Home > Personal Finance > Finding the Best Payment Apps

Comments 0 Comments
  • Mobile payments are steadily increasing as consumers find a wider range of reliable apps to use for payments.
  • Payment apps prioritize convenience while making it easy to track your spending habits.
  • You can use your credit card number to set up an account, allowing you to pay digitally.
  • Payment apps provide safe and secure ways to protect your credit card.
  • You can split dinner bills, repay friends, complete cashless transactions and do much more with payment apps.

Why Use Payment Apps?

If you are a heavy user of credit cards and cash, you may be wondering about the benefits to using mobile payments for some transactions. Here are some of the main reasons you may want to try using payment apps.

Secure Your Information

These mobile apps prioritize safety and security, since those are some of the key benefits to using payment apps. Each app must meet the standards created by the PCI Security Standards Council, which ensures a high level of security and protection of credit card information. For in-store use, these apps are safer than using a physical credit card, since they encrypt your card’s number with each use.

This means that retail locations don’t get your actual card data, but instead a digital token that protects your information. Many of these apps also offer their own security services that can detect fraud, adding another source of protection besides what you get from your bank.

Pay Between Friends

When you go out with a big group of friends, handling the check often becomes a pain. This is one great way these apps can make your life easier. Some payment apps will let you split the check between users, so each of you can send in your part. Otherwise, applications that allow person-to-person payment come in handy.

If one person covers the check, he or she can send requests to the others in the party for the amount they owe. The transaction histories are useful for keeping track of payments and requests, so you can see when you have and haven’t paid your friends back. The best payment apps offer a nice, clean record of personal payments.

Pay Cashless Anywhere

Flea markets, farmers markets and similar events used to be known as cash-only affairs. However, with the rise of mobile payment, you can expect to find more and more vendors who allow various methods of payment other than cash. Paypal and Venmo are some of the most popular options for small businesses, and they allow for secure transactions even in informal settings.

When you use one of these established apps to pay a small business, you can trust that the transaction will be secure and your data will be protected. Shop comfortably at fairs and markets even when you opt out of using cash.

Apple Pay

This app comes pre-installed with iPhones from the 6 model onward. For security reasons, it requires you to set up a locking system that uses either Touch ID, a passcode or Face ID. The app can add your card details just by taking a photo of the front, with only a few other details required.

Since it can be used at half of US retail stores, the security functions are a top priority for this app. It encrypts your data when entered at physical locations, and it even changes the token credit card number with each use. This goes above and beyond security standards and is safer than using a card as normal.

Apple Pay also works for sending money to peers, and offers a digital wallet where you can store funds to use this on feature, which is called Apple Pay Cash. The peer money sending feature charges a 3% fee if the source is a credit card.

Paypal

This is one of the most famous payment apps around, to the extent that many online stores offer a separate Paypal option at checkout. It is free to create an account and use this app, but using a credit card to pay adds a 2.9% fee to your transactions.

The user interface is easy to navigate and most tech-savvy people have an account already, which is ideal if you plan to use it to transfer money between friends. Paypal requires you to have location services enabled in order to find local retailers that accept this method of payment. It has a convenient option called Money Pool, designed to help with splitting bills.

Samsung Pay

Samsung pay is free to download and use, but it can only be installed on Samsung phones. This app is unique because it works at any store or location that takes cards with a magnetic strip. That ability makes it one of the best payment apps for shopping in person, since almost every retailer these days accepts cards.

It frees you from having to take out a credit or debit card even at stores that wouldn’t otherwise have the capability to accept mobile payment. However, Samsung Pay doesn’t allow you to pay friends or other users – only businesses. This app also has a rewards program and allows you to connect to membership programs that offer rewards, for everything from convenience stores to airline miles.

Venmo

Venmo is free to use and download. It is best known for its use as a person-to-person money transfer app, but you can also use it for other purposes because it’s accepted on websites that allow payment via Paypal. It lets you keep funds on your account, which is helpful for budgeting purposes.

When you pay using either a credit card or a debit card from a lesser-known bank, the app takes a 3% fee. The app has a social media format that lets you add friends and see what they are buying or paying for, if they choose to make their transactions viewable. Transactions can be set to visible for the public, friends only or private.

Zelle

Zelle is primarily for sending money between friends, not for shopping, and it is limited to use within the US. This service has its own app, but it can also be accessed through the app for more than 50 major banks, so many people won’t need to install a separate app to use it. Instead of sending money to a wallet attached to an application, Zelle sends funds straight to your bank account, without delay and without any fees.

Another advantage of this app is that you can send money to people just by using their email addresses or phone numbers. The daily and monthly spending cap varies, since it’s determined by your bank.

Look through the best payment apps to find one that addresses your personal needs for sending money and shopping without cash or a card. Secure applications and credit cards offer new ways to protect your data and avoid fraud, so you can feel protected at all times.

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other sponsored content on Credit.com are Partners with Credit.com. Credit.com receives compensation if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any financial products or cards offered.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.



Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team