Consumers have many options today to pay for things over their mobile devices. Using online payment systems has changed the way we pay for things, and apps like PayPal have made paying and receiving debts from friends and family, and paying for goods and services online, a simple, quick and safe process.
For those of us who’ve engrained these technologies into the way we pay for things, they have without a doubt made our lives easier. Paypal is one of the most recognized names in the mobile payments realm with over 377 million users worldwide. Venmo and Apple Pay have also become super popular and adopted by millions of users worldwide. I wanted to take this opportunity to point out what I feel are some of the best features for each of these apps in terms of design, usability, and overall experience.
Venmo, is a newer app that seems to be hugely popular right now, especially among younger people. I recall having to send money to my younger sister and her laughing at me because I wanted to use PayPal. This was a boomer moment for me. I bent to her wishes and decided to download Venmo for this exchange. In terms of design, Venmo uses a mobile first approach. I first tried to open my account over the web and it appeared that the web services were obsolete. So I downloaded the app. My first impression was not the best. It was not evident how to send money. The interface was minimalist and hard to navigate. But, once I figured out how to use it, it was super simple. I use the app all the time now. It has a younger generation feel to it with its fun timeline feature where users can send messages back and forth publicly or in private. I love that Venmo lets you transfer your balance to your bank account instantly.
2. APPLE PAY
It was extremely simple setting up Apple Pay. I entered my debit card information and registered with Apple Pay. It could become one of my primary ways of paying when I am out shopping at stores or eating at restaurants. It integrates seamlessly with my iPhone and it knows when your phone is hovering over a card reader. It quickly communicates with the reader and vibrates when the transaction is complete. It is such a smooth process. I only use Apple Pay at physical stores, but I am sold on the technology. Apple Pay honestly saved me once. I had all my groceries rang up at the grocery store when I realized I forgot my wallet (this is not uncommon for me). Luckily I had my iPhone with me and thank goodness Apple Pay was set up. I just held my phone over the card reader and I left with my groceries. That was indeed a great user experience.
Paypal is honestly one of my favorite ways to pay. I use it so often when checking out online. I use it more on the web than I do on mobile, and I never use it when I am out at a store or restaurant (I believe I’d need to get a credit card from them if I wanted to do that). So many online merchants allow the customer to check out easily with PayPal. I love that I don’t have to enter anything, and Paypal takes care of it. My only gripe with Paypal is that you can’t transfer cash immediately if someone sends you money or you get a refund.
What are your favorite mobile payment apps?