Domestic Money Transfer Services

Reviewed: September 30, 2014
By FinanceWeb

Domestic U.S. Services

There are times while one needs or simply wishes to send cash to someone in the USA. There are a number of ways to accomplish the action depending upon the amount, and method it can be quite inexpensive. The main idea is to get the funds to the recipient quickly. Some services offer a nearly instant delivery of funds, essentially within minutes of sending. Fees are a factor, and one must consider the relative advantages and weaknesses of each system to determine which is most reliable and cost effective.

The Old Reliable Western Union

Western Union is the name brand associated with instant wire transfers. It has a long history in the U.S. as a quick, low-cost, and reliable way to send money. With thousands of locations across the U.S., Western Union is accessible to send or receive cash quickly. Western Union is a walk-up or cold call service, and one does not need an account to send money. They accept cash, bank credit cards, and bank debit cards. Among the advantages of Western Union, one can use it without prior notice or accounts. It can be used cold from any telephone or internet connection with a valid credit or debit card issued by a U.S. bank.

Wal-Mart and Partners

Wal-Mart uses its vast number of locations to make transferring money simple and easy. With online as well as in-store access, sender’s have a convenient way to put money in the hands of friends, family or move funds for other situations. Wal-Mart has three forms of transfer, Wal-Mart to Wal-Mart, MoneyGram, and RIA. Wal-Mart to Wal-Mart is available for US transfers. In this system, funds are sent from a Wal-Mart store and received at a Wal-Mart store. The drawbacks are that the service is limited to Wal-Mart store hours; however, Wal-Mart does have some 24-hour locations. MoneyGram and RIA are accessible at Wal-Mart’s counters, and they offer more extensive hours and locations for cash pick-up.

PayPal for Account Holders

PayPal is another great service for sending money. It can be done online from any internet connection as well as by use of the business or personal debit card. The key with PayPal is to establish an account, for it is not a method that lends well to a cold contact. One must integrate phone, banking, and other verified identifications prior to using the services.

MoneyGram

This large company offers fast cash transfers, and recipients can get cash at designated locations within minutes after the transfer. The fees for transfer vary a great deal for the speed of delivery. For example, there is a $20 fee for immediate cash transfers of $200, but only $8 for the economy service which takes up to three business days for delivery. Fees are as low as $4.75 when accessed through partners including Wal-Mart or Ace Cash Express.

Limited at-Bank Services

U.S. banks primarily offer transfers to bank accounts, essentially on the same terms as online bill pay services. Bank of America offers a service for its checking and savings account customers to send funds to individuals much the way that one can pay bills online. One can send funds from a checking or savings account using the recipient’s telephone number or bank account. Chase offers a service through a mobile application that works with phones and tablets. Chase QuickPay permits transfers where at least one party has a Chase account. It uses telephone coordinates to complete transfers.

Sending Funds to an Inmate

Inmates in correctional institutions can send or receive funds by money transfers. Western Union offers services for inmates, and one can send up to $300 to someone confined in a correctional institution through Western Union online or in person. Funds can be taken in cash or loaded onto a western Union debit card. MoneyGram also has a system keyed both to federal and other institutions. Funds received by inmates through inmate trust accounts.

Leading the Way

The leading sources for sending money in the U.S.A are Western Union and MoneyGram. Western Union is the oldest system and proven over many years to be reliable. MoneyGram is a large system and it partners with several other companies as partners and co-located services. Each uses bank credit and debit cards in addition to cash. Each has a large number of locations, and they work with federal and state penal institutions to provide an important service given the large number of persons incarcerated in the United States.