Today, more than ever before, we dread having to carry around fat wallets overflowing with credit cards, cash, and receipts. Well, with the advent of the smartphone and the millions of apps that come with it, we can simply use our mobile phones to shop! There are a slew of mobile payment apps out there that make payments totally seamless. We’ve singled out some of our favorite ways you can use your smartphone to make purchases:
Leave it to the masterminds at Apple to create the easiest and safest way to make purchases. Apple Pay is a mobile payment system and digital wallet that allows you to pay using the latest Apple devices — the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 PLus, 6S and 6S plus, Apple Watch, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro, and iPad Mini.
No more do you have to scrummage through your handbag, find your wallet, find the credit card you want to use, and find that rewards card you have for a store. With Apple Pay, you can use your credit cards and store rewards cards with a simple touch of a button. Literally. Using the new Touch ID feature, you don’t need to open up an app or even turn on your phone. It’s as easy as placing your finger on the iPhone home button and the Touch ID reader will unlock and give you access.
Also, unlike many other mobile payment services, with Apple Pay, your credit card numbers are never actually stored on your iPhone, watch, or iPad. Apple doesn’t save any of your transaction information – it’s completely private. Your card number isn’t even sent to store merchants when you pay! Apple Pay instead assigns a unique Device Account Number for each purchase. All that is used to process your payment is that unique Account Number and a dynamic security code. So your payments seriously cannot be more secure and safe.
You can pay with Apple Pay in over one million stores today. And more and more stores and apps are accepting Apple Pay everyday!
In 2014, over $40 billion was spent on mobile phones across the globe using PayPal. The most established mobile payment service in existence, PayPal is a web-based service that allows you to pay and accept payments without revealing your financial details. The PayPal app works in the same, secure way except it’s now on your phone!
So, what’s so great about it?
- Convenience. In the words of PayPal, “confidence has never been so convenient.” You can use PayPal to pay without having to reach for your wallet or entering all of your personal information. And, you can pay across apps with the touch of a button! You can simply take a picture or your bank, debit, or credit card and upload it to your digital wallet. PayPal also works with just about all banks in the United States — making the experience even more convenient.
- Security. “But how do I know all my info is protected?” Don’t fret for a second. You’re fully covered by PayPal’s Purchase Protection. All of your transactions are monitored 24/7 by next-level encryption. And security specialists at PayPal keep your “digital wallet” safe and secure.
- Tons of businesses use it. Uber, StubHub, and a slew of other Web-based services all use PayPal
- Pay on virtually any phone — from iPhones to Androids.
- NO fees. Well, for the seller there is. For you? ZERO. You can make your purchases with no additional charge, when you buy in the US.
So, what are you waiting for…… Download that PayPal app and start shopping!
Confession time. Despite the fact that a lot of my friends use it, Venmo was a foreign concept to me. Was it a car? Was it a celebrity? I legitimately just didn’t know. But, having learned more and using it for a few months now, I have come to LOVE Venmo. For those who don’t know, Venmo is a digital wallet that allows you to pay and request money from your friends and family. The Venmo mobile app allows you to transfer these payments between mobile numbers, email addresses, or even Facebook accounts. Splitting a lunch bill? Paying for a cab fare with 4 of your friends? Or just straight up short on cash? Venmo is perfect for any and all scenarios like these. Simply download the app and add your bank or debit card. What you will see is a “Venmo balance,” which is almost like cash your friends have already sent you that is sitting in your “digital wallet”. Another neat thing about Venmo…it’s kind of like a social network in that you will get a newsfeed of payments made between your contacts. So, if you haven’t already, download Venmo and get started!
TabbedOut is a mobile app that allows you to view and pay your bar tab or restaurant check with your phone! What is so neat about this app is that you can skip the waiting around for your bill, calculating a split check, and handing your credit card to a stranger (your waiter). Whether at a restaurant table or in the backseat of a cab, TabbedOut lets you securely pay your check or tab when you’re ready, at YOUR convenience. Not only can you pay with your phone on your own time, but also you receive special deals and discounts from venues, restaurants, and brands near you — all sent straight to your phone. Also, your credit card info is kept safe in your phone with TabbedOut’s military-grade encryption (instead of in the hands of a stranger waiter).
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Marissa Licursi is a student at Johns Hopkins University