Wealthsimple Cash Review 2021: P2P Money Transfers in Canada

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by Enoch Omololu

Updated

Advertiser Disclosure

Wealthsimple Cash offers Canadians access to a free peer-to-peer payment platform that makes sending money to friends and family easier than ever.

In addition to its current offerings, there are plans to make Wealthsimple Cash even more versatile in the future with features like free bill payments, Apple/Google Pay, no FX fees on foreign purchases, and a tungsten metal card.

This Wealthsimple Cash review covers what you need to know.

Wealthsimple Cash

What is Wealthsimple Cash?

Wealthsimple Cash is a P2P payment platform you can use to send money to anyone on your contact list within seconds. With the app, all you need to do is simply connect your contacts and you can send them money instantly. Your contacts can send you money too.

Other accounts offered by Wealthsimple include Wealthsimple Invest, Wealthsimple Trade, and Wealthsimple Save (formerly Wealthsimple Smart Savings).

About Wealthsimple

Wealthsimple is Canada’s largest and most popular online wealth manager. Founded in 2014, Wealthsimple now has hundreds of thousands of clients and over $10 billion in assets under management.

Benefits of Wealthsimple Cash

A Wealthsimple Cash account is not your typical money transfer app. It will also offer features and perks that are non-standard for a savings or spending account.

The benefits of the account currently include:

1. No monthly account fees: Save on account maintenance fees which can run up to a couple of hundred dollars when you match it up against a comparable chequing account at a traditional bank. Wealthsimple Cash has no minimum deposit amount.

2. Easy P2P Payments: Sending money to friends on your contacts list has never been easier. You can sync your contacts to see who is already using Cash and check your history to see payments you have made or received.

3. A top-of-the-line cash card. It works like a prepaid or debit card and currently earns 5% cash back when you make food or drink purchases between 12:00am EST on Fridays and 11:59pm EST on Sundays. Read my Cash Card review.

Benefits of the account that include features planned for the future include:

4. Free ATM withdrawals: You can use your account to make free bill payments and e-Transfers. In addition, you will be able to withdraw cash from ATMs across Canada for free. Wealthsimple will reimburse any ATM charges up to a limit.

5. No FX transaction fees: The account will waive foreign transaction fees incurred when you make purchases abroad or in foreign currencies. This is easily a saving of 2.5%.

6. Direct deposit: You can set up your account to directly deposit your paycheque.

7. Apple Pay and Google Pay so you can make payments on the go.

Wealthsimple Cash no longer pays interest on your balance. To earn an interest of 0.50%, you can move money you don’t need to use right away to a Wealthsimple Save account.

There’s no timeline as to when these features will come online as they have been delayed by the pandemic.

How To Open a Wealthsimple Cash Account

The great thing about a Wealthsimple account is that you can manage a variety of accounts using the same login and account details.

The accounts are also available via dedicated apps that make it easy to perform transactions using your smartphone (Android and iPhone).

To open a Wealthsimple Cash account, sign up here (includes a $10 bonus with referral code WCEYAP). The online account opening process takes only a few minutes.

With your account, you can invite as many friends as you want to join and when they sign up, you both get $10.

Is Wealthsimple Cash Safe?

Wealthsimple Cash account deposits are held at a bank that is a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).

What this means is that your funds are protected by CDIC up to $100,000 should the bank become insolvent.

Wealthsimple Cash vs. Wealthsimple Save

Wealthsimple Smart Savings was Wealthsimple’s first savings product. It was recently rebranded as Wealthsimple Save.

If you had previously opened a Wealthsimple Cash account, you can open a new Wealthsimple Save account and transfer your funds over if you so wish.

Some of the differences between Wealthsimple Cash and Wealthsimple Save are:

Interest Rate: Deposits in the Save account earn a 0.50% interest rate. This interest is calculated daily and paid monthly. Funds in your Cash account don’t earn interest.

Free Transfers and Withdrawals: While both accounts offer free transfers to and withdrawals from your linked bank accounts, peer-to-peer payments are only available through the Wealthsimple Cash app.

$10 Referral Bonus: When you open a Wealthsimple Cash account and use a valid referral code (WCEYAP), you receive a $10 bonus. Wealthsimple Save does not offer a bonus to new clients.

Best Savings Account Rates in Canada

If you are looking for a competitive savings rate in today’s low-rate environment, you can use Wealthsimple Save.

For even better rates, sign up for EQ Bank Savings or read our EQ Bank Savings review.

EQ Bank offers a 1.25%* interest rate on savings. It has no monthly account fees and also offers RSP, TFSA, and joint savings accounts. Also, this rate is non-promotional.

Learn more about the best savings rates in Canada.

FAQs

Is Wealthsimple Cash legit?

Wealthsimple Cash is offered by Canada’s most popular online wealth manager. Millions of Canadians use Wealthsimple products including its robo-advisor service, tax filing software, and stock trading app.

Can you lose money in Wealthsimple Cash?

Your cash deposits are held at CDIC insured banks and this means you are covered up to $100,000 should the banks declare bankruptcy.

Is Wealthsimple Cash a bank account?

No. Your deposits are kept at a partner bank and you can pay friends directly from the account. However, you can’t write a cheque and ATM withdrawals are not yet available.

