How to collect money from friends and family

Asking for cash in person can be awkward. So how can you collect money from friends, family, or even a whole group quickly and easily? One solution is to take the transaction into the digital world.

With some apps, it’s possible to create a payment request and share it with family and mates in seconds. They can then use their account, linking their bank account, an online financial account, credit, or debit card, and make payments directly to your account without needing cash or cheques. Note that anyone being requested will likely need to set up an account on the same app before they can complete the payment request.

Online payment platforms may provide a convenient way to track who has paid and who hasn't, potentially eliminating the need for guesswork and follow-ups.

Collecting money online can make planning a group gift, organizing a party, or just splitting expenses a simple process.

Challenges to requesting money

Collecting money from friends and family members is sometimes necessary but requesting money can come with some challenges.

Here are a few examples:

  • Coordinating in-person collections can be a logistical headache, especially if people are in different cities/countries or if collecting money from someone you don’t see often.
  • Not everyone carries cash these days, which can make it difficult to collect funds on the spot.
  • It can be easy to lose track of who owes what, and can lead to forgetting about asking someone for money they owe.
  • Cheques require an extra step to get the money, not everyone has the time to go to a bank to deposit a cheque or may not have a mobile deposit method. Plus, a cheque still requires meeting up with someone to receive it or, if the cheque was mailed, having to wait for it to be delivered.
  • It can be awkward to ask people for money, which could strain close relationships.

On the other side, digital platforms can help easily and efficiently collect money from a group, eliminating the need for in-person meetups or cash exchanges.

How to collect money online

When it comes to how to collect money online, there are different platforms and tools available to help make the process as smooth as possible.

While each platform may have different nuances, the process might look something like this:

  • Choose an online, peer-to-peer payment platform: For example, PayPal’s digital wallet app offers a range of features to help request money from friends and family with ease.
  • Set up an account: Follow the instructions to set up an account with your personal information. Link a bank account or credit/debit card to start sending and accepting money. Review terms to learn whether there are any fees that may be associated with sending or receiving payments.
  • Create a payment request: Many apps make it simple to create a payment request. Enter the amount you want to collect and a brief description of what it's for. Choose the friends and family members you want to send the request to — this can be done by selecting their account (if they have one with the provider), or there may be the option to send the request via text or email.
  • Receive payments: Your friends and family will receive the payment request and follow the instructions to make the payment using their account. You will normally receive a notification when each payment is made, and the money will be deposited into your account.
  • Keep track of payments: Most platforms even allow you to send reminders to those who haven't paid or have a tab that allows you to see transactions that haven’t been completed.

Why someone may need to collect money

There are many reasons someone may need to collect funds from friends and family. Here are some examples:

  • Group gifts for birthdays, holidays, or special occasions
  • Charitable causes
  • Wedding gift fund
  • Group travel expenses such as flights, accommodations, and transportation
  • Money from roommates for rent and utilities
  • Splitting expenses for shared services
  • Group dinner or activity

Regardless of the reason, split payment apps have made it quick and easy to collect money from others. With a more seamless process, using these digital methods can help make splitting payments and collecting funds less of a headache and potentially make collecting money more efficient.

Was this content helpful?

Related content

We'll use cookies to improve and customise your experience if you continue to browse. Is it OK if we also use cookies to show you personalised ads? Learn more and manage your cookies