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Venmo in Canada & Alternatives to Using it

Written by Jessica Steer
Reviewed by Janessa Ellis
Through TV, movies and social media, you probably hear about Venmo often. That said, what exactly is it? Well, Venmo is a way of transferring money for personal transactions from one person to another. It isn’t the only way to do this, though. With all of the technology available today, there are plenty of ways to do this.
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    When it comes to transferring money, which method you use ultimately depends on where you’re located and where you’re transferring funds to. With that in mind, it’s important to note that while Venmo is widely popular, it can’t be used everywhere, leaving the question: does Venmo work in Canada? Well, the answer is no.  

    How Venmo Works and Where

    Venmo is a money transfer service that is owned and operated in the United States and used to send and receive money. The idea behind this app is to make it easier for people to transfer money to their friends and family to split bills and other expenses. 

    You can send funds using what’s in your Venmo account or a linked bank account. The great thing about it is that it is actually free to use. The only charge is if you send funds using a linked credit card. In that case, there’s a 3% Venmo credit card charge. 

    Sending funds isn’t the only thing you can do with the Venmo app, though. You can also invest in crypto, and all you need to do is start with $1. With Venmo, you can buy, track and transfer up to 5 types of crypto, making this app more versatile than other money-sending platforms. 

    Before you can start using Venmo, you have to meet the requirements. There aren’t many, but in order to use Venmo, you do have to be physically located in the US and have a US-based cell phone. For this reason, Canadians are unable to use Venmo.

    Venmo Alternative in Canada

    Even though Venmo is not used in Canada, there are plenty of different money-sending platforms available. Let’s take a look at some of those that work in Canada and how they can be used. 


    While PayPal is also an American company, it doesn’t just operate in the US. They actually work in most countries that support online money transfers. Here's a fun fact: PayPal is actually Venmo’s parent company. 

    Paypal has a wide variety of uses. While you can use PayPal transfer to send funds to your friends and family, it can also be used for online shopping, making payments using your phone and making purchases with the Honey app.

    Before you start using it, though, you need to create a PayPal account first. When you send money using a debit card or credit card as your payment method, there’s a 2.9% charge of $0.30. However, you can earn cashback when using PayPal, which is a selling point for many users, and you don’t have to worry about high fees. 

    Interac E-transfer

    In Canada, the most popular way to send money to friends and family is with Interac e-transfer through your online banking. With e-transfer, you do have to have a Canadian bank account in order to send and receive funds according to Canadian bank policies since it is a Canadian service. It allows you to send funds to your friends and family with a transfer speed of a few minutes up to a few hours.

    In some cases, you can also receive instant transfers. You can also use it to pay some of your bills and transfer funds to another bank account. Some personal loan companies will even use e-transfer to deposit funds directly into your account. 

    Depending on what financial institution you hold your bank accounts at, e-transfers can be free, or there could be a small fee of up to $5 per transaction. That said, because e-transfer is becoming so popular, many financial institutions will include a certain amount of e-transfers with their monthly fees, giving you many free transactions. That said, receiving money doesn’t cost anything. 

    The amount you’re able to send via e-transfer is also dependent on who you bank with. For most financial institutions, though, the e-transfer limit is anywhere between $2,500 and $3,000 per day. However, most personal loan companies can send up to $10,000 using e-transfer. In fact, e-transfer is considered one of the best Venmo alternatives for Canada-to-Canada transfers. It can even be considered the Canadian equivalent. 

    Western Union

    You may have heard of Western Union before as a way to send money to different countries. They have many different locations around the world. Did you know that they also have an app that allows you to send money? With their app, you can make international transfers or send funds to others in Canada.

    While there are other money transfer providers that send money internationally, Western Union is one of the best for international and local transfers. They have low fees and no hidden fees. 

    In order to get started with Western Union, all you have to do is sign up. Once you’ve done that, you can start making transfers. You can do so using your debit card or credit card or go to a store and use cash. Once you’ve sent the funds, you can track them, and the receiver can choose to receive funds in person or through the app. 

    Currently when you sign up for Western Union, your first transfer is free. After that, the transfer fee is $6.00 Canadian, and there’s a foreign exchange fee of $1.00 Canadian. You also need to consider the exchange rates if you’re choosing to send funds abroad. 


    With Wealthsimple trade and Wealthsimple invest, you can transfer money to your Wealthsimple account and begin your investing journey. That said, did you know that with the Wealthsimple cash app, you can transfer funds for free to your friends and family? In order to do so, all you need to do is log into the Wealthsimple app and tap your cash account.

    From there, you can send or request money. Once you select send money, you’ll then select the contact you wish to send the funds to and make sure that you have their cash handle correct. Once you’ve hit send, the funds will be automatically deposited into their Wealthsimple account. 

    When you choose to send money using Wealthsimple, it’s important that you verify their information is correct. Once the funds have been sent, you’re not able to cancel the transaction or recall the funds. You also have to make sure that you stay within Wealthsimple sending limits. These are:

    • $5,000 per day
    • $10,000 per week
    • $30,000 per month

    Before you can send money using Wealthsimple, you have to add funds to your Wealthsimple account. While some apps allow you to make bank transfers, the best way to send funds to Wealthsimple is through e-transfer. 

    Cashapp and Zelle: Are They Available in Canada?

    Just like Venmo, Cashapp and Zelle aren’t currently available in Canada. Using Apple Pay to send funds isn’t available either. Cashapp is available for use in the United States as well as the United Kingdom, and Zelle and Apple Cash are available for use only in the United States.

    Zelle is run by a private financial services company in the US that runs a lot of major banks, so it may not even be available in Canada. Since a US bank issues an Apple Card, it may also not come to Canada, but it’s unknown about Cash App at this point since they’ve already expanded to the UK.


    In Canada, sending money electronically is becoming more and more popular, and companies are trying to catch up. For this reason, even though not all money-sending apps are available in Canada, some are. As we mentioned, Interac e-transfer is the most commonly used option, but there are also PayPal, Wealthsimple, and Western Union. 

    Before you start sending funds to Canada, you should take a look at the cost of sending funds. Since e-transfer can be done through your financial institution, there are often no charges unless you need to cancel the transfer. For this, some banks will charge fees of $5 per cancellation. Depending on who you’re sending the funds to, Paypal, Wealthsimple, and Western Union can also be low-cost or free. No matter who you choose to send your money through, you can be confident that your funds are protected and they’ll be transferred as fast as possible. 

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