The use of mobile payment systems has grown so much over the past years that some countries have actually created government-sponsored programs to spread the use of such technology amongst their population. Whether paying a friend back for a cup of coffee or that lunch when you two bumped into each other, splitting up gas money when on a road trip with other backpackers, or sending your parents your share of the household expenses and bills, transferring money between people has never been easier as it is today. Instead of having to look for an ATM with your preferred bank’s name on it in a foreign place or remote town, or having to bring out your dusty checkbook every time you need to transfer over some funds, you may want to consider using peer-to-peer or P2P payment services instead. P2P payment systems come in the form of apps or websites which allow you to send over money to other people or organizations quickly and securely, often with minimal or no fees involved at all. Here are a few of the most widely used ones in the world today.
Most major banks in the U.S. offer a service called Zelle which allows people to send money to other Zelle users or directly to other people’s bank accounts. This service is quite easy to set up and has a bevy of features under the hood, making it quite user-friendly and reliable. All you need to do to get started is to set up a Zelle account through your bank or through its mobile app. Once verified completely, you can then send or request money by providing another Zelle user’s registered email address or phone number. Even with someone who is not a Zelle user, having just their bank details would even provide you with a way to transfer the money. Money transfers using Zelle happen in minutes and can be tracked via the app itself. Zelle is also compatible with many major banks and credit unions, allowing easy funding or transferring of money into your Zelle wallet.
Venmo is a service that allows its users to send money between each other using linked bank accounts to the app, funding the Venmo wallet itself, or using a credit card. This service is actually owned by the much larger PayPal, but has some differing functionalities with PayPal’s parent app. Getting started with Venmo is as easy as downloading the app, creating an account, and linking a valid bank account or credit card to it. Once all these steps are done, users can then send, request, or receive money from other Venmo users. What Venmo does is essentially provide an app front-end to their banks, and make transactions between users of this app possible. One of its most interesting features is that Venmo comes with an optional debit card that allows its users to spend money in their Venmo accounts just like any other debit card can.
Digital wallets are fast becoming the way of using money in the future, and Google has brought that functionality to all users with Google Pay. This is a payment app that enables its users to make purchases or transfer money between each other. Google Pay works with any Android or Apple device, preferably updated to the latest operating system versions. This app gives you the capability to send users money to each other instantaneously, or even pay retailers purchases made both online or at point-of-sale locations. Phones with near-field-communication (NFC) can interact with point-of-sale NFC readers, making the act of payment seamless and quick even in physical stores themselves.