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Mobile Payment Apps & your Self-Directed IRA

Mobile Payments and your self directed IRA

In the simplest of terms, Venmo and Zelle are mobile payment systems that allow a user to send or transfer money from one bank account to another. Both are useful and popular, although they do have a few differences. However, each of them makes banking transactions much easier. Ever try to split up a lunch bill with your coworkers? The convenience of mobile payment apps are not just friends and families.

Key Points
  • A Self-Directed IRA LLC can help you enact your own transactions
  • Mobile Payment apps work with your SDIRA
  • You can take charge of your own retirement

Two Popular Mobile Payment Apps


Paypal’s Venmo began back in 2009 with a text to pay type of system. Three years later, social media sites were added to the platform. It acts as a middleman between banks and is funded by having money in it. Funds can go to anyone with an email or a phone number although it may take a few days. Transactions will generally incur a 3% fee. However, the transaction fee is waived when the transaction is funded with a Venmo balance, debit card or bank account. Fees are incurred if you choose to use a credit card.


Zelle links the bank accounts directly, and may already exist in your bank’s mobile banking app. Funds can be sent to anyone you know with a bank account, and there is usually no charge for these transactions. Unlike Venmo, you cannot use a credit card with Zelle. Unless your bank offer Zelle on their website, you will need a smart phone to install and use the app. The great thing about Zelle is that it doesn’t matter what bank you use. If you use one bank, and the money is sent to someone who banks elsewhere, you are probably in the Zelle network of banks. You can also connect your debit card if your bank or credit union is not supported.

Real Estate IRA LLC

A Real Estate IRA LLC is also known as a Self-Directed IRA LLC with “Checkbook Control”. It is an IRS- and tax court-approved structure that allows you to use your IRA funds to purchase real estate or make almost any other type of investment tax- free. For this type of Self-Directed IRA LLC, you have a passive custodian which allows you complete control to make your own investments with your own funds.

If you’re using physical checks to get money from your Self-Directed IRA to where you want it to go, you likely already know the drawbacks. It can take a long time for the mail to get from your site to wherever you’re sending your money. It can take longer to receive back whatever you’re waiting for.

Mobile payment apps, such as Venmo and Zelle, can transfer funds instantly without the need to find a mailbox, post office, or letter carrier. And with the Self-Directed IRA LLC you don’t need to pay any additional fees to a custodian every time you want to make a transaction. You have independence for yourself and your money.

Flexibility and Control

If you’re wondering what utilizing mobile payment apps can help you with, the list goes on, but mostly they can help with real estate. There are many options to choose from, but real estate is one area where you want to be agile and flexible. A Self-Directed IRA LLC allows you to make rapid decisions to build your portfolio, while acting as the LLC’s manager. Some options for real estate investments that are IRS-approved are listed below.

  • Residential or commercial real estate
  • Raw land
  • Foreclosure property
  • Mortgages
  • Mortgage pools
  • Deeds
  • Tax liens
  • Domestic real estate
  • Foreign real estate
  • Vacation homes
  • Rental units
  • Condos or coops
  • Farm land

When Are Mobile Payments Useful?

As we stated earlier, alternative investments, especially real estate, may make many transactions. Here are a few examples where having mobile payment available may come in handy.

  • Collecting rent from your tenants
  • Paying contractors for renovations
  • Paying for landscaping and/or snow removal services
  • Reimbursing a tenant for certain expenses

The list is virtually endless. The best part is the convenience of it all. Rental properties are an ongoing, sometimes lifetime, investment. If you have several locations, just think of the time spent needing to visit each one every time you need to pay or receive money. Mobile payments can help alleviate some of the headaches. Yes, writing a check may be fine most of the time. However, when you need to get money immediately, Venmo and Zelle can help you out.

Get Started Today

IRA Financial Group specializes in helping clients plan and execute Self-Directed IRA LLCs. The use of mobile payment services can help make life easier for you. Whether it’s sending money to an independent contractor or receiving money from a tenant, the ability to send money is right in your pocket.

Learn more about the Self-Directed IRA structure and using mobile apps with it by contacting a retirement specialist at 800.472.0646. Be sure to check out our YouTube page for loads of informational videos and podcasts to help you out!


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