From small, community credit unions to nationwide banks, there are many different places where you can deposit and store your money. You most likely have one you’ve always used, but there are several different reasons why you may want different accounts at different banks or banking institutions. Odds are also good that your friends and colleagues bank somewhere different than you. In both these cases, it may be necessary for you to transfer money from one bank account to another, which may not always be the most simple or straightforward process. Here are some easy ways to transfer money and the pros and cons of each.
One of the most straightforward ways to transfer money from one account to another is by using cash. You can withdraw a certain amount of cash from one account and deposit that cash into another account at a different institution.
Pro: It’s instant. When you withdraw cash from an account, it’s immediately deducted from your account, and when you deposit it somewhere else, it’s immediately available to use.
Con: You have to physically go to one institution to make the withdrawal and travel to the other institution to make the deposit. This could potentially take a lot of time and resources such as gas. There is also risk of the cash getting lost on the way.
Checks function a lot like cash, and therefore have a lot of the same benefits and drawbacks. Here are some that are specific to checks.
Pro: Checks are more secure than cash and can only be deposited by the individual or business the check is made out to. Most mobile banking apps have features that will let you deposit a check via a photo right on your cell phone so you don’t have to go physically to the bank.
Con: Especially when mobile depositing a check, there is usually a waiting period of 1-3 business days for the funds to clear in your account and be ready to use. Banks set limits on mobile check deposits. Checks are also not as popular now as they used to be, and many people don’t carry a checkbook with them any more.
ACH (AUTOMATED CLEARING HOUSE) TRANSFER
Many online money transfers are made over the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network, which is the main way to move money online. ACH Transfers include person-to-person transfers, bill payments, direct deposits, and government payments. ACH Transfers can be used to ‘push’ or ‘pull’ money when you transfer funds to or from another account or institution.
Pro: ACH Transfers are made completely online and directly through your bank. No in-person requirements or third party facilitators.
Con: Different institutions have different rules and limits regarding how much money can be transferred at any given time. They typically take 1-3 business days.
There are several different money transfer apps that you could use to move money around. Venmo, Cashapp, Apple Cash, Google Cash, and Zelle are a few that each have their own advantages and disadvantages, but here are some that span across most, if not all money transfer apps.
Pro: You can make the transfer from the palm of your hand. No matter where you are in the world, if you have an internet connection, you can send money. Some apps, like Zelle and Apple Cash make the transfers instantly without charging a fee.
Con: Transfer limits are lower than other move money options. Some apps like Cashapp and Venmo have an option for instant transfer, but it comes with a small fee. Otherwise it can take 1-3 business days both to move money into the app and another 1-3 business days to move it to the other bank. Moving money twice can be a little tedious and requires you to have multiple bank accounts connected to the same app.
Wire transfers are another way to transfer money without the need to exchange physical cash where funds are moved electronically from bank to bank.
Pro: Wire transfers can be made both domestically and internationally, where domestic transfers can be completed within the same day and international transfers take 1-2 business days. Wire transfers allow you to transfer large amounts of money.
Con: Wire transfers come with a $15-$45 fee. They also require recipient information to complete like name, address, contact number, bank account information, and the receiving bank’s contact information. Some institutions may require transfers to be completed in person or over the phone.
There are many reasons why someone might need to transfer money from account to account or institution. Whether that’s sending money to someone else or moving funds between two of your own accounts, there are several options with different benefits and drawbacks to each. Make sure you choose the method that is best for you.