Does Venmo Work in the UK?

Learn all about Venmo and how other payment apps work.

Updated: May 18, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

|
Rachel Wait

Edited By

Rachel Wait

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Payment apps make transferring money to others a lot easier. You can transfer money to another bank account in a few minutes simply by accessing an app on your smartphone. Most payment apps allow you to transfer money internationally, too.

With today's technology, you no longer have to collect bank account details to send money to your friends and family. You can use a third-party app to ensure your transactions are safe and seamless with instant transfers.

One payment app called Venmo has risen in popularity over the last 14 years, and it's one of many on the market. In this article, you'll learn more about Venmo, the pros and cons of payment apps, and we've got some alternatives to Venmo to share with you.

ProviderScoreDetails
1. PayPal★★★★★Click Here
2. Remitly★★★★★Click Here
3. WorldRemit★★★★★Click Here
4. XE Money Transfer★★★★Click Here
5. Wise★★★★Click Here
6. OFX★★★★Click Here

What Is Venmo?

Venmo is a digital bank, or digital wallet, that makes sending money to other bank accounts a lot easier. With your Venmo account, you can transfer money from one bank account to another using your smartphone.

However, you can only use Venmo if you and the person you're sending money to have bank accounts in the US. If you're outside of the US, you won't be able to use Venmo.

You can get a Venmo debit card and even a credit card with a Venmo account. Some businesses and stores will allow you to make Venmo payments in-store and online. Venmo is ideal for quick and easy money transfers, but only if you're in the US and don't plan on sending money abroad to different bank accounts outside the US.

The Different Types of Mobile Payments

Venmo isn't the only mobile app on the market. Other payment methods allow you to make bank transfers and international payments from your mobile phone.

We've compiled a list of the different types of mobile payments you may come across:

  • Text message payments: A payment method that allows you to make payments by texting a specific number. Payment approval and the payment by the sender and receiver are completed via SMS or text. Venmo uses text message payments.
  • Mobile payment apps: You can send money with a mobile app quickly and easily. Some of these apps allow international transfers and purchases in online stores. A popular example is PayPal.
  • Direct carrier billing: Sometimes, you can add purchases to your mobile phone bill; this is a standard payment method for gaming and streaming services in the entertainment industry. So, instead of paying for a service upfront, you add the charge to your monthly phone bill.
  • NFC payments: Near-field communication is a technology that allows you to make wireless payments in a short range. NFC payments are on most smartphones. Examples include Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Wallet.
  • QR code payments: In some in-person stores and restaurants, you can pay by QR code. You can scan a code with your phone camera, bringing you to a payment page.
  • Mobile web payments: You usually make web payments when shopping at an e-commerce store. Money is paid from your bank account to the merchant. You can use this by entering your card details or using third-party apps like PayPal, Apple Pay or Samsung Pay.
  • Biometric Authentication payments: Payments via biometric authentication usually include a fingerprint or facial recognition to verify a user's identity before allowing a payment. For example, if you use Apple Pay or Samsung Pay on your phone, you may have to use your fingerprint to confirm the payment before it's processed.

Venmo falls under a mobile payment app and a text message payment method. Mobile payment apps are becoming increasingly popular with smartphone users.

By 2026, the number of people in the UK who use smartphones to pay contactless is expected to increase by nearly three million.

Pros and Cons of Mobile Payment Apps

Payment apps, in general, are an excellent payment method to transfer money. Before we share payment apps available in the UK, we'll share the pros and cons of payment apps.

Pros

✔️ Safe way to send money: Using a payment app is a safe alternative to bank transfers. When using a payment app, you don't need to share bank details to get money to and from your account. Usually, you put your details in the app, and they're secured. People can send money using your email address, username or phone number without needing your bank account information.

✔️ International transfers: You can send money abroad using the right payment app. Many apps on the market allow you to send money internationally with little to no fuss. Some payment apps allow you to have a multi-currency account that automatically changes currency with live exchange rates as you send money abroad. 

✔️ Quick p2p payment method: Controlling your finances and sending money from your smartphone is fast; you can do it anytime and anywhere. You only need someone's account details and can send money instantly.

✔️ Fraud protection: Most mobile payment apps need you to verify your payments with advanced security features like facial recognition or a fingerprint to protect you against fraud. Even if you're shopping online, for example, using PayPal, you must approve each transaction.

✔️ Increased Efficiency: Mobile payments reduce the need for cash or card transactions. You don't need to get your wallet out every time you make a purchase, as you can use your phone.

Cons

❌️ Monthly or annual fees: Depending on the platform you use, there may be fees to send money internationally. So, if you're looking to transfer money abroad, check with the provider to see if there are any hidden fees or charges for sending money.

❌️ Require a smartphone: You'll need a smartphone to use a mobile app to make purchases and to receive and send money. If you're not tech-savvy, using this payment method could be difficult.

❌️ Some apps are country-specific: Always check which countries you can send money to and from. For example, you can't get Venmo in the UK. However, there are money transfer services available.

Alternatives to Venmo That Are Available in the UK

We've compiled a list of the best UK Venmo alternatives. Each of our picks has its own unique features, and we'll be sharing a review of each.

1. PayPal: The Platform That Does It All

  • Available platforms: Online, Apple Store, and Google Pay Store.
  • Transfer fees: Free if you pay from your PayPal account with a linked bank account.
  • International payments: Yes to most countries.
  • Who can send or receive money: Anyone with an email address.

If you're looking for a payment platform that does it all, PayPal is a mobile and digital wallet and more.

