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Venmo Canada: What Are the Venmo Alternatives In Canada

Venmo Canada: What Are the Venmo Alternatives In Canada

Venmo is a popular payments app that lets you transfer funds to other people with ease. You can send and receive money from family and friends, split the bill on everything from groceries, rent, restaurants, send gifts, and even pay for purchases. It’s so convenient, in fact, many Canadians want to know if Venmo is available in Canada, or if there is a Canadian version of Venmo. In this Venmo review, I’ll give you answers to these questions and more.

Is Venmo Available In Canada?

Unfortunately, Venmo is not currently available here in Canada. I realized this recently when I was traveling in the US. I was out in restaurants with several of my American friends. When it came time to pay the bill, everyone was Venmoing to split the bill.

I have to admit, I felt a bit left out. Afterward, I checked things out and confirmed that Venmo is not available in Canada – not yet, at least. The bottom line is that both the sender and receiver must reside in the US, and have a US phone number. You can’t fake it.

Thankfully, there are Canadian alternatives, which I’ll get into a bit later. But first, let’s take a closer look at how Venmo works in case it ever makes its way north of the border.

Venmo Features

Venmo’s payment feature has a social aspect; you can share money with a friend and send money as a gift while chatting with other users within the app. You also get a Venmo Mastercard Debit to make it easy to manage your spending.

Another interesting feature is Crypto on Venmo. That’s right, you can buy your favourite crypto through your Venmo app. There are four coins available: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash, and you can buy with as little as $1.

Cryptocurrencies can be confusing if you don’t know what you’re doing, so Venmo’s in-app articles and other instructional video content can help guide you.

Canadian Alternatives to Venmo

If you’re like me and would like to see Venmo make its way into Canada, don’t think that you have to wait around. Until then, there are several apps that let you send funds to friends and family with ease. Let’s take a look at what’s available:

1. KOHO App

KOHO is much more than just a prepaid Visa card. It lets you transfer funds between other KOHO users for free. It also includes free e-Transfers. For spending, you can easily load your KOHO Visa balance and use the card wherever Visa is accepted. There is also a cashback feature, and you earn interest on your savings balance. All of these features make KOHO a solid Canadian alternative to Venmo in the US. Here’s a full list of what you can expect when you sign up with KOHO:

Basic features

  • No annual fee
  • 0.5% cashback on all purchases
  • A foreign exchange fee of 1.5%
  • Round up savings including the tracking of savings goals
  • Compatibility with ApplePay and Samsung Pay
  • Financial tips and insights

Paid Features (KOHO Premium)

  • 30-day free trial
  • $9/month or $84/year
  • 2% cashback on grocery, dining out, and transportation purchases
  • Foreign exchange fees waived
  • 1 Free International ATM withdrawal per month
  • Free financial coaching
  • Price Matching
  • Deposits are Canada Deposit Insurance Protection (CDIC) protected

For more information, check out our full KOHO review.

2. Wealthsimple Cash

Wealthsimple Cash promises a “simpler, better way to settle up, pay it forward, and send cash instantly,” and they deliver. It should come as no surprise that the company behind Canada’s largest robo-advisor platform knows how to make things seamless and easy. It’s in their DNA. Here’s a list of features:

Key Features

  • Transfer money in seconds
  • Free to send and receive money from other Cash users
  • No monthly fees
  • Free deposits and withdrawals
  • In-app chat functionality
  • Deposits are Canada Deposit Insurance Protection (CDIC) protected

To facilitate spending, you’ll receive a slick-looking Wealthsimple Cash card. It’s like a prepaid Visa, and you can add it to your Apple and Google Pay accounts.

3. Wise

Wise (formerly Transferwise) isn’t a true Venmo alternative, but if transferring money to family and friends overseas is what you need, Wise gets the job done. Because Wise foreign exchange transactions are conducted using the real exchange rate (without the spread most banks and FX companies use), users save money.

For its part, Wise does charge a nominal fee to send money abroad to over 70 countries, usually less than 1%. Wise isn’t a bank account, like Venmo or Wealthsimple. You can’t store funds, only send and receive. Learn more in our Wise Review.

4. PayPal

PayPal is a longstanding online money transfer app with roots that go as far back as 1998. They make it easy to send and receive money, both inside Canada and internationally. PayPal makes money transfer easy, and its platform is very secure.

If there’s a drawback, international transfers come with high fees and a less than stellar exchange rate once PayPal applies their spread. Wise is undoubtedly the more affordable option for international transfers.

5. Interac e-Transfer

I know what you might be thinking – what’s so special about Interac e-Transfer? It’s been around so long now that perhaps we take it for granted. But let’s face it, e-Transfer has made it easier than ever to send and receive funds. All you need is someone’s email address.

And e-Transfer has gotten better with time. For example, depending upon where you bank, you may have access to unlimited, free e-Transfers, and an AutoDeposit feature that deposits funds directly into your bank account without you needing to retrieve them.

Final Thoughts on Venmo

Will there be a Venmo Canada in the future? We’re not sure, but what we do know is that there are Canadian Venmo alternatives for sending money. Your best options for transfers within Canada are Koho and Wealthsimple Cash. And we like Wise to send money internationally, although PayPal is a suitable alternative.

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