Does Venmo work in the UK? 5 Alternatives for 2023
If someone has asked you to Venmo them some money, you might be wondering if Venmo is available in the UK.
Unfortunately, Venmo is not available in the UK, but there are alternatives for you.
Venmo offers fast social payments for account holders in the US, but it’s not available for customers based in the UK. If you’re a US resident travelling abroad, you’ll also be unable to use your Venmo account for payments until you get back home.
Don’t worry though - we have a solution. In fact, we have 5 solutions. Read on for our top 5 Venmo alternatives and all you need to know about them to pick the right one for you.
Here are the Venmo alternatives we’ll look at - and a word about why:
Wise - Mid-market exchange rates, low fees and fast turnaround time
OFX - No transfer fee, with exchange rates that can beat the banks
TorFX - Top rated for customer service, with personal account management
Remitly - Send to bank accounts or in cash, on popular remittance routes
Western Union - Huge agent network for convenient cash transfers
How to pick a Venmo alternative
Which Venmo alternative works best for you will depend a bit on the payment type you’re making.
If you’re in the UK and someone has asked you to send them money in dollars, an international transfer provider might be a strong option to make your payment from your UK bank or card.
If you’re a US resident visiting the UK and looking for a way to make a fast payment to someone here while your Venmo account is out of action, you may also consider an international transfer service to send money from dollars to pounds.
Whatever the situation, one of our Venmo alternatives is sure to help you get your money where it needs to be. Let’s dive in.
Alternatives to Venmo comparison
This guide runs through 5 different options if you need to send money to someone in the UK or internationally. We’ll get into a bit of detail about each in just a moment, but first let’s compare our top picks side by side on some important features:
|Wise||Mid-market exchange rate||50%+ of payments are instant, 90% arrive in 24 hours|
|OFX||Exchange rate includes a markup||Most transfers are received within 24 hours|
|TorFX||Exchange rate includes a markup||1 - 2 working days|
|Remitly||Exchange rate includes a markup||Varies by destination and payment type|
|Western Union||Exchange rate includes a markup||Cash collection payments can be instant, bank deposits may take a day or two|
Which Venmo alternative is best for you will depend on the type of payment you want to make, and the destination country.
Wise offers fast international payments with the mid-market exchange rate
OFX has a 24/7 phone service if you want to talk through your options
TorFX provides a range of payment types with award winning service
Remitly covers popular remittance routes and has a range of pay out options
Western Union can help if you want to get your money in cash to someone - fast
Wise (formerly known as TransferWise) was launched in 2011, and now has over 13 million customers around the world. Wise offers both international payment services and multi-currency accounts to receive, send, hold, spend and exchange 50+ currencies in one place.
Best Wise features
Wise stands out as a provider which offers the mid-market exchange rate with transparent fees which make it easy to see what you’re paying for your transfer. Because Wise uses its own payment network, transfers are super fast, and because Wise doesn’t use any intermediaries, the costs of payments are low, too.
Send money to 80+ countries, or get a Wise account to receive, exchange or easily spend in 50+ foreign currencies. You can also receive payments like a local in up to 10 currencies, and spend in 170+ countries with a linked Wise international debit card.
Usually the best available exchange rate
Over 50% of payments arrive instantly, and almost all arrive within 24 hours
Transparent fees you can see and compare before you make a payment
Open a multi-currency account to get paid in foreign currencies for free
Fees vary based on payment method and destination
Accounts are not interest bearing
Currency specialist OFX provides one off and recurring international transfers in 50+ currencies. You can also get currency risk management services for businesses and individuals, plus multi-currency accounts for online sellers and business customers.
Best OFX features
OFX has offices around the world to offer a personal service at all times of the day or night. If you prefer to deal with someone over the phone, if you’re making a high value transfer, or if you need a currency risk management solution this can be handy.
There are no transfer fees when you send an OFX payment - instead, there’s a small markup added to the exchange rate used to convert your payment, which can represent far better value than using your bank.
No transfer fee and a competitive exchange rate
Online sellers can get multi-currency account services
Most payments arrive in 24 hours
24/7 phone service
Exchange rates include a markup
No cash, checks, bank drafts or credit cards
TorFX provides international payments and currency risk management solutions for individuals and businesses. It’s known for offering great service, and trusted by 300,000+ customers.
