The Best Digital Wallet Apps
Did you know that one recent survey revealed that around 150 million Americans have used a digital wallet at some point in their lives? In fact, 66% of them, which is approximately 98 million people, mentioned that they prefer this new financial medium rather than carrying cash or physical credit cards.
Likewise, Nick Maynard, principal investigator of Juniper Research, says that, "The benefit of digital wallets is that they are ready to use [nearly immediately]." Now, mobile wallets, also called electronic or digital wallets, are currently the reflection of a major financial change. In short, if you have a smartphone, you’ve basically got a virtual wallet at your fingertips waiting to use. The trick is in finding the best one.
At their core, digital wallet apps are a way of storing debit or credit cards, not only to authorize payments for various transactions compatible with the platform, but also to allow you to transfer money directly to an external bank account as well.
There’s no doubt that digital wallet applications are constantly evolving, incorporating functions and services that will allow processes to be carried out more and more efficiently in this new era of digitization of the financial system. Here’s what to know to help you choose the right one.
The 9 Best Digital Wallets of 2021
1. Cash App
This app, known for its funky social media campaigns and the ability to invest, allows users to make contactless purchases and money transfers. This app stores your debit or credit card information and converts the cash into tokens which can only be accessed with your fingerprint. In other words, it’s one of the safest digital wallets available.
2. PayPal Mobile
If you are a fan of PayPal but have never used their mobile app before then you’re missing out! The mobile app (and, honestly, the platform in general) is designed to allow you to transfer your money from your PayPal account to your bank or to other banks in the case that you’re paying a service provider. It is one of the oldest digital wallets and is largely used to make payments for services and/or goods online. However, if you’re going to use it for business purposes, be sure you look into a PayPal Merchant account.
Venmo is probably the most popular peer-to-peer payment app on this list, in part due to its social nature (you can view your friends’ transactions and like them, too). Simply link a debit card, credit card or checking card to start receiving or making payments. Best of all, Venmo uses data encryption to protect your financial information.
4. Walmart Pay
This digital wallet app is different in that it relies on QR codes, unlike the tap to pay feature, which is based on NFC technology. It also allows you to link verified payment methods and is encrypted with SSL technology to keep your information protected, using several layers of security. If you’d like to try it out, it’s compatible with both Android and Apple.
Dwolla provides users with access to a digital payment network that allows money to be transferred between bank accounts. In the US, using your email or telephone number is sufficient enough (similar to Zelle). Dwolla stores your personal and payment information so that transactions are completed quickly in one day without hassle.
Speaking of Zelle, it’s absolutely one of the best digital wallet apps that can’t be left off this list (we almost didn’t include it because we do understand that, because it is linked to your actual bank, it’s like a wallet within a wallet).
Unlike other third-party transfer apps such as Venmo or PayPal, Zelle is a peer-to-peer system many banks have incorporated into their own branded apps. Major banks such as Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo use Zelle, making it easy to send payments quickly from your bank account to another user by just entering their email or phone number.
7. Google Pay
Formerly known as Android Pay and later as Google Wallet, this digital wallet uses NFC to allow payments, as long as the devices are within walking distance of each other. Google Pay allows you to add a debit card, credit card, PayPal account or bank account to deposit funds into your wallet and make online purchases, purchases within the application, or to send money.
8. Apple Pay
Similar to Google Pay, Apple Pay is an iPhone-integrated option that allows you to make purchases, pay for public transport and send money straight from your phone. You have the choice to load Apple Pay with money or to sync it with your bank account. If you’re sending money to another iPhone user, it’s as simple as pulling up their chat in iMessage and sending them money via Apple Pay.
9. Facebook Pay
If you didn’t know, you can use Facebook Pay to quickly and easily send money via Facebook Messenger (quite like Apple Pay and iMessage). All you have to do is link your debit card, credit card or PayPal accounts to deposit funds in your account. Once the money’s there, you can pay through Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp or even Instagram. Note that all payment details are stored separately from your Facebook account.
Want to use a digital wallet app that is easy to use and will also help you earn tons of cashback? Cheese is the one for you! To access the digital wallet, you’ll need to download the Cheese mobile banking app via Google Play or the App Store. You’ll be prompted to enter your information. As proof of identity, we accept:
- A passport number
- A valid visa
- A US address
As soon as you’re approved, you can start using your virtual Cheese Debit Card immediately. Soon, you will receive your physical Cheese Debit Card in the mail. Now that your digital wallet is set up, use it to track your cashback offers and rewards and to see how you can give back to your community!