Making Sense Of The Oodles Of Payment Apps

Posted by Richard on September 8, 2022

Payment apps. So, so many payment apps. You’ve got Venmo, Zelle, Cashapp, Apple Pay, Google Pay and more. Try to divvy up the bill with your friends at a restaurant and you may find yourself dealing with multiple payment apps. Ultimately, these apps offer a lot of conveniences, but some of the nuances can be a hassle. Let’s dig in.

Venmo ranks among the most well-known apps and currently lets you transfer money to friends (peer-to-peer, aka P2P) for free. However, the app is a bit nosy on its default settings, showing folks in the app where you spend money. And while it’s owned by PayPal, you can’t simply link Venmo to your PayPal account and must make bank transfers instead. Venmo also charges merchants who accept it.

Zelle is a great option for linking your bank account directly into an app. Zelle facilitates transfers from your bank account to friends and merchants. You can only send funds from one bank account, however, and not all banks participate. There are no fees for sending and receiving money, making Zelle a great low-cost option.

If you use Gmail and other Google services, Google Pay is a solid option. There are no fees for transferring money to and from friends and family and the app integrates with Google’s other applications, like Gmail. You will incur a 1.5 percent or 31-cent fee (whichever is higher) for debit card transfers.

Prefer Apple over Google? Apple Cash may be more your speed. However, standard transfers may take one to three days, unless you opt for instant transfer, which incurs a 1.5 percent or minimum 25-cent fee.

Which app is best? That’s ultimately up to you but choosing apps like Zelle or Venmo that don’t charge fees for P2P transfers will help you save.