Writer: Evan Crosby
Digital wallets give consumers added security and convenience.
Several large finance and technology companies have developed mobile payment apps that customers can use to pay for store purchases. Pay apps, also known as digital wallets, are available to both Android and iPhone users. After installing a payment app, customers then link it to their bank or credit card information. Each time customers pay for something with an app, the amount is either deducted from their bank account or charged to their credit card. Paying for in-store purchases with a digital wallet is more secure than using a credit or debit card because all customer financial information is kept private. Therefore, a growing number of customers are using their smartphone to pay for retail purchases.
PayPal is one of the oldest, and largest, online payment systems in the world. The company began as a digital alternative to cash, checks, money orders, and wire transfers. In addition to those services, customers can also install the PayPal app on their smartphone. Linking the app to your payment information is easy: just take a picture of your credit or debit card with the app. PayPal’s mobile wallet lets you pay for in-store purchases with your smartphone. The app also allows you to manage your account as well as send and receive payments.
Venmo is another digital wallet created by PayPal. Venmo lets you share payments with others. For example, if you go out to eat with a group of friends, you and your friends can use the app to split up and pay the bill. You can also send money to others that use the app.
Dwolla is a competitor of PayPal’s that offers a mobile payment system. However, the company is much smaller and is open only to users in the United States. A growing number of brick-and-mortar merchants, online retailers, and organizations accept payments from Dwolla users.
The Apple Pay app is available to iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac users. The app is a convenient way for users to pay for iTunes and other Apple services. You can also use the app to pay for in-store and online purchases.
Android Pay has partnerships with major credit cards like Visa. The app is an easy way for Android users to pay for Google services like apps, games, music, and videos. You also can use Android Pay for traditional retail and online purchases.
The popularity of pay apps has not gone unnoticed by big banks. In fact, Citibank has become the first bank to offer its own mobile wallet, Citi Pay. Citibank customers are eligible to use the Citi Pay app anywhere that Citibank cards are accepted.
In short, mobile pay apps are quickly replacing cash and plastic as modes of payment. A lot of digital wallet users like that their banking information is kept private from merchants. Also, many customers find that using their smartphone is more convenient than digging out a credit or debit card in a store. There are several pay apps available; however, the most popular ones are from major financial and technology companies: Apple, Google, PayPal, Citibank, and Visa. Finally, if you would like to use a digital wallet to pay for purchases with your smartphone, then research the different apps to decide which one is right for you.