Have a question about Wealthsimple Cash? Leave it in the comments.

Wealthsimple Cash Review 2021
4.5

Summary

Wealthsimple Cash is a free peer-to-peer payment platform for sending money in Canada and earning one of the best high-interest savings rates. This Wealthsimple Cash review covers how it works and its pending features including free bill payments, no FX fees, and a metal card. 

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Author

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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch has a passion for helping others win with their personal finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. His writing has been featured or quoted in The Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, Financial Post, Toronto Star, Credit Canada, MSN Money, National Post, CIBC, and many other personal finance publications.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

19 thoughts on “Wealthsimple Cash Review 2021: P2P Money Transfers in Canada”

  1. Hi Enoch
    Great job you are doing on your blog benefiting us with so much information. My question is related to the quote from your piece below-
    “Note that your funds in Wealthsimple Cash are deposited with Canada’s largest banks. This account created for you at one of the Big-Six banks is not covered by CDIC.”
    How does our funds being covered by CIPF differ from CIDC as it relates to risk tolerance.
    Thanks

    • @Iyke:

      Good question. Based on the information provided by Wealthsimple, this is how I believe it works:

      If Wealthsimple should go bankrupt, your assets are protected up to $1 million through CIPF. If the bank that they keep your savings with should become insolvent, you may not be protected because the account created at the bank on your behalf is not covered by CDIC. This is probably the case due to the third-party arrangement in play here.

      That being said, Wealthsimple has clearly stated that funds are kept with Schedule I banks i.e. the largest banks in Canada (e.g. RBC, TD, Scotiabank, CIBC and BMO). The risk of these banks going under is very very small.

  2. Hi Enoch,
    I’ve been a reader of your blog for just over a year. I also read many other financial blogs for Canadians, and I must say, it seems like every time I read your articles they are always a little more detailed but still summarized well. You are a great Blogger and I aspire to start my own blog one day because of you. Keep up the good work!

    • @Chris: I really appreciate your feedback. Thanks!

  3. Hi, When will their visa be available?

  4. Hi,
    Wealthsimple Cash sounds so fantastic. There seems to be a few aspects that keep saying “coming soon” like access to ATM’s and the No Foreign Transaction Fee. Is there a time line? I would like to open an account but I need to be able to get some cash every now and then.

    • @Karrie: It appears that the economic challenges caused by the pandemic have delayed the rollout of the new features.

  5. I’m brand new to your blog and newish to wealthsimple, where certain answers I can’t find. Will my “cash account” function as a go between for my invest and trade accounts or must transfers go through an external bank. Hope that makes sense, Keith

    • @Keith: Good question. I logged into my account to check and you can only fund your Invest and Trade accounts through an external bank account. You can transfer directly from Wealthsimple Cash.

  6. Hello, I really appreciate this indepth review of wealth simple. It was informative and straight to the point. What I would like to know is if this account is open to international students. I am currently waiting in my country of origin to start my semester in the fall at NAIT so I am currently shopping around for banking institutions with the best interest rate over the long term to help pay back my loan in my home country. Is this account available for someone like me and if not what would you recommend in terms of a savings account with a high interest over the long term.

    Thanks again😊

    • @Summer: I believe you will need to have landed in Canada with your stamped student visa before you can open a Wealthsimple Cash account. A few other options with some of the best savings rates in Canada are EQ Bank and Motive. That said, I think the same residency/visa rules apply to them as well. Some banks allow you to an account prior to landing (e.g. HSBC), however, the application process can be cumbersome and the savings rates are much lower as of this writing. Hope this answers your question?

  7. Is this a « forward-looking » review ? Because following your review, I created a Wealthsimple Cash account. The only thing it can do is send/receive funds to/from others that also have an account and there are precious few of them. Did you actually review the (seemingly inexistant) features you describe ?

  8. I signed up a while ago under the expectation set by them that they would have a “debit” card and I could use the account much like any other chequing/savings account. To date, none of that exists and they have slowed down their marketing on these features. I have moved most of my money back out – which takes a couple of days – and will likely close the account shortly. It’s really only for holding funds for their investment side.

  9. Can a wealthsimple account be denominated in USD?

    • @Saverio: Not at this time.

  10. Hi, thanks for this article, nevertheless, I’ve been customer with Wealthsimple cash for a month now, and the ONLY thing I can do with the account is peer-to-peer transfert, and that’s it ! (Actually I can’t really do it since the recipient as to be Wealthsimple customer too)
    Everything else : card, e-transfert, pay a bill, apple-pay is NOT THERE AT ALL !!!
    Sadly as much as Wealthsimple seems to have a nice project, in the end it looks like a pyramid scheme : they want us to refer friends to build the peer-to-peer community, the saving rate being the carrot.

  11. Enoch,
    I am wondering if you know how the new WS cash app settles transfers so quickly with P2P transactions? When I send $5 it takes less than 5 seconds to show up in my friends “wallet”.
    Is it misleading us by just showing the amount in the app? Or are they using a blockchain companies asset to settle/transfer so quickly? Hard question I know lol sorry.

    • @Chris: I’m not sure how they process the transfer, other than that it pretty much occurs instantly!

  12. Pretty much none of these features are available, been waiting for this for almost 2 years and … nothing.

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