Cash? What’s cash anyway? Back in the day, if you wanted to buy something or split a dinner or bar tab, you had to cough up the loot or, in some cases, write a check. In a worst-case scenario, you would have to dig out your credit card. Ugh.
Then came the blessed smartphone—lucky you to be born when you were. We started living almost our entire lives on screens, so it was only a matter of time before we would be paying our bills and tabs on them, too.
Now, when you do financial transactions or you want to spot a friend some money, it’s as easy as pressing a button—from wherever you are.
There’s a fancy name for it: peer-to-peer transfers, or P2P. The actual meaning is simple: it gives you the ability to send money to friends using an app on your mobile device.
The service simply connects to your bank account or credit/debit card, so you can send money to your friends’ accounts when needed.
Traditional banks are getting on board, but usually their services only benefit those who bank at the same place. Online transfers like these can be fast and cheap—and most importantly, easy.
How a P2P Transfer Works
Through a linked account that you can access through a phone app on a mobile device or a laptop,you access the account by simply logging into the website. Both parties (both you and the person you’re paying) typically need access to the P2P transfer service.
Most P2Ps require a connection to a bank account with your checking account number and routing number. Other services may ask for even more identification. You may even be able to link your credit card or debit card, which could be an extra cost.
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Benefits of P2Ps
Make it Happen in Real Time
Usually the transfer can be completed within one day, but can sometimes take up to three days.
They’re Usually Free of Charge
But not always. It may be a good idea to find out ahead of time what the policy is for P2Ps. Some companies and banks may charge a fee for any P2P transfer, and some may charge fees for a certain number of transfers within a day, week, or month. Knowing what you’re going to be paying—or not paying—is on you.
All you need is your phone, your push-button finger and some nearby Wi-Fi. No more checks. No more trips to the ATM. No more schleps to the bank.
Ways To Pay Your Friends If You Have No Cash
Here are a few of the most commonly used options:
It was only a matter of time before Google got into the act. To pay a friend with Google Pay , all you need is your bud’s email address or phone number and you can send money via a linked bank account or debit card.
The money goes directly into their Google Pay account, and they have the option to leave it there or transfer the balance directly into their bank account.
Although generally easy to use, Google Pay does have restrictions like transaction limit , and limited availability , depending on how and where you’re paying. Google Pay’s support information is somewhat confusing as to what countries it supports payments to friends and family.
On one page, it indicates the service is only available in the U.S., but on another it indicates it’s available in the U.S. and India. It’s probably best to verify for yourself whether the service will work for your needs.
The Walmart2Walmart service is available at any of the 4,600 Walmart stores across the U.S. You can also send money to any U.S. Walmart store, as well as to some stores outside the country. Send the money to a fellow Walmart shopper, and they’ll receive the money in as little as ten minutes! Fees start at $4 for using this service.
Facebook Payments . Yep, why not? The money is transferred immediately, but it can take up to five days for it to become available, depending on your bank.
SoFi Checking and Savings
A SoFi Checking and Savings® account can be used to send money to anyone, anywhere.
Plus, transfers between SoFi Checking and Savings accounts are instantaneous. Having a SoFi Checking and Savings account means that you can earn 4.50% APY (annual percentage yield) on all your cash (subject to change) while having the convenience of moving your money around when you need it.
You can use your SoFi Checking and Savings card the same as you would use a debit card—no need for a bank branch because you can take care of what you need via your phone, including photo check deposits and even customer service.
You can open up an account for yourself or share one with someone you trust. And whenever your money is spent, you’ll be alerted with a notification, which can help to stop fraud.
Plus, when you become a SoFi Member you get access to exclusive member benefits like access to credentialed financial advisors, career coaching, discounts on loans, access to our events, and more, all at no extra cost.
Unlike many other P2P services, a SoFi Checking and Savings® money transfer is a no-cost service, and there is no minimum to get started. We wanted to keep it easy and simple, so that you can transfer money when needed, and keep track of it for your budget. The time it takes to open an account: two minutes, tops.
SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
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SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.50% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a deposit to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.
SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.50% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.
SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.50% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.
SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.
Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.
Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 8/9/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet..