A birthday gift for a friend, the taxi back home, which you lent to a co-worker because he forgot his wallet… Who hasn’t happened that a friend or family member owes a small amount of money whose Payment ends up dissipating in the air?
These situations of small debts (that we owe or that they owe us) can end up becoming, in the long run, uncomfortable . A solution for this type of problem that is gaining more and more followers is the applications that allow small money transfers between individuals in a simple and direct way via mobile .
No more typical excuses like “oh, right now I’m not on the loose” or “oh, I have no change”, because with the applications that we are going to see below you can pay and request the amount of money you want , however small, instantly.
Bizum, the banking app
Until last 2016, each bank had a more or less complete app that allowed the transfer of small amounts of money between users of the same entity. However, with the release of new apps and platforms that allow payments between users of different banks without having to pay commission, the sector has had to put the batteries and reinvent itself. For this reason, the 30 main Spanish banks have come together to create Bizum .
The app allows customers , provided they are from one of these 30 banks, to make transfers between them for free and instantly . It is important to note that in the case of Bizum it is really a payment platform or service, which you will find in each bank’s own app.
The general operation of the 30 apps is similar. In all of them we must configure Bizum with our data . Once you have chosen the account from which we want to operate, we must only select one of the two options on the initial screen: send or request money and choose the contact from our agenda , which will already be connected to the application. Communication will be direct with contacts who already have an account, while those who do not use it will receive an SMS with a link inviting them to install this service.
At the moment all the banks have announced that the service will be free for the first year , although they reserve if they will apply later commissions. Generally, it is allowed to transfer amounts between € 0.50 and € 500.
Twyp, another banking option
Although Twyp has been developed by ING Direct, all users can use it regardless of the bank where they have the account. Of course, one of the main drawbacks of the application is that transfers made to people who do not have their ING account will arrive within 24 hours.
The configuration process is the same as for Bizum. We simply have to enter our data and synchronize the application with our contact list. Instead, as the main difference, to start using the app we must recharge it first with a bank card and the money will come to Twyp instantly. We can recharge it as many times as we want and make transfers of up to 1,000 euros per year to the same person. At the moment the Twyp service is only available to operate between Spanish and Dutch accounts.
It is, in general, a good application, although the fact that transfers to non-ING accounts take 24 hours and that we have to transfer our card to the app sooner, delays the service and places it in worse position than Bizum.
We should not confuse Twyp with TwypCash, which, despite not entering the group of applications for private payments, deserves a special mention. This application, which was launched just a few months ago also by ING Direct, allows you to withdraw cash in different establishments such as supermarkets or gas stations without commission, as long as you make a purchase.
Circle, the international pioneer
Circle was one of the first apps to provide this service internationally and quickly achieved great success, especially among young people in the United States. For this reason, it already had great international fame before its premiere in Spanish last year.
Circle works similarly to Twyp and Bizum. The first thing we must do is configure our account by entering basic personal data. Once configured, as in the case of Twyp, we must also reload the application through a bank card to have money with which to operate.
The main novelty that this application presents is that, unlike the previous two, transactions are made through email , so we only need “sensitive” bank details to recharge our account. This feature will allow you to make half “boats” in a very simple way. In addition, the application has an internal chat through which we can talk to our contacts without using WhatsApp or other messaging apps.
Circle’s main advantage is that both sending and requesting money, including international transfers between individuals, are completely free . However, as a counterpart, movements from our account or bank card to the application do have a commission of 0.3% of the amount.
Verse, the Catalan creation
Send money as someone who sends a WhatsApp message , this is the goal of three young twentysomethings from Barcelona who have developed Verse .
The operation of the application is basically the same as Twyp and Circle. We must also recharge it by card or bank account to send and request money among the contacts in our agenda.
At the moment, transactions are possible between clients of the 10 main Spanish banks and the money arrives instantly . Therefore, we could consider seeing each other halfway between Bizum and Twyp. While it is true that it has fewer entities than Bizum, it is expected that the service will continue to be free. Compared to Twyp, it has more banks and, in addition, transactions are instantaneous, with no need to wait 24 hours.
Like Circle, Verse has an internal chat and also allows the transfer of money internationally , although in this case a small commission will be charged.
In the market there are other applications and platforms that also allow transactions between individuals with a similar operation to the previous ones. I pay, Yaap Money, Cashcloud, Paypal, Venmo … The security of the transactions we carry out through these applications must still be improved . And it is that the payment by mobile phones is more susceptible to hacks than credit cards, so it is a point where you have to put a lot of emphasis. Frequently updating the software, avoiding third-party download sites, paying attention to permissions and avoiding the use of free Wi-Fi networks are tips that you should keep in mind to keep your mobile protected.
What is clear is that there are a multitude of apps that begin to dispute the parts of the same cake, that of payments between acquaintances brought to the mobile phone and without having to pay commissions. We will see if they finally settle and end up imposing themselves against the service of banks and traditional credit cards.