Love Venmo? Sadly it doesn’t work internationally
Each Venmo transfer needs the sender and beneficiary to be physically in the US, so you can’t use it to send money abroad to a friend or family.
If Venmo isn't an option, what is?
You can't send money abroad with Venmo, so your first reflex may be to come back to an old-fashioned "bank transfer". But not only would this option be less convenient, this would cost you a lot of money as banks usually give you a very bad exchange rate (on top of charging you fees for international transfers).
Fortunately, innovative companies are doing what Venmo did locally in the US, but for international transfers. Via their online platforms or mobile apps, they are offering bank-beating exchange rates, very low fees, and a top-notch user experience. Depending on where you want to send money to, companies like TransferWise, WorldRemit, Remitly or Transfast will probably be your top choice.
Why comparing money transfer fees and exchange rates?
When you send money abroad, you will be charged a transfer fee. Bank of America charges $30 for an international wire transfer for example. But it doesn't stop there. The corresponding banks and the beneficiary's bank might also charge unpredictable international wire receiving fees and the sending bank will probably give you an exchange rate that is less interesting than what you find on Google. There are better alternatives, Monito compares them all in real time. Compare now to find the best deal:
Digital wallets have not only changed the way we pay for things on the Internet, but also how we send money to our friends and family. Specialized companies such as PayPal, Square Cash, Venmo, and Skrill, or tech giants such as Google (with Google Wallet), Apple (with Apple Pay) and Facebook (through Messenger), have revolutionized peer-to-peer payments, from the way we pay back a friend for a loan to how we split the bill at the end of a meal.
The jury is still out when it comes to deciding which service is the best for your day-to-day needs, as it depends on a lot of factors including fees, limits, availability, and user experience. When it comes to international money transfers however, the answer is easy: none of them!
We can first easily exclude most of the contenders that are simply not offering international money transfers: Square Cash App, Venmo, Google Wallet, Apple Pay, Zelle and Messenger. These don’t allow you to send money abroad. In addition, most of them are only available in the US and a few other countries.
Some digital wallets, namely PayPal and Skrill, do give you the option of sending money between different countries and currencies (they even have an impressive number of supported currencies), and a lot of people are using them to send money abroad. But the convenience of these services comes at a very high cost.
Both PayPal and Skrill may seem like good options for transferring money to a friend in another country or paying international freelancers for example, but due to a lot of different fees – most of them hidden – these transfers will cost you much more than if you used companies specializing exclusively in international money transfers.
We calculated that PayPal fees for international money transfers, which includes the transfer fee and the margin taken on the exchange rate, are between 3% and 10%. Skrill fees on the other hand are between 7% and 9%. This means that sending $500 from the US to France might cost you as much as $50! TransferWise, the cheapest solution currently listed in our real-time comparison table for this same transfer would cost only $5, or ten times less.
So the next time you’re thinking about making an international transfer with PayPal or any other digital wallet, you’d be much better off making a quick comparison of your options on Monito and picking the current cheapest option.
Venmo is not an option, but there are plenty of other good services
Digital wallet comparison for international money transfers
Can you use Venmo for international transfers ? No
Countries where Venmo is available: US only
Can you use Square Cash for international transfers ? No
Countries where Square Cash is available: US only
Find out more about Square Cash App International here.
Can you use Zelle for international transfers ? No
Countries where Zelle is available: US only
Find out more about Zelle here.
Can you use PayPal for international transfers ? Yes
Countries where PayPal is available: Almost everywhere (although money can’t be received or withdrawn in every country)
Total cost of an international money transfer: Min 2.8% up to 10%
Can you use Skrill for international transfers ? Yes
Countries where PayPal is available: Almost everywhere (200 countries supported)
Total cost of an international money transfer: Between 6.8% and 9.3%
Best alternatives to Venmo for sending money outside the US
Here are the most FAQs about Venmo
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