Cash App vs. Venmo vs. Zelle (Who I Like Best)

Who’s the best? Cash App vs. Venmo vs. Zelle.

I’ll share my research and personal experience in this post.

cash app vs venmo vs zelle

Ok, so I’ll tell you upfront that I use Cash App the most, Venmo second, and I have only used Zelle once.

With that said, one of my good friends is a high-level banker with Bank of America and spoke of Zelle being the safest, with Cash App and Venmo having security issues.

But this just isn’t what I’ve found to be true.

Ok, let’s discuss…

Cash App Overview

I use Cash App the most, and I find that people in my area use it equally to Venmo to receive money.

It’s simple to set up.

You don’t have to have a bank account to get going.

Technically, Cash App isn’t a bank. It’s a financial platform.

cash app homepage

They actually partner with a bank that is FDIC insured that is the backbone.

Cash App is the technology on top of it, which is why it’s cool and savvy payment app (it’s owned by Block, which also runs the Square payments platform).

But you can easily connect your bank to Cash App, add money to your account, and get a debit card.

So it looks and feels like a bank. You just don’t go into any branches or write paper checks.

You can transfer money to your bank from the app. There’s no fee, but it takes a few days.

If you need your money instantly, you have to pay a small % with a minimum of $0.25

And sending money to friends is seamless and fast.

In fact, if you get your friends set up on Cash App, you can both get some free money, which is cool.

And if you’re under 18 (or you want your child to get it), you’re able to get Cash App even from ages 13-17. Watch here or watch below.

Some Venmo Thoughts

Venmo was purchased by Paypal back in 2013 for $800M. You can learn more about Venmo’s business model here.

You would think because of this that you could transfer directly between PayPal and Venmo.

Unfortunately, you can’t.

But you can indirectly transfer money between the two.

My wife uses Venmo most when she sells items locally on Facebook marketplace.

I use it to pay friends back for dinners.

I also have it tied to a business checking account and pay a few contractors by directly transferring from the app.

And although Cash App and Venmo are different companies, you can indirectly transfer money between them if you tie a common bank account to both apps.

This is one of the reasons that we use both. Since we also have a bank tied to both, it makes it easy to get funds in a single place.

Venmo is Social

Upon creating an account on Venmo, you can sync your account to your contacts and Facebook friends. 

When you connect to your Facebook, your friends can view your transactions.

They can see to whom you’re sending money or who paid you.

The social media aspect of Venmo also lets your friends see memos that contain why you are paying or why you are receiving money.

While this feature adds a bit of a unique and fun concept to payment apps, it can also be a disadvantage.

You may not be comfortable sharing your transaction details with your friends, so make sure you make your payments private.

Ha, I made a joke sending some money to my wife and didn’t realize my comments were public. I made the payments private going forward!

If you’d rather a video, I’ll show you how here (or watch below).

Cash App and Venmo Have Debit Cards

If you want to transact through peer-to-peer payment systems while having your debit card, Cash App and Venmo both offer that.

The debit cards offered by these two P2P payment apps connect your account balance to them.

The debit card does not connect directly to your checking account.

It’s pulling from your balance within the app.

You transact with it like you would with a bank debit card to transfer, pay and withdraw.

However, since your physical cash cards connect to your Cash App or Venmo account, ensure you have enough money to use for transactions.

If you attempt to pay that exceeds your balance, you may pay overdraft fees.

But it’s pretty simple to add money to your Cash App card.

Cash App vs. Venmo vs. Zelle to be continued.

Ok, let’s talk a bit about Zelle…

Zelle Pay Overview

Zelle does not store money in a financial account.

It does not keep a balance because the funds you receive from the app transfer directly to your bank account. 

I see Zelle more as a transfer service.

Zelle Pay is affiliated with financial institutions (banks and credit unions) all across the U.S.

Here’s a video showing how Zelle works.

Compared to Venmo and Cash App, Zelle may provide a cheaper way to receive payments.

Venmo and Cash App charge fees if you need the money rush transferred to your bank account.

Another thing to mention, the money kept in Venmo or Cash App does not passively grow.

Keeping the money in these apps will remove your chance to earn free money from interest.

Because Zelle directly transfers money to your bank account, the funds stored can grow from banks’ interest.

It gives you the option to make money passively.

Access Zelle Without The App

You can access Zelle by downloading its mobile app, but there is another direct way to use it.

If your credit union or financial institution offers Zelle in their services or apps, you can access Zelle through their online banking.

You can also check if it is available in their mobile app.

An example of a financial institution that offers this convenience is First Alliance Credit Union.

Not only can you use Zelle by logging into online banking, but they also have it on their mobile app.

Cash App, Venmo, And Zelle All Are Safe

You may be wondering how safe electronic payments are.

Security issues are possibly the top concern of people using or planning to use these apps.

Which of these three peer-to-peer payment apps is the most secure and safest?

According to Consumer Reports, Cash App, Venmo, Zelle, and other P2P payments are generally safe, but users still need to be careful of the possible risks.

These people may come up with schemes that they can use to lure you into paying them.

Be cautious of the people you transact with while using P2P payment apps.

Cash App vs. Venmo vs. Zelle — at least you can feel comfortable that they are all safe.

But my favorite is Cash App.

So try it using the button below – you even get some free money.

Final Thoughts on Cash App, Venmo, and Zelle

The reason I don’t use Zelle is that most people around me already use Cash App and Venmo.

And since I already have both of these apps tied to my bank account, I see no real need to use Zelle.

I can just send payments or receive money using Cash App or Venmo.

Then I can keep the funds in those accounts or I can transfer the cash to my linked bank account.

With that said, I have all three apps on my phone and I’m ready to send money at any time, any place!

Frequently Asked Questions

Cash App vs Zelle – which is better?

I use Cash App more out in the real world. And in my opinion, it’s just as easy to get money into my bank since it’s directly linked.

Is Cash App or Venmo safer?

Both are owned by publicly traded companies and are safe. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t active scammers out there trying to take money from you. So you still need to take precautions with either app that you choose.

Is Zelle better than Cash App?

Nope. I actually think that because you’re required to have a bank account to use Zelle that it’s actually less useful than Cash App.

Disclosure: This article might contain affiliate links to the resources I refer to. It's at no cost to you, and it's how we pay the bills. Get more info here.

Brooks Conkle Banner Image
Brooks Conkle

Brooks is an entrepreneur, father, husband, & follower of the golden rule. He has over 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur after graduating with a Finance degree from Auburn University. Addicted to starting new business projects, he believes in creating multiple income streams and a life of flexibility. Business should work around your life, not the other way around. He creates content on his website, sharing his projects to help other hustlers in marketing, personal finance, and online business.