The best payment apps | Savings and budgeting
The evolution of payments has seen cash and checks largely replaced by cards, and digital payments may become the method of choice in the future.
This is already something happening in countries like India and China where credit cards are not as prevalent, according to Beerud Sheth, CEO of Gupshup, a global conversational messaging platform that can also facilitate. payments. “There is more innovation in payments outside of the United States,” he says.
Payment apps can serve different purposes, which is why it makes sense to use more than one. “You have to use what all the traders use or what your friends use,” adds Sheth.
Here are some of the best payment apps available today. Read on for their details and who should consider using each one.
- Pay Pal
- Google pay
- Apple Pay
- Facebook Messenger
- App Cash
Best for: Purchase protection
Paypal has the distinction of being one of the pioneer payment services and has become popular as a means of paying for online auction purchases. “You didn’t want to share your credit card with a stranger, and Paypal met that need,” says Sheth.
Today, Paypal can be used to pay individuals as well as to purchase items from online stores and in person. Users can keep a balance in their Paypal account, set up direct deposit, and use cryptocurrency. In addition, the app comes with a wide range of other features for personal and business customers.
For buyers, Paypal offers an additional layer of purchase protection beyond what could be provided by a retailer or auction site. If an eligible item is not received or arrives significantly different from the one promised, Paypal will refund disputes filed within 180 days of purchase. Customers also have $ 0 liability for unauthorized transactions as long as Paypal is notified within 60 days.
Best for: Send money to friends and family
Venmo has become popular as a way for people to easily share their spending with friends and family, and it continues to be a leading payment app for this purpose. Many people like that payments can be personalized with notes and emojis, and payment streams can be made public or kept private.
Simplicity is one of the main advantages of Venmo. The app has a clean interface with a minimalist design. While sending and receiving money is its primary function, Venmo can also be used for direct deposit, cryptocurrency purchases, and trade payments.
Best for: Money transfer between banks
Those who don’t want to bother with a separate payment app can find what they need in their current banking app. Zelle is used by a network of hundreds of banks and credit unions across the United States.
“Consumers increasingly want to manage their finances from one place, and with Zelle, most consumers can send money directly from their bank’s app,” says Rohan Amin, Chief Product Officer by Chase. “At Chase, this is one of our most popular features, and our customers have been using it even more frequently since the start of the pandemic.”
Zelle eliminates the middleman for person-to-person transactions. Rather than passing money from one app to a bank account, Zelle allows money to flow directly from one bank account to another. It can also be used for certain small business payments.
Best for: Complete payment solutions
Some applications go beyond simple payment. “There are a lot of blurry lines these days,” says Jed Danbury, vice president of international sales for Computop, a global payment services provider.
Google Pay is a good example of how payments can be integrated into a multi-functional app. While Google Pay can make payments and purchases, it can also be used to monitor spending, track receipts, and earn cash back rewards.
Like other payment apps, money can be sent directly from one user to another. However, Google Pay also serves as a digital wallet for making contactless purchases using a mobile device at many retailers.
While Google Pay can be downloaded to iOS devices, iPhone users may prefer to use Apple Pay instead. It’s built into Apple devices and offers many of the same features, such as payments to family and friends and a digital wallet.
“The younger generation loves wallets,” notes Danbury. Digital wallets can be loaded with multiple debit and credit cards, providing a convenient way to travel and pay with just your phone.
Apple Pay notes that it can be used at 85% of U.S. retailers and provides a safe and secure way to pay both online and in stores.
Best for: Social media users
Social media is a part of everyday life for many people, and now payments can also be made through Facebook Messenger. The company recommends that money only be sent to trusted family and friends, and purchases in the marketplace are not eligible for purchase protection.
To send money using Facebook Messenger, users must be at least 18 years old and link a qualified debit card or Paypal account using the Facebook Pay option in their Messenger profile. While Facebook Messenger doesn’t seem as popular or as intuitive as other payment apps, it’s free and can be a handy option for social media users.
Best for: International transactions
If you’re sending money overseas or need to manage funds in multiple currencies, Wise is the app for you. One of its main advantages is that there is no markup on the exchange rate for currency conversions. “That’s why the company was created – because we believe in price transparency,” says Lindsey Grossman, product manager for North America at Wise.
Wise’s money transfer option allows one-time payments to be made, but the app can also be used to create a multi-currency account. This allows people to hold money in over 50 different currencies and have local account details in 10 currencies.
“We are seeing an increased need for cross-border digital payments,” Grossman said. With Wise, customers can easily make these payments and in some cases transact like a local.
Cash App stands out for its simplicity and ease of use. Like other payment apps, it can be used to send and receive payments within the same country. There’s also an option to apply for a free debit card, and Cash App ATM withdrawals are free as long as you have at least $ 300 directly deposited each month.
One feature that sets Cash App apart from other payment options is the ability to invest money with as little as $ 1. The app allows its users to buy fractional shares and set up recurring purchases. Bitcoin purchases are also available through Cash App.
Investment accounts on Cash App are free and do not require a minimum balance or commission fees. On the other hand, you also won’t receive any investment advice or recommendations from the app.
Best for: Installment payment plans
The future of payments could include more “buy now, pay later” or BNPL options, which allow customers to pay for their purchases over time. “These alternative payment methods may be better (for) those who are not credit card qualified,” Danbury said.
BNPL is a feature available in other payment apps such as Paypal, but Klarna specializes in these types of purchases. Buyers can make a purchase at any online store through the Klarna app and pay the balance in four interest-free installments, with payment due every two weeks. It can also be used for certain in-store purchases.
Founded in Sweden in 2005, Klarna now has 90 million customers, including 15 million in the United States. In addition to its “Pay in 4” option, customers can choose to pay off their balance in 30 days or finance their purchases over 6 to 36 months.