Do you still make payment with bills and coins, perhaps laced with the coronavirus? The recipient is likely to give you a worried look! And then there are the outspoken ones who may outright deny accepting cash or credit cards. So, you have little option but to go cashless. Here are the top contactless payment apps that save you from such an embarrassing situation.
Why Do Businesses Need to Consider Contactless Payment Apps?
If you are running a business, then the tap-to-pay option assures improved customer experience and reduced expenses. You don’t need a staff to operate the card machine or to count cash. By offering a contactless payment facility during the pandemic, you can make your buyers feel safe. The best part is that you enjoy this facility free of cost. Can you imagine a conventional credit card that doesn’t charge you?
Take a look at the contactless payment technology, and you will realize that it is completely secure and well-encrypted. This technology can keep hackers away. With a safe money transfer, you can be sure of receiving payments in time without facing any dispute.
Google Pay or G Pay – One Of The Trusted Contactless Payment Apps From the Internet Superpower!
Talk of a comprehensive app that offers a range of user-friendly features and Google Pay tops the list. Usually, you can find this mobile payment app preloaded on your Smartphone. If not, you can always download it from the app store for free.
The one advantage of Google Pay is that this contactless payment option is widely trusted and accepted. Be it a business payment, making an online purchase, or sending money to a friend, this NFC payment app assures a secure and seamless payment experience. Why? Because when you use G Pay, your card number is never revealed. This is not the case with traditional credit cards.
G Pay can be used for credit card payment as the app supports all the top card providers like Amex, Citi, Wells Fargo, Chase, and so on. With the latest update, you don’t need a separate Google Pay Send app for a person-to-person transaction. Now, G Pay handles person-to-person payments too. However you can’t pay your friends with a credit card, which is absolutely fine.
Be it grabbing a chicken burger at KFC, booking a room with Airbnb, you simply need to tap your Smartphone and Google Pay takes care of the rest!
Google Pay For Business App – One of the Best Mobile Payment Apps For Small Businesses
Are you specifically looking for contactless payment apps that support small business owners and employees? Then the Google Pay for Business App offers an easy solution. You can easily and instantly accept payments without installing any POS machine. Your customers can use their phone numbers or QR codes to transfer money directly from their bank accounts to yours.
As a business owner, you enjoy several other facilities. You can track sales data, and access transaction history on a daily/weekly or monthly basis. These give you a clearer picture of your business performance. Further, Google rewards you for using the business app and these rewards go to your bank account directly. And not to mention, Google Pay security ensures your business transactions remain completely secure and fraud-free.
But of course, you can avoid this mobile payment option, if you don’t like the ubiquitous presence of Google, controlling every aspect of your life!
What Are The Advantages and Disadvantages of G Pay?
- Secure with multi-tier authentication
- Quick payment and wallet transaction
- Easy integration and set-up
- You can enjoy promotional gift cards with each transaction
- Works fine on all mobile devices . You can use the web version too.
- A virtual wallet that replaces the real one!
- Offers and rewards for small business owners.
- Payment failure often happens without any acknowledgment, especially for huge transactions.
- Customer service is practically non-existent and you may find it hard to reach out to a customer service executive.
- It would help if they make an effort to add more local vendors based in different cities.
- You can use Siri or Google voice assistant to operate G Pay.
Apple Pay – One of the Popular Contactless Payment Apps Widely Accepted In The United States
As claimed by Apple Pay, it is accepted at more than 85% of retail stores in the U.S. True to Apple philosophy, this app takes the complexity and uncertainty out of the mobile payment process. You don’t need to download it. With your iPhone/Apple Watch/Mac/iPad, you can access Apple Pay by adding credit/debit card details to the Apple wallet account. Then your iPhone becomes the wallet as you can use it to make purchases at any retail establishment in the U.S.
Apple Pay is considered the most trusted way to make cashless payment as the identity verification is done by the Touch or Face ID. Simply place the phone near the NFC scanner. Once the Touch ID or Face ID sensor approves your identity, the payment is processed within a few seconds.
You can use iMessage to send cash. Else ask Siri to do the work for you! As and when you receive money, it first goes to the Apple Pay Cash balance. And then the money is transferred to the bank account.
What Are The Pros and Cons of Apple Pay?
- No need to carry your credit or debit card, and of course you don’t need to remember any complicated pin
- Business transactions become easier and quicker provided both parties are using Apple devices.
- You don’t need to worry about stolen credit card information as Apple pay never shows these crucial details during a transaction.
