The Rise of Digital Wallets: 5 Best Mobile Payment Apps for 2021
According to Statista, by 2023, mobile payment transaction users worldwide are projected to be at 1.31 billion, the number’s up from 950 million users in 2019.
With mobile payments rising and going upwards on the growth trajectory, is cash still the ‘King’? Not in the digital world where everything can be stored in a palm-sized device.
Kudos to the introduction of Near Field Communication (NFC), mobile apps providing contactless payments have become common, turning individual smartphones into digital wallets.
Once all your coupons, reward cards, and credit and debit cards have been stored in the app, making purchases online (grocery or McDonald’s) becomes a matter of simple tap and payment process, so you don’t have to dig for your wallet every time. This is the beauty of mobile payments. Your mobile device doesn’t get heavier with all the money, cards, or coupons stored in your digital wallet app.
What further strengthens the case is the fact that they’re simpler to use and more secure than carrying physical cash and cards around in a wallet. So what are these apps? Let’s do a birds-eye view of some of the best mobile app payment apps out there.
1. Apple Pay
Apple Pay is recognized at approximately half of all US retail outlets, such as Starbucks, Walgreens, McDonald’s, and Best Buy, among several others.
Apple’s goal is to make the difficult simple and accessible to everyone, and Apple Pay, their mobile wallet service, is no exception. There is no need to download an app, and it works on iPhones as well as Macs for e-shopping.
The user adds their payment card details to their Apple account. The iPhone is then used to purchase at a store using a contactless payment method, which is deemed more secure because the user must authenticate identity using the Touch ID sensor or Face ID.
Users can now give money to one another over iMessage or by just asking Siri, Apple’s digital assistant. When you get the money, it goes into your Apple Pay Cash account, which you can then send to your bank account.
2. Google Pay
Google Pay is the Android mobile payment app that comes installed on Android smartphones. Many retailers, including Bloomingdale’s, Chick-Fil-A, KFC, Nike, Staples, and online platforms like Airbnb and DoorDash, acknowledge it.
Google claims it’s safer than using a standard credit card because the card number is not sent directly and is encrypted utilizing multi-layer security.
Google Pay accepts credit cards from a variety of major issuers, including Chase, Citi, Discover, and American Express. That debit card from your local credit union with only three branches, on the other hand, will unlikely be recognized. However, it allows you to directly connect your PayPal account and all Visa cards are supported via Visa Checkout.
3. Samsung Pay
Samsung Pay, the company’s mobile wallet service, is now available to anyone who is a proud owner of their market-leading Galaxy phones. It is compatible with many of Samsung’s most recent flagship smartphones, including the Galaxy S9, but not on phones from other vendors, restricting its usage. That might be its only catch.
The Samsung Pay app works with a variety of leading banks’ credit and debit cards. One of the benefits of Samsung Pay is that it has a near-universal acceptance.
What’s more, Samsung Pay works with traditional credit card readers that use the newer EMV or NFC technology, as well as older ones that use magnetic stripe technology. By holding the device close to the reader, the credit card details stored on the magnetic strip are transmitted via a technology called magnetic secure transmission (MST).
Samsung Pay can genuinely replace that stack of credit cards in your wallet with a mobile app, thanks to its agility in dealing with the credit card reader.
PayPal appears to have been around for millennia when it comes to digital transactions – its history traces back to 1998. It rose to prominence as the official digital wallet and payment provider for eBay transactions but has since evolved into one of the most powerful names in the online banking industry.
PayPal allows you to send money to and from any United States bank account as well as many international accounts. Transferring money to relatives or friends from a PayPal or bank account credit is free, however, PayPal charges fees when sending money from a credit card or converting currencies.
Here’s what we really love about PayPal,
- the mobile app is user-friendly
- simple and free to set up a PayPal account
- no fee charges on money transfers
- with its super-strong encryption technology, it keeps your accounts secure
Zelle is a modern way to transfer money to your friends or family directly from your bank account. If you have an account with one of its partner banks, you can send money to anyone else with an account with the partner bank using same-day transfers.
Chase, Bank of America, Citi, US Bank, Wells Fargo, and online banking pioneers Ally and Capital One are some of its listed partner banks.
The best thing is, you can send money without having to download the Zelle app, although you can do so if you want to link your bank account. Sending and receiving messages is completely free. You may only link one bank account to your Zelle profile at a time, so make sure it’s your primary account if you register.
Digital wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, Venmo (acquired by Paypal) are replacing cash and card payments, making it easier to make contactless and fast payments. Forgetting your wallet at home is no longer as alarming as it used to be because many stores and restaurants are beginning to accept digital payments. The future isn’t cash, it’s digital wallets and mobile payments!