4 Ways to Deposit Cash Into Someone Else’s Account

Quick Answer

If you need to send money to someone else, you have many options including P2P apps, online transfers, writing a check and wire transfers.

Handling cash at a bank

It's increasingly rare for many of us to have cash in our wallets these days. When we need to pay someone—whether it's reimbursing a friend for a dinner out or sending allowance to a college student—cash is no longer the go-to option.

There are a variety of methods to pay or gift money to another person directly, most of them digital, but the options can be overwhelming and have differing restrictions. Here are four of the best ways to deposit money into someone else's bank account without using cash.

1. Use a Money Transfer App

In recent years, payment apps have become a popular and easy way to transfer money, though the rules, features and fees vary by app. To transfer money this way, both you and the recipient must have the app.

Peer-to-peer payment apps are quite safe if you know how to avoid scams. If you accidentally send money to the wrong person, however, you may not be able to recover it. Below are three of the most popular payment options. Other options include Cash App, Google Pay and Wise, the latter of which is geared toward international transfers.


The Venmo app, currently owned by PayPal, offers an easy and popular way to pay and receive money. Upon linking your Venmo account to your bank account or debit card, you can send money to another Venmo user for free (it's also free to pay from your Venmo balance). If you prefer, you can send money using a credit card for a 3% fee.

The recipient receives funds instantly in their Venmo account. They can transfer their balance to a bank account for free to receive their deposit in one to three business days, or instantly if they pay a fee.

Venmo has an identity verification process, and without it, you can only pay up to $299.99 a week. If you complete the verification, you can send up to $60,000 per week. Venmo requires users to be based in the U.S. with a U.S. phone number to use Venmo.


PayPal started off as a website, and it can still be used in a browser if you prefer that to the app. There's no fee to send money from your bank account or PayPal balance to a U.S.-based friend's or family's bank account or PayPal account. However, there is a fee to send money with a debit or credit card or to an international account.

It's free for the recipient to transfer money from PayPal into their bank account, or they can pay a fee for instant withdrawals up to a certain amount.

PayPal limits those without accounts to send up to $4,000 in a one-time payment. If you get verified, there's no maximum amount you can send overall. There's a max of $60,000 per transaction, though PayPal may limit it to $10,000 per transaction. Because of this, it may not be reliable for larger transactions unless you've confirmed your limit. Getting verified only requires adding and confirming a bank account.


Most major bank apps now include Zelle, a feature that allows transfers from your checking or savings account to that of friends and family for free and in minutes. If your banking app doesn't include it, there's a standalone Zelle app. When Zelle is in your banking app, the daily transfer limit is dictated by your bank, though it's typically between $1,000 and $5,000 per day. With the standalone app, the maximum is $500 per week.

If your recipient is enrolled in Zelle, you only need their email address or phone number to send money straight to their bank account. This is notable since payments via Venmo sit in the app until the recipient transfers it to their bank account. If your recipient doesn't have a Zelle account, you can still send them money; they'll get a notification on how to enroll and get the funds.

2. Make an Online Bank Transfer

You don't need an app to make an electronic payment from your bank account. A direct bank-to-bank payment, called an Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfer, allows you to send money from your checking or savings account to someone else's account, even if it's at a different bank. This is the same technology used when employers send paychecks via direct deposit, or if you use online bill pay.

Online bank transfers are typically free and can take anywhere from a few hours to three business days. To pay someone via online bank transfer, you'll need their account number and routing number.

Limits on how much you can send per transaction or day varies by financial institution. Some major banks allow only $3,500 per day, while others allow up to $25,000 per day. You can often set up an ACH transfer through your online banking portal or app. While you can make a one-off deposit, you may have the option to set up a recurring payment, like for your child's weekly piano lessons or monthly sports club.

3. Write a Check

If you still have a checkbook, you can write a check to an individual from your checking account. Many banks and credit unions allow mobile check deposit, making it possible for some recipients to deposit it without leaving the house. You can write a check for however much you want, as long as you have enough to cover it in your checking account.

If you don't have a checkbook but want to send a physical check, some financial institutions allow you to log in to your online or mobile banking and request a personal check or cashier's check to be mailed out. Depending on your bank, it could be free or at a fee.

4. Use a Wire Transfer

Similar to ACH transfers, wire transfers allow you to send money to an external bank account. Unlike other options, though, wire transfers are ideal for larger amounts of money since they don't have the same limits. They're also fast; money is usually received in one business day or less.

For this convenience, wire transfers may have a fee, often ranging from $10 to $35. Because of that, wire transfers are best suited to large, one-time payments like submitting down payment money.

To send a wire transfer, you'll need the recipient's bank account and routing numbers, plus their address.

The Bottom Line

Your best options for depositing cash into someone else's account depend on how much you plan to send, how fast you need it to arrive and what payment methods your recipient can accept. Payment apps and online transfers are typically the most convenient ways to send money. Other options for sending cash include a money order or cashier's check, though they're less common.

Make sure you know the person you're sending money to well, and be on the lookout for scammers. To help protect yourself from fraud and identity theft, you can sign up for Experian IdentityWorksSM, which monitors your identity online and notifies you if there are any risks to your privacy or financial accounts.