It’s no secret that convenience is king. Thanks to our smartphones, many everyday tasks have been simplified to a simple tap or swipe. Fortunately, paying someone is no different. There are a number of apps available that allow users to make mobile payments via their smart device.
Known as the most popular peer-to-peer payment app among millenials, Venmo (Android, iOS) makes small repayments easy. Using Venmo is super simple. Users install the app and link their bank account, debit card or credit card. The Venmo app can then be used to exchange cash and send requests with users. With Venmo, the awkward negotiations on how to split a dinner bill are a thing of the past. By allowing users to send and request money with personalized messages and emojis, Venmo removes the stigma of owing or asking for money.
Venmo does not charge users to transfer cash so long as the funds are from a linked bank account. However, if opting to use a credit card, users will incur a 3% surcharge. Unfortunately, in order to use Venmo, both parties need to have the app installed on their phone and linked to a bank account.
2. Cash App
Cash App (Android, iOS) is a digital wallet that allows users to send and receive money, similar to Venmo. However, Cash App offers some additional functionality that might make it more appealing. First, users can send money via email. This means that the recipient doesn’t even need to have Cash App installed on their phone. As long as they have an email address, they can receive cash. Secondly, Cash App supports BitCoin. This means that users can buy and sell BitCoin via the Cash App platform with zero fees involved.
Furthermore, users can set up a “$Cashtag” for accepting payments. This acts as a personalized URL for receiving money. Payees simply fire up Cash App and direct funds to a $Cashtag. The app deducts the funds from the sender’s debit card and transfers the amount to the owner of the $Cashtag. Finally, Cash App is totally free when using a personal debit card to send and receive payments.
3. Google Pay
Previously known as two separate apps, Android Pay and Google Wallet, Google Pay (Android, iOS) is an all-in-one solution to mobile payments. Google Pay allows users to pay for goods and services in addition to sending and receiving peer-to-peer funds. Users can link various payment methods like credit/debit cards, bank accounts, even PayPal to the app. Account numbers are encrypted and replaced with virtual ones for security. When shopping, Google Pay uses NFC technology to facilitate payments via tap-and-go payment systems. Money is deducted from the funding account from within the app, meaning you don’t even have to bring your wallet with you the next time you need some milk.
Furthermore, Google Pay can be used for direct payments to friends and family using their email address or phone number. The money is pulled from a linked bank account and sent immediately. Alternatively, users can send money via email as an attachment from within Gmail. Simply compose an email and tap on the dollar icon. Enter the amount you would like to send, and you’re done.
Chances are you’ve heard of PayPal (Android, iOS). The money service has been around for a long time and is one of the most popular methods of transferring money online. Unlike the other apps in this list, which are designed around smaller payments, PayPal allows users to transfer fairly large sums of money, up to $10,000. Additionally, PayPal allows users to send money abroad and supports multiple currencies.
Sending money via PayPal is free, provided the funds originate from an existing PayPal balance or from a linked US bank account. Users can opt to use PayPal to send debit and credit card-funded payments; however, they will incur a fee of 2.9% if they reside in the US and 3.4 – 3.9% if outside the US. That being said, PayPal offers greater peace of mind by offering robust security features. In addition, they are an established company that has been around for a while due to high consumer confidence.
5. Facebook Messenger
Regardless of what your opinion of Facebook is, this payment method has one distinct advantage over the rest. Chances are most of the people you know have a Facebook account, which means they probably have Facebook Messenger (Android, iOS) already installed on their phone. This makes transferring cash super easy. To initiate a transfer, all you need to do is find the profile of the person you want to send money to within the Facebook Messenger app. Next, simply tap on the dollar sign icon. Here you will be able to enter the amount you want to transfer to that person. Facebook Messenger will draw the funds from a linked debit card and pay into the recipient’s debit card account.
Sending and receiving money via Facebook Messenger is very similar to Venmo. Users can chat with their friends making a payment request less awkward and even request money from multiple people at once, making splitting the bill painless. Best of all, making payments via Facebook Messenger is completely free.
What is your favorite way to send money online? Let us know in the comments!