- You can use Apple Pay without an internet connection.
- The app doesn’t store any personal details like the customer’s name. address or transaction information. The device account number is the only information that is used during purchases. This assures complete privacy.
- Unlike G Pay, it works with Siri!
- Software failure is quite common especially when a new release happens.
- Not all merchants can offer Apple Pay which means you can’t take the risk of leaving your wallet at home!
- The embarrassing situation reported by Apple Pay users is the validation text message that suddenly appears on your mobile screen even when you are using it to pay.
- In case the phone battery dies, you can’t complete the payment unless there’s a charging station nearby.
PayPal – Pioneer in The Cashless Payment Segment
If you are running an online business or offering services, then you must have heard of PayPal. It is considered the pioneer in the online payment segment, though several PayPal alternatives has come up in recent times.
Now PayPal has taken the next step to enter the mobile payment segment. If you are already comfortable with PayPal then you may pick it up for person-to-person transactions. At the same time, PayPal also targets the retail payment sector so that buyers can use the app at checkout counter during a purchase. However, the endeavor till now remains unsuccessful because retailers are slow to respond to PayPal contactless payment solution. This is primarily because PayPal app is yet to offer proper NFC support.
Besides online purchases, PayPal right now excels in person-to-person payments. However, you need to download the app. You can use it on any Android and iPhone. The great part is that PayPal supports Face ID on both devices. And then it offers PayPal purchase protection, if you are buying goods or services. Your credit card details are never revealed to the vendor. Now, PayPal have come up with a special PayPal key feature which can be very helpful, if you need to use a website that doesn’t provide a PayPal button. Know more about it here..
Though it doesn’t offer NFC support during in-store purchase, but small businesses can still use the app to offer cashless transaction facility. They can simply print the QR code and customers can scan it to complete the payment.
The only downside of using PayPal is it’s somewhat complicated fees structure. While the money transfer to a linked bank account is done for free, but they charge a steep 2.9% for every debit/credit card transaction. Get a better idea of PayPal fees structure.
What Are The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using PayPal?
- Accepted widely around the world.
- Great for online purchases, as well as person-to-person transactions. Hence, PayPal is a highly preferred platform for freelancers, and small business owners who need to deal with overseas clients.
- You can set it up easily and access it via web or the mobile app.
- PayPal assures robust security.
- You can quickly access the historical statements.
- Many complain about it’s high processing fees, especially for international transactions.
- Right now, there are limited in-store contactless payment options.
- The customer service needs to be more prompt.
Samsung Pay – One of The User-Friendly Contactless Payment Apps That Connects to Any Credit/Debit Card
If you like to use credit card for business purposes then try the Samsung Pay app. It lets you use your credit card at any terminal that still uses the conventional magnetic strip technology. The first step is setting up the app with your credit/debit card information. But before that, you need to enter a 4-digit PIN. Remember this PIN which you need to provide while making a payment. While making the payment, you simply need to hold the Samsung phone next to the card reader. And, the magnetic secure transmission technology does the rest. Your credit card information gets transmitted safely.
Another intriguing part of Samsung Pay is that you can set it up on your Samsung watch also. This means you don’t need to carry your Smartphone. The watch will become your wallet. Of course, you need to set up the PIN separately on the Smartwatch to use the app. Yes, it is this simple! Since the Samsung watch is equipped with LTE connectivity, so you don’t need any internet connectivity to use the Samsung App.
At the same time, Samsung Pay supports NFC payments too. There are other facilities like loyalty plans, reward programs, gift cards, and more. You can Samsung Pay with Visa Checkout, which is supported by more than 3,50,000 merchants.
Right now Samsung Pay has become one of the preferred contactless payment apps in the United States. However, the app is available in 17 other countries. These are Australia, Spain, Sweden, Canada, Brazil, China, S Korea, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Thailand, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates.
What Are The Pros and Cons of Samsung Pay?
- It is the only app that can be used at any credit card point of sale (NFC or not). In this aspect, it beats Google Pay and Apple Pay.
- You can set it up quickly without any complicated procedure.
- The option to pay with your Smartwatch is cool indeed!
- Samsung Money service offered by SoFi ensures better and safer money management. Know more about it here.
- Your linked card earns lots of reward points. Then there’s a Store section which offers gift cards and coupons for shopping and restaurants.
- You can’t use Samsung Pay for person-to-person payment.
- This is one of the contactless payment options that work best on latest Samsung devices only.
- You might find the app interface a bit cluttered.