Best TorFX features
TorFX offers services over the phone, through its desktop site or via an app, with award winning service. TorFX transfers may arrive on the same day, but depending on the currencies involved may take up to 1 or 2 days to land in the destination account.
If you decide to send a payment with TorFX there’s no upfront transfer fee to pay, but a markup is added to the exchange rate instead.
Known for great service
Currency risk management products like forward contracts available
Make online payments from the equivalent of 100 GBP, with no maximum transfer value
Exchange rates include a markup
You’ll need to register an account to see the rates offered and compare the cost of your transfer
Remitly supports payments to around 100 countries, mainly on popular remittance routes. Because there’s a good range of pay out options, it’s a popular service for people working in the UK and sending money home to loved ones.
Best Remitly features
Remitly has a good range of pay out options including deposits to bank accounts, mobile money accounts and for cash collection. Exactly what’s available for you will depend on where you’re sending money to, but you can often choose a faster Express transfer, or a cheaper Economy transfer, depending on what’s most important for you.
Send to bank accounts, mobile money accounts and for cash collection
100 countries supported
Choose cheaper fees or a faster transfer depending on your needs
Online and in-app service
You can’t transfer between ‘sending’ countries
Exchange rates may include a markup, and there’s usually a transfer fee to pay
5. Western Union
Western Union has a long history in money transfer services, and covers pretty much every country in the world. Send a payment online or through an app, or visit an agent near you if you’d rather pay in cash.
Best Western Union features
Because Western Union has a huge agent network, it’s pretty easy to send a payment to be collected in cash - and depending on how you pay, your money may be available almost instantly.
Payments can often be collected instantly
Good range of pay in and pay out options
Send to almost every country on the planet
Digital and in person service
Exchange rate markups apply
Fees vary and can be on the high side
Why you should use Wise as an Venmo alternative
Choose Wise as your Venmo alternative if you need to make a payment quickly to a bank account or another Wise customer, with low, transparent fees. You can set up a Wise Account for free online or in the Wise app, and make payments to 80+ countries with the mid-market exchange rate.
Why you should use OFX as an Venmo alternative
OFX could be the Venmo alternative for you if you’re making a high value payment to someone internationally, and want to talk through your options on the phone.
Why you should use TorFX as an Venmo alternative
TorFX is another strong Venmo alternative if you’re sending money overseas and prefer to talk through your payment options with someone on the phone. TorFX customer service is often praised, which may be reassuring if you’re unsure of the best way to send your money.
Why you should use Remitly as an Venmo alternative
Remitly may be a good Venmo alternative if it’s important to have your payment delivered into the recipient’s hands fast. As Remitly offers Express payments and cash collection services in many markets, you’ll be able to send money for almost instant collection if you choose.
Why you should use Western Union as an Venmo alternative
Western Union is another strong Venmo alternative if you want to pay in cash for your transfer, or if your recipient needs to collect the money in cash themselves. With agents all over the world, Western Union is pretty easy to use, and can be very fast, too.
Are the alternatives safe?
Yes. All the Venmo alternatives we’ve picked out for you are reputable businesses which are trusted by their customers, and properly licenced and regulated in the countries in which they operate.
Venmo alternatives conclusion
You can’t use Venmo in the UK - even if you already have a Venmo account. Venmo is only available to US residents, and can only be used within the US for payments in dollars.
Instead of Venmo you could choose an alternative service like Wise if you’re sending money to a bank account in dollars (or any of the other 50+ supported currencies), or a provider like Remitly or Western Union if your recipient would rather get their money in cash. Use this guide as a starting point to pick the best Venmo alternative for your specific payment.
There are always fees involved when sending money internationally. Fees may include a transfer charge, third party fees and an exchange rate markup - but choosing a specialist online or digital service is often cheaper than using a bank. To get the best option for you, compare a few providers based on both the transfer fees and the exchange rate markups applied.
Venmo alternatives like Wise, OFX and Western Union are properly regulated and trusted for payments around the world. Pick a reputable service, and take some common sense precautions, and your payment should go through hassle free.
All money transfer services have their own features, with varied fees and rates, too. There’s not a single best service out there - it really all depends on where you’re sending to and your personal preferences - use our top picks as a starting point to find the best one for you.