How to Send Money to Someone Without a Bank Account

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Consumers have many ways to send money to their friends. You can use bank accounts and apps that integrate with each other so that funds from your bank account arrive in someone else’s bank account. While these capabilities help many people, not everyone has a bank account. If you do not have a bank account, you can still send money to a friend. This article explores the most popular ways people without bank accounts give money to family, friends, and merchants.

Tips for sending money without a bank account

You can use many services to send money without a bank account. However, you shouldn’t leap at the first available choice. Consumers should consider all of their choices and look for ones that have international viability. You don’t want to feel restricted because your selected payment method does not work overseas. You should also confirm the recipient’s information before sending money since most of these methods have fewer protections than banking if something goes wrong.

Best options for sending money without a bank account

A bank account is not required to transfer money to others. Here are some alternatives that you can use if you don’t want to get started with a bank.


Cryptocurrencies are volatile assets that some merchants accept as a form of payment. Crypto lets you avoid overseas transfer fees and can appreciate in a bull market. 

Mobile wallets

Apple Pay and Google Pay let you store cash that you can use to pay for goods and services. These mobile wallets let you connect a bank account and debit card, but people without bank accounts can still add cash to their wallets. You can request a friend to send money to Apple Pay or Google Pay and use those proceeds to cover expenses in the future. You can also build your cash position with a prepaid card.

Credit cards

You don’t need a bank account to open a credit card and build your score. Credit card companies let you get cash advances using your limit. While it’s an additional source of funds, these money transfers can get expensive. You will have to pay a cash advance fee, and that cash advance will increase your credit card debt. A credit card cash advance is not the best choice, but it can help in some cases.

Prepaid debit cards

You can obtain a prepaid debit card that is not tied to a bank account. You can fund the card through each paycheck and other arrangements. You can use these prepaid debit cards like any other debit card, but you cannot spend more than your prepaid balance. Traditional debit cards can trigger overdraft fees but let you purchase goods and services. A prepaid debit card transaction will get rejected if you do not have enough funds.


Cash is a viable payment method for family, friends, and local businesses. You can’t use cash for e-commerce transactions because those entities will ask for a credit or debit card. 

Money transfer services

Money transfer services allow you to transfer funds to another person. While many of these transfers take place electronically between bank accounts, some companies let you do money transfers without an account. You can go to a nearby Western Union and set up a money transfer with your cash, a prepaid debit card, or another method. Your recipient will then receive the funds.

Money orders

You can buy a money order from a bank, credit union, or other entity. Money orders are checks backed by the government. Since you pay for a money order before receiving it, there’s no chance of a bounced money order. Money orders do not have your personal details on them, unlike personal checks. You still have to endorse the front of the money order, and the recipient must sign the back of it.

Peer-to-peer apps

Peer-to-peer apps make it easy to send money to friends, family, and business owners. You can accept payments through PayPal from your employer and send money to family and friends. Many businesses also support PayPal as a payment method alongside credit and debit cards. You can also send money back and forth through other peer-to-peer apps like Venmo. You don’t need a bank account to fund your Venmo account and send money to others.

Navigating Finances Without a Bank Account

A bank account creates many opportunities, but you don’t need a bank account to send money to family, friends, and small businesses. Consumers have various options available to receive and send funds.


How can I transfer money to someone without a bank account?

Consumers without bank accounts have several options to transfer funds. You can use a prepaid debit card, money order, credit card, and other methods to transfer money.

What is the easiest way to transfer money to someone?

The easiest way to transfer money to someone is the method that works for you. Many people use bank accounts, but if you don’t have an account, a prepaid debit card or peer-to-peer app can also help.

What is the safest way to transfer money to someone?

It is safer to transfer money to someone electronically. Checks can get lost, and if you do not write the check recipient’s name, anyone can endorse it for themselves.

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