (and elsewhere in the world) with their multi-currency account.
Once signed up to their Multi Currency Account, you can sync your contacts to find friends.
But that is not the best bit.
Their multi-currency account lets you hold and spend in 40+ currencies for easy international transactions. And you can also get local bank details in 10 currencies.
We really like their perk of providing a MasterCard debit card (for a small fee)! This lets you pay for goods and services online and while traveling abroad without expensive currency conversion.
Wise is our top choice for digital nomads and frequent travellers or businesses that operate globally (Wise has a dedicated business account).
Compatible with: Android, iOS, Web
Payment limits: You can send up to $1 million USD to people and businesses in the US and about $1.6 million USD internationally. Businesses have higher limits for sending and receiving.
How much you can send via Wise also depends on your chosen currency and how you choose to fund the transfer.
Costs and Fees: Wise generally charges between 0.4%-1% of the transfer amount, which is extremely competitive. Also, transfers are processed at the mid-market rate with no markups, which makes their fees among the lowest in the industry.
Wise also keeps their fees low by having local bank accounts in all the areas they service, which rules out unexpected bank fees.
Another way to save with Wise is to take advantage of their monthly volume discounts (very helpful for business payments and large personal transfers).
Cool extra features: Free debit, credit, and virtual card that lets you spend in different currencies so you don’t have to pay conversion fees.
Don’t miss our full review of Wise’s multi-currency account.
Bottom Line on Wise
The best option for international people who have needs beyond payments locally.
6. PayPal — Personal and business transfers in the US and abroad
Summary (Why and why not to choose them): PayPal is a veteran in the money transfer industry so we definitely had to include them.
While it’s more known for business transactions, it actually also functions really well for basic, local P2P transfers (it’s free too!).
The biggest plus is the verified users have a really high transfer limit. It’s great to have, but probably not really relevant for your average P2P transfer.
It’s also got some cool extra features like bill splitting and adding emojis (but it’s not really anything to shout about).
They also support international transfers, but the rates aren’t the best (feel free to compare with Wise). However, PayPal is a reputable brand, and might be a good choice for those wanting to feel that their money is in the hands of a trusted company.
Compatible with: Android, iOS, Web
Payment limits: If you’re a verified PayPal user, you can send up to $60,000 USD per transfer. However, some countries may limit you to $10,000 USD for a single transfer.
Costs and Fee: There are no fees if you’re sending money from your PayPal balance to another PayPal account in the US.
However, for cross-border payments that are not funded by your PayPal balance, you can expect to pay a bank or card fee, a currency conversion fee, as well as a markup on the exchange rate.
If you’re paying with your credit card, you’ll pay a standard 3% cash advance fee.
Cool extra features: Send emojis with your transfer notes, “Money Pool” for bill splitting.
Read all about international transfers with PayPal.
Bottom Line on PayPal
If your money is in PayPal already then their app can make a lot of sense for payments in your country.
7. Xoom — Personal transfers abroad
Summary (Why and why not to choose them): Xoom is owned by PayPal and is one of the safest ways to send small transfers (below $7000 USD) to a bank account abroad.
This service is totally focused on personal overseas transfers.
We’ll tell you straight up that the rates aren’t great when you compare it to other services like Wise. But what’s unique about Xoom is that the receiver can actually receive physical cash payment that they can pick up from an agreed location.
Compatible with: Android, iOS, web
Payment limits: Xoom’s payment limits are based on your sending country, how the money is received, and partner limits in each country (Xoom’s partners include banks, cash pick up kiosks, and other delivery services)
In the US, there are 3 different levels for sending money abroad (further divided according to bank transfers and cash pickups).
For Level 1 users, the daily limit for bank transfers is $2,999 USD and the 180 day limit is $9,999 USD.
For Level 3 users, this increases to $50,000 USD daily and $100,000 USD each 180 days.
Learn more about Xoom user levels here and how to increase your payment limit with document verification here.
Costs and Fees: Xoom’s fees depend on a number of things, including the amount, the target currency, the sending country, and type of service (for example, topping up a pre-paid phone or paying utility bills with Xoom is cheaper than transferring money to a bank account in the US or abroad).
Typically, you can expect to pay 1%-1.3% of the transfer amount along with a currency conversion fee, a markup on the exchange rate, and some other fees that we call hidden fees (bank fees charged by sending or receiving bank, card fees if the transfer is funded by a credit or debit card).
