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Five ways to get people to pay you back (compared)

Jason Cipriani/CNET

You're at dinner. Suddenly you're stuck with the check as everyone promises to pay you back later. Sure, they can hand you cash the next time you see them, but maybe you'd rather just have the money go directly to where it came from -- your bank account.

To request an electronic transfer from your indebted friends, you'll have to pick a money transfer method. There are plenty of apps available now, but they're not all the same. For instance, some take days to complete a transfer, while other promise money in your pocket within 24 hours. Some require you to set up a new account, while other options get the job done with a few clicks.

As you sort through the options, pay attention to the delivery time, as well as any transfer limits. If you plan to use a money transfer app to pay the ren t or get reimbursed for a vacation you spent thousands on, make sure there's plenty of wiggle room for the total transfer amount.

And finally, consider the person on the other end. If the person you're requesting money from already uses one of these services, it's worth

finding out.

1. Direct bank transfer

How it works: If the person who owes you money uses the same bank, this is by far the fastest transfer method, since the funds are transferred directly to your account and are usually available within 24 hours. Many banks, including Wells Fargo and Bank of America, have simple transfer tools available within the same portal you use for online banking.

There is also a way to transfer money to people outside of your bank's network, but it often takes longer and requires a little more wrangling. The sender will need your account number and routing number, plus (depending on your bank) there could be a fee involved. It's like paying with a check, but online. In this case, it's probably better to use one of the next four options on this list.

Delivery speed: 24 hours to customers of the same bank; 2 to 4 days to people using different banks

The fees: Free.

Transfer limit: Varies based on bank.

The app: Most banks have accompanying apps that include transfer tools, but most lack the option to request money -- the sender needs to initiate the transaction.

Category: Bank

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