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Comparing Varo to Anyone, Zelle®, Venmo, and Cash App

What’s the best way to send money?

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All Varo products and services mentioned below are contingent on opening a Varo Bank Account. Qualifications may apply.

In today's fast-paced digital world, sending money online to friends, family, or anyone else has never been more convenient. With a variety of peer-to-peer payment options available, you can send money with just a few taps on your device to initiate a transfer.

However, with so many online and app-based payment platforms available, it can be confusing to determine which is best for your everyday financial needs. When choosing the right one for you, it’s important to consider the features, accessibility, security measures, and fees that come with each.

Here, we’ll compare Varo to Anyone, Zelle®, Venmo, and Cash App to help you make an informed decision that simplifies your money transfers reliably and securely.

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Look at features and functionality

It’s important to evaluate whether a payment platform offers the specific features and functionality you need for convenient everyday use.

  • Varo to Anyone: Varo to Anyone makes sending money to anyone fast, free, and secure.1 With just a few taps in your Varo App, you can easily send money to friends, family, or anyone else, and they don’t even need to be a Varo customer. Once they receive a notification that they’ve received funds, they can easily transfer them to any valid debit card. If you're sending to another Varo customer, they'll receive the funds instantly and will be notified if they have push notifications turned on.

  • Zelle®: Also available in your Varo App, you can use Zelle® to easily send and receive money from one bank account to another2, typically within minutes.3

  • Venmo: Venmo focuses on peer-to-peer transactions with other Venmo users only, typically among friends and social circles, and allows users to split bills, send or request money, and share payments in a social feed. However, a notable downside of Venmo is its limited customer service.

  • Cash App: Cash App offers services that include person-to-person payments with other CashApp users, the ability to to invest in stocks and cryptocurrency, and direct deposit to receive paychecks.

Determine accessibility

Consider whether a platform is widely accepted and accessible to the people you will need to frequently transfer money with.

  • Varo to Anyone: As its name suggests, Varo to Anyone lets you send money to anyone using their email address or U.S. phone number or email. Even your friends and family who don’t use Varo can easily receive the money you send to them to their debit card and there are no fees!

  • Zelle®: Zelle®’s broad network of banks and financial institutions allows you to use an email address or a U.S. mobile number to send or receive money with anyone that has a bank account within its network. Unlike other payment apps, Varo is a part of Zelle®’s network and offers Varo to Anyone, so you can make everyday payments on either right from your Varo App. 

  • Venmo: Unlike Varo to Anyone or Zelle®, Venmo only allows you to transfer money with other Venmo users, which means that the person you are transferring money from must have the Venmo app. To receive the funds without an existing Venmo account, the receiver must create and verify an account within 14 calendar days to receive the payment. If they don’t, the payment will be returned to you.

  • Cash App: You can use Cash App to send money to anyone using a U.S. phone number, email address, or Cash App code. To receive the funds, the receiver must create and verify an account within 14 calendar days to receive the payment if they’re not a Cash App user already. If they don’t, the payment will be returned to you.

Assess the security measures

While you can’t avoid attempts at fraud, there are a number of steps you can take to help protect your personal information and money, as well as limit your exposure to scams and identity theft attempts when sending payments online. We’re also proud to partner with the American Bankers Association to help keep our customers informed about staying safe from scams through BanksNeverAskThat.com.

Look for a platform that prioritizes user security and employs robust measures to protect your personal and financial information.

  • Varo to Anyone: Your Varo to Anyone payments are secure and your information is protected with Varo. Varo uses advanced encryption and safety measures to protect your personal data, and never shares your payment information in a public social feed. 

  • Zelle®: Zelle® transfers are typically made directly between bank accounts using just an email address or a U.S. mobile number, which adds an extra layer of security in terms of protecting your bank account info. 

  • Venmo: Although Venmo uses security and privacy measures that aim to keep users’ data secure, there are still some risks that you should be aware of, including a potential lack of privacy with publicly shared transactions and the sharing of users’ data with third-party companies.

  • Cash App: Cash App takes a number of security measures including verification processes and PIN protection.

Evaluate fees and other charges

Before using any payment platform, make sure that you understand the associated costs, including transaction fees and other charges.

  • Varo to Anyone: There's no fee for you to send or receive money with Varo to Anyone. Whoever’s receiving the money also pays no fee to cash out to their debit card. When sending money to someone outside of Varo, your recipient has 14 calendar days to cash out to their debit card (fee-free).

  • Zelle®: There are no fees to send or receive money with Zelle® in your Varo App.4 However, some banks may charge a fee for using Zelle®, so it's best to check with your bank for any associated costs.

  • Venmo: Venmo is free for standard transfers (1-3 business days) with other Venmo users through a linked bank account or debit card. However, there is a 1.75% (minimum $0.25/maximum $25) instant transfer fee, a 3% fee for credit card transactions and potential additional fees for certain business transactions.5

  • Cash App: Similar to Venmo, Cash App standard transfers (1-3 days) are free between Cash App users, but instant deposits are subject to a 0.5%-1.75% fee (with a minimum fee of $0.25).6

Ultimately, choosing which peer-to-peer payment platform depends on your individual needs and priorities. Assess how quickly you want to transfer money, who you want to send it to or receive it from, and what you’re willing to pay to do so. Likewise, security and privacy should always be top of mind when evaluating any payment platform in order to keep your personal financial information safe and secure.

Unless otherwise noted above, opinions, advice, services, or other information or content expressed or contributed by customers or non-Varo contributors do not necessarily state or reflect those of Varo Bank, N.A. Member FDIC (“Bank”). Bank is not responsible for the accuracy of any content provided by author(s) or contributor(s) other than Varo.

1 For transfers with other Varo customers, Varo to Anyone have set limits on the dollar amount or number of transfers each person can send or receive. Limits are set based on how long your Varo Bank Account has been open and your prior account activity.

You’ll find a limit for how much you can transfer after selecting a recipient and going to the Send Money screen in your Varo app under where you enter the amount. Our system automatically reviews account activity, so your limits may change in the future.

2 To be eligible to enroll in Zelle® at Varo, you must have a qualifying direct deposit in the last 31 days. Once enrolled, you will always be able to access Zelle® at Varo, except that access can be removed at any time if you do not follow our terms and conditions or if you engage in fraudulent activity.

Varo customers that have had any Zelle® transaction in their Varo bank account prior to November 3, 2022 are grandfathered and will be eligible to enroll in Zelle® at Varo.

3 Varo doesn’t charge fees for using Zelle® but message and data rates from your mobile service provider may apply.

4 U.S. checking or savings account required to use Zelle®. Transactions between enrolled consumers typically occur in minutes and generally do not incur transaction fees.

5 https://venmo.com/resources/our-fees/

6 https://www.forbes.com/advisor/money-transfer/what-is-cash-app/ 

Zelle® and the Zelle® related marks are wholly owned by Early Warning Services, LLC and are used herein under license.

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