Money Moves & Transfers in 2024

These days, transferring money is easier than ever before. But the options can make your head spin. No need for confusion. This guide lays it all out straight.


The old-fashioned way still works. Hand someone physical cash and the money changes possession right then and there. No third parties involved. Simple as that. Of course, carrying loads of cash is risky business. Thieves and all that. And good luck sending cash to someone far away. Not very practical in this day and age. More

Bank Transfers

Most folks still use good old banks to transfer money electronically. You log into your account on a computer or mobile device. Enter the recipient’s account details and amount. Click send. From your account to theirs in just a day or two. Easy peasy. 

Downside? Banks take a cut just for moving money around. Three bucks here, ten bucks there. It adds up over time. And transfers between different banks can take even longer to process. Sometimes up to a week’s wait to get your money. In this fast world, who wants to wait a week?

Digital Wallets

These allow money transfers straight from your mobile device or wearable. A digital wallet app connects to your bank account or payment card. You enter the recipient’s wallet ID and amount. Money zaps instantly from your account to theirs. Like beaming cash through the air.

SlickPay and SnapCash are two big players. Fees are low or nonexistent for friend-to-friend transfers. Making digital wallets ideal for splitting a dinner bill or paying your share of the rent. Transfers between digital wallets and bank accounts cost a little more, but still cheaper than bank transfers.

Downside? Need to get all parties installed on the same digital wallet platform for fee-free transfers. Can be a headache convincing everyone to sign up.

Payment Apps

Similar idea to digital wallets, but payment apps are more versatile. The big names are PayPal, Venmo, and CashApp. You can transfer money between friends using just an email address or username. Or pay businesses for goods and services. All from the app on your mobile device.  

No more scrambling for cash or checkbooks. Just enter the amount and tap Pay. Money comes straight from your linked bank account, credit or debit cards. Most apps allow transferring money between your own bank accounts too.

Fees range from low to approximately one percent of the transfer amount. Sometimes higher for international transfers or using a credit card. Still better than most bank fees though.

The major downside with payment apps? You need to get the other party installed on the same app. Joe uses PayPal but his buddy Steve prefers Venmo? Then no easy transfers between them.


You know about Bitcoin, Ethereum and the like by now. Cryptocurrencies that allow low-cost, person-to-person transfers without a middleman. Just a couple digital crypto wallets and you’re set. Enter the recipient’s wallet address and amount. Confirm. The crypto amount gets deducted from your wallet and added to theirs.

Practically instant too. Since cryptocurrencies run on decentralized blockchain networks, not old banking systems. You send crypto anywhere in the world in ten minutes or less. Crypto is also great for anonymity if that’s a need.

The downsides? Cryptocurrencies can be complicated to use for nontechnical folks. And their values are always fluctuating up and down. You could send one Bitcoin today and it’s worth $50,000. Next week it drops to $40,000. So you actually sent less value than intended. Not ideal for transferring specific dollar amounts.

Money Transfer Services

Providers like Western Union and MoneyGram have offered money transfers for ages. You walk into one of their thousands of agent locations worldwide. Hand them cash. They take a hefty fee, then issue you a code for the transfer amount.

You give that code to your recipient. She takes the code to another agent location and gets the cash there. Like passing your money through a baton handoff line. Services like WorldRemit provide online money transfers too. Send from your smartphone instead of an agent office.

Sound complicated? It is. And expensive, with fees easily eating up 10 percent or more of your transfer amount. Ouch. But these services are still a decent option for unbanked customers or transferring money to contractors and relatives across borders.

Mobile Wallets

Most major mobile carriers offer their own branded mobile wallets nowadays. Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay to name a few. Works similar to a digital wallet. You link credit/debit cards or a bank account. Then pay in-person by waving your mobile wallet at contactless payment terminals.

These wallets can also facilitate person-to-person money transfers. The recipient enters your unique wallet ID into their mobile wallet app. Money transfers securely from your end to theirs. Often for free or just a small flat fee.  

The advantages are convenience and already having millions of users on each platform. The downside? Mobile wallets are primarily designed for in-person payments at physical merchants and stores, not person-to-person money transfers. Their transfer features are secondary and less robust than digital wallets and payment apps.

Money Remittance

Last but not least, remittances. These specialized services allow migrant workers to transfer money cost-effectively back to families in home countries. Companies like MoneyGram, Ria and Remitly offer both online transfers and cash pickups.

The fees are relatively low, around 3 percent or so. And remittance services can transfer money to remote regions where recipients don’t have local bank accounts. A cheaper and safer alternative to carrying bundles of cash long distances.

The big downsides? Remittances tend to be one-way transfers going out, not coming in. So your friend or relative abroad has to use a remittance service to send money to you, not the other way around. And the recipient has to pick up the cash transfer in-person at an agent location.

Mobile-to-Mobile Transfers 

This emerging method involves transferring money directly between two mobile numbers. Your phone becomes a wallet. Send money by punching in the recipient’s mobile number and amount.

Companies like TerraPay and bKash provide these transfers in select regions globally. You can send money domestically or internationally. Even if the receiver is unbanked since all they need is a mobile phone.  

Downsides? Low adoption rates so far. The sender and recipient must use the same mobile wallet service for transfers to work. And regulatory challenges remain in many countries.

There you have it. The full money transfer landscape in 2024. No more need to write checks or cart around piles of cash. Now get out there and put your money in motion.


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