The safest way to send money is to use a secure transmission method that provides a receipt and fraud protection. Those things will help you be sure that if there’s a problem, you’ll most likely be able to recover your funds.
There is no one method of sending money that is the safest, based on the fact that the sender, receiver and transmitter all need to be on the same page. However, becoming familiar with a variety of payment methods will help you choose the right one for you.
One of the safest ways to transfer money is to send money from one bank account to another within the same banking company. For example, if you have a Bank of America checking account, sending money to a friend, family member or business that also has a Bank of America account is very safe. If there’s a problem, the money has stayed within Bank of America’s system and will be easy for them to find.
When you open a bank account, you can link two or more of your personal accounts, or set up another person who has an account at that bank as someone you can send money to without having to enter their account number and other information each time.
This prevents mistakes in the future. There is usually no fee for intra-bank transactions. In addition to banks, credit unions, which are nonprofit financial institutions that operate almost exactly like banks, offer this type of service.
Another safe way to send money is to send it to someone’s bank account directly from your bank to theirs. You can do a transfer using an ACH transaction or wire transfer. An ACH transaction goes through a clearinghouse and is often free or very low cost.
A wire transfer goes directly from your bank to the recipient’s and the money is available to use immediately, but comes with a fee. While wire transfers are safer than ACH transactions, ACH transfers offer more opportunity to challenge a fraudulent transaction or other problem, according to AvidXChange.com.
Using PayPal Transfers
One of the most used and trusted methods for sending money is PayPal. You open an account and link a credit card or bank or credit union account to your PayPal account. When you send money to someone with a PayPal account, it goes to the bank or credit union savings or checking account they have chosen to use.
You will be able to send money to friends and family for free, but pay a small fee to send money for business transactions. If there’s a problem, you can call PayPal or use their online contact form to start resolving the problem.
Digital App Options
More and more digital apps are popping up each year, offering more person-to-person payment options. These include Zelle, Cash App, Venmo and Google Pay. These are third-party apps that transfer money from your account to someone else’s using their software. Some of these apps are free, while others charge a small fee but offer more services, such as the opportunity to pay for store purchases and deposit your paycheck into your bank account.
Western Union Transactions
Western Union has been around for more than 170 years and lets you send money safely and securely from its more than 42,000 locations, including grocery stores. This option is safe and secure, but costs more than other methods of payments, and your money can take several days to clear and be available for use.
Steve Milano has written more than 1,000 pieces of personal finance and frugal living articles for dozens of websites, including Motley Fool, Zacks, Bankrate, Quickbooks, SmartyCents, Knew Money, Don't Waste Your Money and Credit Card Ideas, as well as his own websites.