Money & Career
Making Payments with iPhone Apps
1/5/2018 1:41:47 PM

Financial apps can make handling money even faster and easier, often reducing payments to only a couple clicks.

With mini-computers, aka smart phones, in our purses or back pockets, managing our money and making payments are only a couple clicks away. Most apps manage a user’s online payments by linking the user’s bank accounts and cards to an app account with its own balance. Payments will withdraw from the balance and from the linked bank accounts or cards if there are no funds in the balance. Any payments received will be added to the balance, which can then be transferred to a bank account later or used to make other payments. Besides this basic function, different apps offer different services.

PayPal, which boasts more than 200 million users and is accepted by millions of brands, strives to handle all payments from online shopping quickly and conveniently. Online stores with a "Check out with PayPal” button allow customers to simply use a username and password to make a payment, and with One Touch, only a couple of clicks are needed. There are no costs to buy goods and services, and any payments to other PayPal accounts made with the balance or linked bank account are free, but transfers made through a debit or credit card will come with a fee of 2.9% of the payment plus $0.30.

Venmo incorporates social media into its app by allowing users to share notifications of their payments with friends who also use the app. Venmo will ask to access a user’s contacts or Facebook account to find other users to add to the friend’s list, and any payments those friends choose to share will appear in the user’s feed. Payments do not have to be shared, and each payment will also ask whether to share the payment information or keep it private.

Venmo is geared towards money transfers made among friends, and can be useful for handling shared bills or sending money gifts. Like PayPal, Venmo charges a 2.9% fee for paying with a credit card, but bank accounts and debit cards are free. 

Square Cash
Square’s Cash App streamlines the payment process to a core functionality without the social media experience of Venmo, while also offering some additional features. Users can create a cashtag (a $ with a unique handle afterwards, such as $cashtag) which can be used in place of contact information to send payments to the user through the app, and a link can be used by those that don’t use the app to send payment by a one-time input of a debit card.

Square Cash can also generate a virtual card linked to a Square account that can be used like a debit card. The card isn’t tied to the user’s bank account, so it can provide a degree of separation from one’s personal finances when shopping online.

Apple Pay and Google Wallet
Both Apple and Google incorporate their own payment management systems into their various services, which are tied to a user’s Apple or Google account. 

Apple Pay, accessible through the Wallet app on an iPad or iPhone, can be used to pay for in-app purchases, purchases made online through Safari, or even in select stores. Like Venmo and Square Cash, payments can be made among contacts using Messages, which will then apply funds to an Apple Pay Cash card in the Wallet app.

Google Wallet likewise allows for payments among contacts through the app with a phone number or through Gmail. Though Google Wallet isn’t available for store purchases, it can automatically transfer any payments received directly into a bank account, a feature also shared with Square Cash. 

Posted by: Mitch Thomas | Submit comment | Tell a friend

Categories: Finances

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