Best Ways to Send Money as a Teen

Fintech innovations have made it easier to move money from one account to another. With payment transfer apps, you can pay friends, family members, or others from your mobile device within minutes. If you want to send money as a teen online, you have plenty of options to choose from. Before sending money to a teen, it’s important to understand the fees and risks involved with all your options.

Key Takeaways

  • Money transfer apps make it easy to send funds to other people, including teens, using an email address or phone number.
  • Some money transfer apps and digital wallets have age restrictions.
  • Teens can send money by using Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfers from a bank account and using person-to-person payments.
  • Teens can also rely on traditional methods of send money, such as using money orders, checks, or cash payments.

What It Means to Send Money Digitally

Digital payments are the transfers or movements of value from one account to another through electronic means. Electronic payments can be sent and received from a mobile device, computer, point-of-sale (POS) terminal, or wire transfer network.

When you send a digital payment, no cash changes hands. You’re authorizing a bank or money transfer service to send funds from your account to someone else’s account. For a digital payment to process includes:

  • Payer: the person sending the payment
  • Payee: the person or business receiving the payment
  • Payment network: relationship between the bank that sends the money and the bank that receives it

Here’s how the digital payment process generally works:

  • A payer initiates a payment by telling their bank where to send the money and in what amount.
  • The information, including the recipient’s bank account number and routing number, is transmitted to the payment network.
  • The payment network verifies the information and authorizes the transaction.
  • Funds are transferred electronically from the payer’s bank to the payee’s.

Different types of digital payments include Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfers, mobile wallets, contactless payments, person-to-person payments, money transfer apps, and wire transfers. These transfer methods don’t require you to withdraw cash from your bank account or write a check.


The Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) provides consumer protections when transferring money electronically via debit card, automated teller machine (ATM), ACH transfer, or remittance transfer.

Best Ways to Send Money as a Teen

Teen have many options for sending and receiving digital payments. Some may be more beneficial than others, depending on your age and whether you have your own bank account. Comparing various ways to send money online can help you learn how you might want to send money as a teen.

Cash App

Cash App is a mobile payment app that allows users in the United States and the United Kingdom to send and receive money from their mobile devices. You can pay others instantly or request money using your unique $Cashtag. Cash App also offers a debit card that you can link to your account for in-person or online payments.

Anyone 13 or older can request a Cash App card, and teens 13 to 17 can get access to Cash App features with their parent’s or guardian’s approval. That benefit is available only in the U.S.


Teens don’t need a bank account to add money to their Cash App balance or to send money.


Venmo is a digital wallet that makes it easy to send money or request funds.

Teens can use Venmo if they:

  • Live in the U.S.
  • Have a U.S. cell phone that can send and receive text messages
  • Are at least 18 or the age of majority in their state

Venmo is one of the best ways to send money as a teen if you’re hoping to avoid high money transfer fees. There are no account opening or setup fees, no monthly fees, no fees for online purchases, and no transfer fees when you send money using a debit card, bank account, or your Venmo balance.

Venmo is considered a safe way to transfer money to make a purchase because purchases are covered by Purchase Protection.

Google Pay

Google Pay is Google’s mobile payment service. You can use it to make purchases or send money from your mobile device or computer. Teens age 13 or older can use Google Pay to send and receive money or make purchases in stores, online, or in-app.

To send money through Google Pay, you need:

  • An internet connection
  • A U.S. phone number
  • An email address

Teens will also need a bank account or debit card that they can link to the Google Pay app to send money if they don’t have funds in their Google Pay balance.


You can only use Google Pay to send money to friends and family in the U.S., India, and Singapore.


Zelle is a person-to-person payment app that you can use to send money from your bank account to another person’s bank account if you have their email address, phone number, or account number.

You must be at least 18 years old to use Zelle, but there is an exception for teens who have a bank account that includes Zelle as a feature. For example, if you have a Capital One Money Teen Checking Account, you can use Zelle to send and receive money if you’re at least 13. You can send up to $500 per day through Zelle unless your parent or guardian asks Capital One to reduce that limit.

Walmart MoneyCard

Walmart MoneyCard is a bank account alternative that allows you to manage money from your mobile device or at Walmart stores. You can use the Walmart MoneyCard to get paid via direct deposit, pay bills, make purchases, or send and receive money.

You need to be at least 18 to get and use a Walmart MoneyCard. However, if you’re at least 13, your parents can set up a Family Account and add you so that you can have a Walmart MoneyCard of your own.

Wire Transfer

A wire transfer is an electronic money transfer that is sent across a wire transfer network, such as SWIFT. Ways to send wire transfers include:

  • Wire transfer services, like Western Union or MoneyGram
  • Online wire transfer services
  • Wire transfer at a bank

A wire transfer can be the best way to send money internationally or domestically. The best option for you may depend on how old you are. You need to be at least 18 to send a wire transfer through Western Union or MoneyGram. Online transfer services typically have the same age cutoff.

You may be able to send a wire transfer through your bank if you’re younger than 18 but have a teen checking account. Whether you can send domestic and international transfers will depend on the bank. Wells Fargo, for instance, offers a teen and student checking account for those 13 and older that allows you to send domestic wire transfers.

How to Send Money Securely

Before sending money to someone else as a teen, there are a few important safety rules to know. These rules can help you to protect yourself from scams and ensure that your money transfer goes as smoothly as possible.

  • Avoid sending money to people you don’t know if you can’t verify their identity.
  • Be wary of people who seem persistent or aggressive in asking you to send the money through Cash App, wire transfer, or other money payment apps.
  • Double-check the payment details before sending to ensure that you’re transferring the correct amount.
  • Use a unique ID and password to log in to financial payment apps or your bank account, and don’t share your password.
  • Consider setting up two-factor authentication for any payment apps you use or your bank account, which could help keep it safe from hackers.
  • Contact your bank right away (or ask your parents to do so) if you see any suspicious or potentially fraudulent activity.

Be aware of any fees associated with transferring or receiving money. For example, Zelle is free to use if you’re sending money from your bank account, but you might pay $15, $20, or more to complete a wire transfer through your bank. Comparing fees can help you choose the most affordable money transfer option.

What is the fastest way to send money?

Money transfer apps allow for fast money transfer, typically within minutes. For example, Zelle users can complete bank transfers in a matter of minutes. Wire transfers can also be used to send money the same day, though you might be waiting a little longer for an international wire transfer to process.

How can I send money without fees?

Money transfer apps like Zelle, Cash App, and Venmo make it possible to send money without large fees. For instance, you might be able to send money from a linked bank account, debit card, or your balance in the app for free. However, you might pay a fee to send money via a credit card.

What is the cheapest way to transfer money?

Generally, the cheapest way to transfer money is to send it directly from your bank to the recipient’s bank, either through an Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfer or Zelle transfer. Otherwise, you could send someone money cheaply using a paper check or simply giving them cash.

What is the safest way to send money and not get scammed?

The safest way to send money and not get scammed is to use a secure money transfer app or service that offers purchase protection. Look for a service that requires recipients to verify their identity before transfers can process. If you’re worried about being scammed, then the safest way to avoid that scenario is to not send money to anyone who you don’t know.

The Bottom Line

Finding ways to send money as a teen can be challenging because some services have age restrictions. To use PayPal, for example, you need to be at least 18. However, teens do still have some options for transferring money to friends, family, or others without having to use cash or a check. But remember: When deciding how to transfer money, it’s important to understand all the associated fees and risks.

Article Sources
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