Last Updated on September 23, 2023
It is very easy for someone to assume that transferring money can only be done through online banking or mobile apps. It’s the 21st century. However, it is still possible to transfer money without online banking using 7 traditional and alternative methods.
These methods are available if you prefer not to use or do not have access to online banking. So, whether you want to send money domestically or internationally, this post contains options that do not have online requirements such as a bank account.
How to Transfer Money Without Online Banking in 7 Ways
It can be a bit tricky but possible no doubt. Just follow these various methods to transfer money without online banking.
1. Money Order
One traditional method is using money orders, which you can buy from banks, local post offices, or even some grocery stores. These usually have a $1,000 limit and come with a small fee, typically less than $5.
You can make payment for the money order using cash, credit cards, or even a PIN-enabled Visa gift card. Once you fill out and sign the money order, either hand it directly to the recipient or mail it to them.
While this method offers the benefit of increased privacy and security, both the sender and recipient may incur additional fees. Also, money orders can be slower than other methods, particularly for international transfers.
2. Send a Gift Card
Another option is gift cards, available at many stores and some banks. This is a good way to transfer money without online banking or to send money to someone who does not have a bank account. When you send a gift card, the recipient can only use it for specific purposes, like shopping at a particular store.
3. Mail Cash to the Recipient
While it may seem easy to do, sending cash through the mail is generally not an advisable way to transfer money without online banking. The risks are high; your money could get lost or stolen before it reaches its intended recipient.
However, if you still opt for this method, there are some precautions you can take to increase the likelihood of a successful transfer:
- Pick an envelope that doesn’t draw attention to its contents.
- Use a tracking service for your mail parcel to confirm its delivery.
- Insure your package for the amount of cash you’re sending.
Despite these precautions, mailing cash is still risky. For example, Daniel Castiglione, a Boynton Beach man, lost thousands after mailing a check at the post office.
4. Walmart2Walmart Money Transfer Powered by Ria
Walmart is not just for shopping; it is also a hub for money transfers. With thousands of supercenters across the U.S., you can walk into any Walmart and send money from one store to another using Walmart2Walmart powered by Ria.
The recipient can then pick up the funds at the specified Walmart location. Fees for this service range from $4.50 to $18, depending on the amount being sent. It’s relatively quick, especially for smaller amounts. The recipient can also pick up cash at Bodega Aurrera stores within the United States, including Puerto Rico, and Mexico.
5. Write a Check
A check is another traditional way to transfer money without online banking. However, you need a bank account to write one, but the person receiving it does not have to have an account to cash it. They can go to the issuing bank, a grocery store, or a specialized check-cashing outlet to get their money.
Just keep in mind that fees can differ depending on where they cash the check.
If the recipient is a bit tech-savvy, they can also use online payment apps such as Venmo, PayPal, or Cash App to cash the check. All they have to do is snap pictures of both sides of your endorsed check and upload them to the app for review. Once approved, the amount will be added to their balance in the app.
If you find yourself in a situation where you do not have a bank account but still want to send a check, a cashier’s check is your best bet. Unlike personal checks, cashier’s checks are backed by the bank’s own funds. You can purchase one using cash, a credit card, or even a prepaid card. However, some banks might require you to have an account with them to buy a cashier’s check.
6. Use Your Local Money Transfer Services
Companies like Western Union have built a reputation for reliability in the area of sending funds without a bank account. These services allow multiple ways to transfer money without online banking, including online, over the phone, or in person.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Payment Methods.
- You can pay in cash, or use a debit or credit card.
- Your recipient can also receive the money in cash, eliminating the need for a bank account on either end.
- The cost of using a money transfer service can vary.
- Fees depend on several factors, including the payment method, the amount being sent, and the destination.
- Some services also charge a daily exchange rate margin fee for international transfers.
- Speed and Security
- One of the major benefits of using a money transfer service is the speed of the transaction.
- Most services also offer tracking features, allowing you to monitor the status of your transfer in real time.
7. Send a Prepaid Debit Card
Without an online banking account or app, you can readily use retailers such as Walmart, as well as many gas stations and convenience stores. After loading the card with the desired amount, you can use various apps to transfer funds or even set up direct deposits.
Prepaid debit cards offer many of the features that traditional banking apps provide, such as mobile check deposits. However, get to know any fees (such as sign-up, monthly, and reload fees) or limitations that come with these cards. Prepaid debit cards work much like regular debit cards and can be purchased at financial institutions or grocery stores.
What to Consider Before Picking Money Transfer Method
When you look to transfer money without online banking, several key factors come into play. Consider the following to help you make an informed decision.
1. Speed of Transfer
Time is Money, think about how fast you need the money to reach its destination. If speed is of the essence, mobile wallet transfers or specialized money transfer services are your best bet. They’re usually quicker than sending a money order or a prepaid debit card through the mail.
2. Ease of Use
Next, consider what’s most convenient for both you and the person receiving the money.
The ideal method can vary depending on what the money will be used for and where the recipient is located.
For instance, if the recipient plans to shop online, sending money digitally might be the way to go. On the other hand, if they prefer cash, a local cash pickup could be more suitable.
3. Cost Considerations
Also, fees can add up quickly. Thus, you do not want to overlook the cost associated with each transfer method. While mobile wallet transfers are often free, they may not be the best option if the recipient prefers cash. Prepaid debit cards and money orders usually come with straightforward, low fees.
However, using a credit card for money transfers can be quite costly. Fees for money transfer services can vary widely, depending on factors like the service provider, the amount being transferred, and even exchange rates. Make sure to compare your options to find the most cost-effective method.
4. Consider the Location
The cost and availability of transfer methods can also depend on where the money is coming from and where it’s going. International transfers are generally more expensive than domestic ones, and some methods may not be available in all countries. So, factor in the geographical aspects when choosing a method, especially for international transfers.
5. Determine the Safety of Your Funds
Security Concerns Last but not least, think about the security of your chosen method. Digital transactions usually offer robust data encryption and additional security features. In contrast, sending money orders or prepaid debit cards by mail carries the risk of loss or theft.
Final Thoughts on the Best Way to Transfer Money Without Online Banking
First and foremost, you will want to weigh your priorities. If you are in a hurry, you might have to pay a bit more for the convenience. However, do not let the need for speed make you overlook the importance of security, especially when transferring money internationally. So, let’s say you opt for cash in the mail, then you need a tracking number to keep track of your funds.
Just pick a method that works best for you and discuss the option with the recipient. Remember, the recipient must also find the payment method convenient to access the money.