Cool extra features: Cash pickup for the receiver, mobile reloads, and pay bills (limited countries).
Check out our full Zoom review.
Bottom Line on Xoom
Designed for PayPal users who also want the ability to make payments internationally. Xoom are a solid app although their fees can be relatively expensive and complex.
How do Payment Apps Work?
Payment apps uncomplicate how you can send money to people and even have some fun in the process. Although the exact steps for setting up your account will vary for each app, here are the general steps:
Check the websites to check the service you want has everything you need.
Set up your account: Download the app on your phone (most support both Android and iOS), enter your name, email, and phone number, and verify your account with a national ID.
Link a payment method: Such as your bank account, debit card, or credit card.
Start sending/receiving money: Simply enter your recipient’s registered phone number or email address to perform a transaction (and vice versa when receiving money).
And that’s basically it!
Some additional things to note:
- International transfer apps (like Wise and Xoom) may ask for additional documentation (bank statements, purpose of transfer) depending on the amount you’re sending.
- Some payment apps allow you to hold the money in a mobile wallet (like Venmo, Cash App, Wise, N26, PayPal) that you can spend elsewhere, while others directly withdraw the money to your bank account (like Zelle and Xoom).
- Most P2P apps in the US use the ACH network to send money, which means the transfers aren’t instant (but free). If you’d like to send money instantly, you can fund it with a credit card, which will cost you more.
- Payment apps that let you send money abroad like Wise use the SWIFT network and let you fund your transfer with a card, bank transfer, or an ACH transfer.
- Finally, some payment apps also have a number of helpful extras – for example, Venmo offers easy bill splitting, Cash App has some banking functionalities, and Wise offers a multi-currency account.
Why a Payment App Might or Might Not Be Best for You
If you’re looking for an easy, fast, and simple way to pay and get paid by friends and family, payment apps are great options.
Moreover, the cool perks offered by some payment apps make money management even easier for their users (for example, N26 (review) offers interest-earning savings pots with their full-service current accounts and Cash App lets you invest in stocks).
However, one major drawback of payment apps is that they don’t offer buyer protection – which means if you accidentally enter the incorrect email or send money to a business that never sent you the promised goods or services, you’re likely to lose money.
Learn more about top online money transfer scams to keep your money safe.
Other than that, most payment apps are easy, safe, and intuitive, which means you can adapt to them fairly quickly.
What Should You Look For In A Payment App
So many options – which one should you choose? It can get pretty confusing.
If you want to get the most out of your payment app, we recommend filtering them based on the following parameters:
Compatibility with your phone: This sounds simple enough, but it’s good to check out App Store and Google reviews for app performance before you choose one.
Costs, fees, and limits: If you’re looking to pay friends for a night out or just transfer rent, an app with a lower payment limit will work just fine.
However, if you’re planning to make business payments or plan to send money to your family in a different state, opt for one that has a higher payment limit.
As for costs, most P2P apps in the US let you send money for free (and help you bypass ACH and wire transfer fees ranging from $5 USD to $40 USD).
However, these apps are not always fee-free – premium services like instant transfers can be chargeable. Generally, you’ll also pay a small fee if you fund a transfer (domestic or international) with your credit card (3% – industry standard).
Customer service: When your money is on the line, it’s best to go with a service that has top-notch customer support. For international transfers, Wise is known for having a helpful and proactive customer service team.
What extra features are important to you? If you want lots of added features, then Venmo (review) might be a better choice with its bill splitting, direct deposits, and cryptocurrency transaction features. But if you’re going to be doing a lot of international transactions, then the Wise Multi Currency Account will be better suited for you.
Bottomline: You Have Many More Options Other Than Cash App
Cash App is great if you’re looking for a payment app that does a little bit of everything – P2P transfers, Bitcoin transactions, digital banking, and international (USD-GBP) transfers.
But it’s not the only option out there!
Many other services have similar (sometimes even more) features!
For example, Venmo has bill splitting, fun social features, and supports a wider variety of cryptocurrency buying and selling. While if you’re looking for a smooth international transfer experience with low, transparent fees, the Wise Multi Currency Account and app is your best bet.
That’s why we recommend understanding your needs clearly and then choosing a payment app that meets the top criteria shared above.