Let’s be honest; it’s pretty cool to be able to whip out your cell phone at a restaurant and pay a friend for your half of dinner in about 10 seconds using a mobile payment app. The world has gotten pretty used to these handy apps that let us send and receive money, invoice customers and clients and smoothly conduct financial transactions with a few taps. However, how safe are these apps and are we putting our identity at risk by using them?
Not only do we use these apps to pay personal debts, but clients use them a well, and we can easily invoice someone or pay for goods and services on the fly.
The best mobile payments to use in 2021 are:
1. Apple Pay - For Apple Users
Apple Pay is great for sending money to friends and family. It works on the iOS system, and you can send up to $3,000 in Messenger ($10,000 in a seven-day period). There are no fees unless you send money that is funded using a credit card.
2. Google Pay - For Android Users
Google Pay is another great payment app that works on Android and iOS. You are limited to $9,999 per transaction and $10,000 over seven days. However, if you live in Florida, the limit is $3,000 every 24 hours. You cannot fund transfers with a credit card, and therefore there are no fees to anyone at any time. One nice feature is that it integrates easily with Gmail, and you can use it from a laptop or mobile device. Unfortunately, not that many vendors accept Google Pay, and most transfers can take up to 24 hours.
3. PayPal - Best Overall
PayPal is the grandfather of all payment apps dating back to 1998 when it started out as a payment method for eBay. Since then, PayPal has grown to become the number one payment app used by individuals and businesses. There are no limits when sending money from your verified account.
PayPal is very mobile-friendly. However, they keep changing their website, so it’s often challenging to find things. They do charge both the payer and payee fees. They use strong encryption to keep your accounts safe. However, there have been numerous complaints about PayPal’s customer service, and they can, on a whim, lock your account.
Venmo is another excellent payment option on mobile. However, you are limited to $299 per week, but you can request that limit be raised to $2,999.99 per week. There is no cost to use Venmo or transfer the funds into your own bank account after receiving them. If you send money using a credit card, though, Venmo will slap you with a 3% fee.
One good thing is that the money is sent and received instantly, and the app works great on a mobile device. You cannot send from the web, though; it’s mobile-only. There may also be some privacy issues. You need to review your settings to ensure your transactions are not announced to the world. Oddly enough, Venmo is actually owned by PayPal, but it’s not a well-known fact.
5. Xoom - Great for Sending Funds to People Overseas
Xoom is another PayPal-owned company that allows you to send money to other countries. It works on Android and iOS. You can send up to $25,000 per transaction. Initially, however, you may be limited to $2,999 for the first 24 hours, then $6,000 during the first month, and finally $9,999 over 180 days. The fees vary depending on the amount and country you send to.
6. Zelle - Work with Your Bank or Credit Union
You can only use Zelle if your bank supports the app. The good news is, Zelle works with most large banks like Wells Fargo, Citibank, Capital One, and Chase Manhattan. The system works on a computer or mobile device. They do not charge fees to send or receive money from your bank account, and most transfers take place the same day. The bad news is both the sender and receiver must have Zelle accounts for it to work. Another bottleneck is you can only connect Zelle to a single bank account for now.
7. Cash App
Cash App is another popular mobile payment app owned by Square. One of the best features is that it’s easy to set up and link to either a debit card or bank account. You can even buy or sell Bitcoin using a digital wallet. The downside is they limit you to $2,500 per transaction, and they charge a fee if you fund the transfer with a credit card.
Unlike Venmo, it does not have a social component where transactions are shared among all members. It’s strictly a payment app to send money to friends, family, or business professionals.
The Bottom Line
Ensure maximum security and privacy by reading reviews about these apps before using them and carefully reviewing each setting after installing.