What Person to Person (p2p) Payment Systems Do You Use?

I overwhelmingly use cash and checks. In the past I have occasionally used postal money orders. Recently I came upon a situation where I needed to make a rapid transfer and what I ended up using was Walmart2Walmart [you make a cash or debit card payment at a local Walmart and the receiving person picks up the cash at a Walmart near him.]

Overwhelmingly we use Interac E-Transfers (EMT). I also have the option of using WealthSimple Cash but very few people I know have and use that app. I primarily use it as my day to day spending money debit card.

PayPal and Zelle, in that order, as far as frequency of use.

I know a lot of people who use Venmo, but when I tried to set up a Venmo account, I couldn’t get it to work right; I should try to get that set up again.

Fifteen years ago, I had MoneyGram as a client (I work in advertising), and I used them a couple of times, but that was when PayPal wasn’t as well-developed as it is now, and a lot of the newer services weren’t even around yet.

I have used the Walmart money transfer as well when sending cash internationally to someone without a bank account. I stopped using Western Union 10 years ago for this. Tried a couple of others but Walmart was cheaper and more readily available (in Mexico).

Otherwise I use PayPal, Zelle , Venmo or the Cash App which allow depoists to and withdraws from my bank. Mostly it depends on what the other person has access to.

PayPal, Venmo, and Zelle.

PayPal, because, well, PayPal.

Venmo and Zelle because they’re directly supported by my banking institution apps.

I just do a bank transfer direct from my account to theirs using the banking app on my phone. Is that not a thing in the US?

Exactly what I was going to say.

I did have a recent experience with the guy who did some work on my computer. I offered a direct bank transfer, but he preferred to use Paypal on the grounds that, as a small business, the transaction costs were the lowest. He told me that he had tried taking credit cards but the costs of the card reader etc made it not viable.

It used to be the case that people were reluctant to pass over their account numbers etc, but I would point out that this information is (helpfully) printed on every cheque.

I also have a Monzo bank account (a fintech banking brand in the UK, entirely mobile banking, not branches). Everyone in my address book on my phone who also has a Monzo account automatically appears in my Monzo list of contacts. So I don’t even need to ask them for their bank details.

I’m an American transplant to Europe, and the answer is no, it’s not.

For small amounts (threshold variable, say under 50 to 100 euros depending on context), cash is king.

For anything else (like when we sold our old smart TV recently), we just gave the buyer our IBAN, and watched as he opened his banking app and registered a transfer. On our own banking app, we got a note about the pending transfer. He left with the TV, and by the next morning, the transfer was fully reconciled by the respective banks’ accounting processes.

When I tell people back in the US that our bank account numbers are non-confidential for this purpose, and that personal checks simply don’t exist here, they’re invariably confused and worried. How do you keep your money secure if anyone can know your account? What if you want to pay someone with a check?

All I can tell them is that in nearly every way that matters, European banking is many years ahead of the US, and I don’t miss the American institutions at all.

(There are a few people who do put Paypal or Venmo or something in as an additional layer, for various personal reasons, as noted by bob_2, but it’s totally unnecessary and not common.)

I even sold a car this way. Buyer came to view the car, transferred the money from his banking app in front of me, drove off.

(Follow-up to note an exception: The banks here insist on making me the primary account holder of record, even though my wife earns more, manages the money, and handles all the interactions with the banks, including in-person visits. They seem mystified at the notion that the husband wouldn’t be the financial leader of the household, and their systems seem unable to accommodate a switch to my wife. When she got her new bank card recently, it actually came in an envelope with my name on the outside, even though it’s her name on the card. Definitely a persistent annoyance, and a weird holdover of antiquated traditional assumptions. Just about everything else, though, is great.)

That’s interesting. Yes very antiquated. Is that a common practice in other EU countries, sidelining women in the financial sector? If men are the default head of household do single women have full access to banking products. Can women get business loans on their own?

I use Venmo and Zelle.

I use PayPal, and have used zelle, though not lately, but never Venmo as I don’t like that it requires you have a mobile phone to sign up and to use, nor the privacy and security problems it has.


I live in the UK and use Bank Transfers.
I pay my cleaning lady, gardener, plumber, electrician, dentist and bridge club that way.

Good God no, I don’t know where Cervaise lives, but that sure as hell doesn’t happen in the UK. Be a bit of an issue if it did, given that my wife and I are both women. I also used to have an Italian account, wasn’t an issue there either. But then again, with no man to manfully take command, I guess they didn’t have an option. Cervaise’s example sounds like the bank just being very old fashioned in its sexism, rather than there being actual laws excluding women from financial control.

I was a PayPal early adopter and still use it.

Years ago my gf needed a few hundred dollars cash, which I had on me and gave to her. She then reimbursed me using Venmo IIRC, assuming I used the service.

I received an email that I had money awaiting me. When I tried to download and use the app it did not play well with my small town local bank. It pissed me off so I rejected the money.

I might have never been paid back, I’m not sure.

Yeah, “sidelining women in the financial sector” is a pretty drastic overinterpretation of my anecdote. It’s just a quirk of the old-fashioned personal account management system, I suspect. Everything else is perfectly fine and equitable.

(That said, there is a huge disparity in male/female representation in the finance industry leadership, but that’s an “everywhere” problem, not specific to Europe.)

No, and it’s really annoying. You can’t even go to the bank and do it in person. You can only send a wire transfer, which they charge you for and it can take three fucking days for it to arrive. Honestly, banks here are stuck in the 60s. I use Paypal in a limited fashion, but I won’t use Venmo or Zelle, mainly because the more services you have like that the bigger the chance of your account being compromised.

When my sister was collecting the shares from all us sibs to buy my mom something (Christmas gift??) she requested we use Venmo. That’s the only on-line method I’ve ever used. Generally, I just write a check.

Paypal, Venmo, and Zelle. I’ve used all three at times.