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Sending Money Digitally or Physically: Which is Better?

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Almost all of us have received a money transfer at some point. Whether it’s a local transfer or one from a family member/friend abroad, we have been either senders or recipients. There are several ways through which money transfers can take place. The existence of several channels gives us the benefit of choosing the transfer method we find preferable. Such channels can be:

  • Banks
  • Money Transfer companies 
  • Digital wallets
  • Physically delivering the money

This time around, we will be discussing the pros and cons of sending money physically vs. digitally. By physically, we mean that you could be carrying the money yourself, or sending them to the receiver with someone else. This is usually done on an occasional basis, or in bulk when the sender returns to their home country after a while. So let’s get straight to it!

Sending Money Physically


  • No fees: This is one of the main reasons many people choose to deliver the money in person to the beneficiary. There are no sender fees nor cash out fees to worry about. Sometimes, you might have to pay the person you are sending money with. You can avoid this by sending them with a close friend or family member.
  • Trustworthiness: Physically carrying the money back home can ensure that it does not go through a third party that might put this money at risk of loss or theft. It is simply going from the sender to the receiver directly – provided you are not assigning someone else to carry the amount.
  • Getting to see the receiver: While not a very common reason for people to send money physically, many do it simply because they have already planned a visit to the sender’s location, whether it’s a local visit or a cross-border one. 


  • Costly (in other ways): Yes, we did mention earlier that transferring money physically can impose no fees on both parties. However, it is quite costly in terms of travel – whether it’s a flight ticket or a commuting journey to the receiver. It can also be costly if you’re sending the money with somebody whom you would have to pay.
  • Unsafe: Sending money physically allows us not to worry about trusting outside parties to handle our money. However, we would still have to worry about the potential loss of money in an accident or through theft. It might also be a concern if you send them with somebody you’re not quite fond of.
  • Takes time: When the money transfer is urgent, this is surely not the best method to rely on. Apart from the risk of loss or theft, there is a lot of time spent traveling or commuting to the receiver’s location. It’s also impractical if one is carrying and sending the money in bulk after some time.
  • Takes up space: This applies mostly when the amount being carried is in bulk. Carrying a chubby bag or wallet might easily become a hassle and even a safety risk.
  • Limits: Most countries impose a limit on the amount of money that a person can carry at the airport. If that amount exceeds the limit, one might have to provide a declaration (reason).

Sending Money Digitally


  • Safe: There is no doubt that sending money digitally through an online wallet or online platform is much safer than carrying it physically. The only thing to keep in mind is to choose a platform that takes security very seriously.
  • Fast: One of the main benefits of sending money digitally is that it is lightning fast! A transfer can be done and received within the same minute – a benefit that comes in very handy in urgent situations. 
  • Withdrawal at convenience: Sending money through a digital wallet gives the receiver the benefit of withdrawing this money at their convenience. Also, they might not withdraw at all, but send it to someone else directly from their digital wallet.
  • Cheap: We discussed earlier how sending money physically imposes no fees, but can be pretty costly in different ways. On the other hand, there are many digital wallets that are very affordable. Many have extremely low fees for the sender, and perhaps even no fees for the receiver. It is a small price to pay to ensure speed, security, and convenience. 
  • Pervasive: As mentioned earlier, the receiver has the option to keep their money in their digital wallet. Digital wallets are pervasive in terms of the services they offer. The receiver can pay bills, shop online and offline, check their balance, keep track of transactions, and virtually do almost anything with their money without having to cash out.
  • Accessible: Digital wallets are highly accessible to almost anyone with a phone, PC, or tablet and their services are available 24/7. Almost anyone can choose a digital wallet and use it for their transactions, whether daily, monthly, or occasionally.


  • Security: While not exactly a con, we had already mentioned that it is very important to choose a digital platform that ensures the security of your personal details and money. If unsure, you can always ask what security measures a particular wallet imposes to protect your information.

In addition, utilizing secure devices, creating strong passwords, and exercising caution when disclosing personal information online are all key ways to protect your financial and personal information while using digital payment methods.

Check this blog that discusses 5 things you should know before using a money transfer app.

  • Availability: While they are highly accessible, some platforms are not available in certain areas or countries. They may also not give you the option to transfer to a particular country. Easy fix? Check beforehand what corridors this wallet has opened for you!


Well, do we even have to point it out? Of course, this all goes down to the situation and personal preference, but sending money digitally offers better safety and convenience in many ways. (We really did have to squeeze out the potential pros of sending money physically).

When it comes to sending money, always make sure to study all aspects of the situation and what works best for you. Particularly in Lebanon, and with the unstable economic and safety situation, we can almost guarantee that sending money digitally is a much better option. Purpl is here to make those digital money transfers possible!

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Written by: Maria Sawaya

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