6 Best Mobile Payment Apps Right Now
Mobile payments, aka contactless payments, are getting easier and easier to use every day, but with so many apps out there, it can be hard to know which one is the best for you. This article will discuss apps that pay you instantly, have low or no fee transfers and more. You'll also learn some important info about mobile payment apps in general. Here’s our list of the 6 best mobile payment apps.
Here’s What We’ll Cover:
Are mobile payment apps safe?
As with any payment method, you should be careful and take the necessary precautions to stay safe. Be sure to read reviews before you download any mobile payment app. Also, if you’re using a payment app to pay for goods and services, you should only do business with reputable vendors.
Many apps will require you to add your banking or credit card info, which you'll need to be careful with, as scammers may try to intercept your info. You can protect yourself by using a unique password for each individual app and not reusing passwords.
Lastly, be sure to keep your mobile phone secure. Your bank will not be able to return any money lost if your mobile device is hacked, and your payment apps may be vulnerable as well. Even leaving your mobile device somewhere while unlocked could end up costing you good money!
How to Choose the Best Mobile Payment App for You
There are a lot of mobile payment apps out there, and the best one for you will depend on what you’re using it for. Keep in mind, you can use these for online payments too! There are several factors to consider when looking at mobile payments apps. Here are a few of the most important:
- What device you have. Some apps require you to have a specific smartphone model, while others work with more devices.
- Which banks support the app. Different apps may work with different banks or credit unions, so it’s important that you check what financial institutions are supported before spending time learning about an app.
- Which stores you want to use it at. If you want to use the app at only one store, it doesn’t matter which app you use. If there are several stores or types of businesses where you would like to make payments, choose an app that works with most of them.
- Which payment method you want to use. Some apps will let you pay with your Venmo account, PayPal balance or bank account. Others may only support credit/debit cards and transfers from other people's accounts. These typically still work with loyalty programs too.
The Top 6 Best Mobile Payment Apps
One of the most popular options around, Venmo allows you to send money through a text message or download their app on your phone to make instant transfers between friends or family members who also have an account. These are known as peer transfers or peer payments.Transfers are instant within the app from your account to other accounts.
- Venmo is great for those who are trying to decide between cash transfer apps because it allows you to pay back friends and family for things like splitting a dinner bill or paying rent without the hassle.
- No fees for instant transfers
- No transaction fees
- Option to make instant transfers with debit card or bank account for free
- Connects easily to your phone’s contact list
- While instant transfers are convenient, Venmo isn’t available through a traditional desktop browser. Instead, you need the app on your phone in order to transfer money.
- The biggest drawback to Venmo is that it isn't widely available just yet. Though you can use it on PayPal or download their app for free on your phone, not all businesses accept Venmo as a form of payment.
2: Google Pay
Google Pay allows users to send and receive payments through phone calls and text messages as well as an app on your phone. You can also use it to pay at any businesses that use Google as a form of payment or have it as an option if they have NFC capabilities.
- Secure and easy to use
- Use the app on your phone to send money with just a tap
- Accepted by all Google checkout locations so you can shop in-store at major retailers like Walmart, Whole Foods and more
- No fee for transfers when you use the mobile app on your phone to send money
- Is a secure form of payment since it uses your phone number and Google account, not credit card information
- Must have or create a Google checkout account in order to use this option
- Can only pay money to friends or businesses that have the app or are Google checkout locations
Allowing users to withdraw funds from their accounts via debit card online, PayPal offers low-cost transactions and an easy digital wallet for people who want more security than they get from a traditional cash transfer app.
- Efficient and safe
- Offers low-cost transactions
- Can use the cash in your PayPal wallet to pay for goods online or in stores that accept it as a form of payment, like Gamestop and Footlocker
- Secure login through your email address instead of an account number
- Fees can stack up on bigger transactions
4: Cash App by Square
The Cash app is currently only available in the U.S., but you can use it to transfer money instantly between users who have this app on their phone. There are no fees for sending or receiving money as well as no limits on the amount you can send in a day.
- No fees, interest or hidden charges for using this app
- Uses your phone number and GPS to find other Cash users near you
- Uses both cash and Bitcoin for payments through their app
- This app is only available in the U.S., so if you live outside of the country, this isn’t an option for you
5: Facebook Messenger
While this isn’t technically an app, it is a very popular option for sending money online. You can use your debit card to send cash through Facebook Messenger without having to download another app on your phone.
- Available on Facebook so almost everyone has this ability
- Secure if you have two-factor authentication turned on
- Easy to use and free
- If you don’t have two-factor authentication turned on, this isn’t a secure option for paying money to people or businesses. Anyone who has access to your Facebook account can send money without the extra security measures.
6: Apple Pay
Apple pay is available on Apple products, including iPhones and Macbooks. You can add your credit or debit card information to your iPhone's Wallet app and use it to make secure payments at stores that allow NFC purchases like Walgreens, Whole Foods and McDonalds.
- Secure for in-store purchases
- Available on iPhones and Apple products
- Allows you to use credit card payments and debit cars, not just a separate app on your phone
- Also works with Apple Watch
- Only available for Apple users
There you have it. Our top 6 best mobile payment apps. These apps are great for everyday life. For added convenience and to get money instantly, you can use Venmo, Cash App and Google Pay to send funds. For a safe option that is also available for your friends who don’t have the same app or device, you can choose PayPal. The Facebook Messenger app is another free way to transfer funds between friends online, but it isn’t as secure as some of the other options. Finally, Apple Pay is a very secure option for making purchases in-store with your iPhone or Macbook. However, this app is only available to apple users.
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