You can spend, send and manage your money with PayPal. You can also diversify your investment portfolio by purchasing cryptocurrency using PayPal. Plus, you can create a merchant account for your business. PayPal also offers PayPal Credit if you're eligible.

You can transfer funds to anyone worldwide for free if you send money from a linked bank account. If you're using PayPal Credit or a credit card to send money, you may have to pay a 2.9% fee. If the transaction is made to your business via PayPal, there will also be a fee. 

PayPal supports money transfers and using your account to make online payments at e-commerce stores. If someone owes you money, you can create a PayPal.Me link and send it to the person; you can get paid instantly. You can use PayPal for all your money transfer needs and send funds to your bank account in seconds.

PayPal offers a Refer a Friend scheme where if you refer a friend and they sign up and spend at least £5, you both can earn a £10 reward to use when you checkout with PayPal. You can refer up to 10 friends and earn up to £100 in rewards.

2. Remitly: Send Money Abroad Across 100+ Currencies

  • Available platforms: Online, Google Play store, and the Apple App Store.
  • Transfer fees: From £1.99.
  • International payments: Yes, to over 170 countries worldwide.
  • Who can send or receive money: Anyone.

With Remitly, you can transfer money internationally across 100+ currencies without hidden fees.

Depending on your recipient's location, you can send money to your recipient's bank account, mobile wallet or cash pickup. Some transfer methods have limited availability. 

Transfer fees may vary depending on where you're sending money abroad and your chosen payment method. You may be charged an additional fee if you use your credit card to send money.

With the exchange rate calculated on the website, you can see how much your recipient will receive before you start the transaction. If you're a first-time user of Remitly, you may be able to take advantage of a new customer offer. If you need help with your money transfers, there is a 24/7 customer service team to help you.

3. WorldRemit: No Hidden Fees

  • Available platforms: Online, Apple Store and Google Play Store.
  • Transfer fees: £1.99 – £3.99.
  • International payments: Yes, to over 130 countries.
  • Who can send or receive money: Anyone.

With WorldRemit, you can send money online from the UK to over 130 countries.

Before you make a transaction, you can see the exchange rate and decide which currency you want to exchange. You can choose how the recipient receives money from one of four methods: Bank Transfer, Cash Pickup, Mobile Money, and Airtime Top Up.

To send money with WorldRemit, you only need to create an account, verify your details, start your transfer, enter your receiver's details and then pay for your transfer. You can pay either by bank transfer, credit or debit card.

This money transfer platform has no hidden fees; with the exchange rate calculator, you can see exactly how much your recipient will receive.

4. XE Money Transfer: Fast Global Money Transfers

  • Available platforms: Online or XE app with iOS and Android systems.
  • Transfer fees: £3 fee for money transfers below £500.
  • International payments: Yes, to 200 countries.
  • Who can send or receive money: Anyone.

With XE Money Transfer, you can use the platform for business or personal use to send money, convert currency, currency API integration and more. You can send money online to 200 countries in 100 currencies.

Using the XE website, you can see how much money you'll save with XE compared to other banking services for sending money internationally. You can also see your fees before your transaction is complete; all fees on this platform are transparent.

After you sign up, you can get a quote on your transfers before you send money. You can track your transfer once the transaction has been verified and confirmed.

You can transfer money with multiple payment methods such as Direct Debit, Wire Transfers, or using your debit or credit card. You can receive payments via your bank account, mobile wallet and Cash Pickup at over 500,000 XE cash pickup locations worldwide.

5. Wise: International Money Transfers for Personal and Business Use

  • Available platforms: Online, Android, and iOS devices.
  • Transfer fees: 0.43% for GBP to EUR.
  • International payments: Yes, to over 80 countries.
  • Who can send or receive money: Anyone.

With Wise, you can transfer money with multiple methods like debit cards, credit cards, bank transfers, Payment Initiation Service Providers, and SWIFT. You can send money to almost all countries and currencies.

Transaction fees will vary, but you can see how much your transfer fee would be before you make the transaction.

You can pay more or fewer transaction fees depending on whether you want to carry out a fast and easy transfer, a low-cost transfer or an advanced transfer. You'll also be told how long the transfer will take before you start. You can also compare your transfer transaction against other providers to ensure you get the best deal.

Wise is safeguarded with leading banks, is audited regularly and uses a 2-factor authentication to protect your account and transactions. Your data is protected, and Wise has a dedicated anti-fraud team.

6. OFX: Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

  • Available platforms: Online, in-app or over the phone.
  • Transfer fees: Flat fee of £15 for transfers below £10,000.
  • International payments: Yes, to over 170 countries.
  • Who can send or receive money: Anyone.

As well as money transfers, OFX offers FX rates and tools for personal and business use.

You can send money in over 50 currencies to over 170 countries worldwide. You can choose telegraphic transfer, wire transfer, or currency brokers.

You can get a quote for your transfer before you start so you'll know what fees you're paying and how much your recipient will receive, including exchange rates. OFX prides itself on being cheaper than high street banks for rates, so using this platform could save money in the long run. 

This platform uses live exchange rates on transfer transactions. If your transaction is below £10,000, there will be a flat fee of £15; however, if you transfer above £10,000, there are no transaction fees.

OFX is FCA-secured and regulated.

Final Thoughts

Sending money simply by using an app on your phone is convenient and quick.

Money transfers don't need to be complicated; even transferring money abroad is made easier with most of the options mentioned above. If you were to use your regular bank account to make international transfers, it could cost more than it would by using money transfer services.

Using money transfer services means you don't have to worry about sending money to friends and family abroad and facing high fees.

Related Guides:

FAQs

How to send money from the US to the UK?

Is Venmo available in the UK?

What are the UK Venmo alternatives?

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