- There is no web interface available.
Zelle – One of The Simplest Peer-To-Peer Contactless Payment Options in The U.S.
Are you not so comfortable with the interception of a middleman holding your money before it gets transferred to your bank? Then Zelle is the best solution for you. You can access this app by directly visiting your bank’s website or app since Zelle works with all the major banks in the United States. Once you access your bank’s website or app you can find the Zelle Support, provided it is offered by your particular bank. Else you can install the Zelle app too.
The reason users like Zelle over other popular contactless payment apps is the seamless, no-cost, instant money transfer experience. There’s no need to ask for bank account numbers to send money to friends, and acquaintances. Of course, the recipient needs to be enrolled with the Zelle App too. You simply need their e-mail ids or phone numbers to transfer money directly to their bank accounts. This is indeed a great option for small business owners who can send instant money to vendors and suppliers without incurring costs related to conventional bank wire transfers. Zelle transfer is secure since you can do it inside your bank’s website or app. Thus your transactions enjoy multi-layer protection, offered by Zelle and your bank!
However, before trying the Zelle app you need to be aware of the few negative points too.
What Are The Pros and Cons of Zelle?
- Easy and quick setup, right inside your bank website/app.
- Instant money transfer to the bank account.
- The recipient can receive the money without the app being installed on his phone.
- No need to share your bank details to receive the money
- Zelle doesn’t charge anything for the money transfer
- The payment limit is quite high as compared to other popular payment apps.
- No international payment is allowed. You can use the Zelle app in the U.S. only.
- You can’t use the app for in-store or online purchase
- Zelle doesn’t let you use credit cards or gift cards for payment.
- There’s hardly any reward point or loyalty program.
- Some information is shared with marketing companies.
Venmo – A Fun & Friendly Mobile Payment App in The U.S.
While Venmo does have its share of controversies and scams, yet, Venmo is quite a fun way to send money to your known circle. However, you and your friend, both need to be US residents. This is because Venmo is not available in countries other than the United States.
Talk of fun and effortless way of sending money, and Venmo surely steals the heart of many! Usually, Venmo prefers transactions between friends and known contacts. Also, it prefers to create a friend list by importing contacts from your Facebook profile. Now, what if you want to pay a shopkeeper who is not connected on Facebook? First, you need to confirm whether the shop is accepting Venmo payments via QR codes. Then the merchant can provide you a QR code that you can scan and make the payment. Similarly, you can request a payment from a buyer too.
There are small business owners who might not be able to install an NFC terminal. For them, Venmo can be quite an affordable option to accept payments. Now Venmo is available on many online stores and apps that accept PayPal payments. A few prominent names are Grubhub, Uber, and Delivery.com. The app can be installed on both Android and iOS devices.
Security remains the only issue with Venmo. You need to change the Privacy settings, else your transaction settings remain visible to all, by default. No wonder then that Venmo scams happen so easily. However, you can use the PayPal platform to make payments with Venmo. This way PayPal’s highly secure platform will safeguard your Venmo transactions.
What Are The Advantages and Disadvantages of Venmo?
- Quick and instant payment to friends and contacts in your social profiles.
- A fun way to send money, as you can interestingly write the description with emoji and animated stickers!
- It can be used on any website or app that accepts PayPal.
- The app is accessible on any mobile device, equipped with Android or iOS technology.
- A cost-effective option for small businesses who can’t afford the expensive Smart Card Reader..
- Maintains its own cash balance, provides a real debit card, and even offers a virtual ATM option for money transfer.
- The app is available in the United States only.
- When it comes to security, Vemno scores poorly. Your payment details are visible to your contacts which is not desirable.
- You can’t make any payment outside the U.S.
- There’s no option to pay via the web version.
- You can fall prey to scammers if not extremely careful.
Now that you have read the pros and cons of all the top contactless payment apps, it’s time to take a prudent decision. Understand your specific money transfer requirements and then pick up the right one. If you are selecting a mobile payment app for business purposes, then focus more on safety and ease-of-use as these are the factors that make customers feel safe while making a payment.
Sweta is a veteran content creator, passionate traveler, movie enthusiast, music lover (reasonably good singer!), an informed reader …. and a coffee connoisseur! She has over 10 years experience in developing content for small businesses, internet marketing firms, website development companies and internet entrepreneurs. The experience has helped her develop in-depth knowledge about small business online which she now shares on the OnlismallbiZ platform. In her own words, “I am a dreamer and a doer!”