The Best Online Payment Apps of 2021
While the pandemic certainly didn’t cause everybody to switch over to digital wallets and payment apps, it certainly accelerated the shift over to the adoption of this technology. Not only do these types of apps save time and hassle, but in today’s socially distanced age, they’re actually quite a bit safer than paying with cash or handing over a card.
However, now all online payment apps are the same. Some come with hefty fees while others only accept certain users and banks. So, what are the best online payment apps of 2021? We did the research for you.
Our top picks include the standard, popular ones such as Venmo and PayPal. However, there are other great mobile payment apps you can use, too. Read on to learn more about what each app offers and why they're worth a download!
What Are the Different Types of Online Payment Apps?
You’ll find that most online payment apps fall into three different categories, each with a slightly different feature. These are digital wallets, contactless payments, and “pay now” apps. And, oftentimes, a certain app follows into every category! Let’s break those down a bit more.
- Digital wallets: These require you to set up and maintain a virtual account. Apple Pay and Google Pay are some of the most-well known and popular digital wallet apps, but PayPal and Venmo qualify here as well. Cheese could even be considered a digital wallet app as it allows you to store a virtual debit card that you can easily pay with.
- Contactless payments: With these apps, you’re not downloading a banking app to make transfers like you might with an app like Zelle. Instead, you’re linking your existing card so that you can make, you guessed it, contactless payments. Something like Apple Pay is a great example of this.
- "Pay now” apps: These payment apps allow you to easily store cash in an account (whether you’ve added money to the account or it just draws from your linked card) to quickly and easily make digital payments. Zelle and Venmo are great examples of this, as are other popular apps that let you send money easily to other countries like Xoon or Circle Pay.
Why’s this matter? Really, it’s just important that you understand what kind of app you need. If you are looking for an app that’ll allow you to digitally link and store various cards, a digital wallet payment app might be the best option for you. Just need to send cash to friends when it’s time to split the bill? A “pay now” app is definitely a good fit.
What to Know About the Safety of Online Payment Apps
The first thing that comes to mind when considering an online payment app is whether or not it's secure, right? Popular apps such as Venmo and PayPal (and most of the others, too) offer security features like two-factor authentication (2FA), which requires your login information plus one other form of identification before granting access to your account.
Using a payment app with 2FA ensures that no one can access your account without having possession of both pieces of information needed for verification, decreasing the chances that someone will be able to compromise your identity and safety.
However, in talking about safety, it’s important to note that most apps are well-protected and, in general, you never have to worry about someone being able to access your information. Set up a separate phone passcode if you’re feeling anxious about it just so that you’re creating your own two-layer security buffer.
What Are the Best Online Payment Apps?
Okay, now it’s time to answer the question we came here to answer! Here are our top picks for the best online payment apps of 2021.
The Best Phone-Specific Apps: Apple Pay & Google Pay
If you are looking for an app that practically does it all and are loyal to your brand, an app like Apple Pay or Google Pay is great for you. We will note that Samsung Pay is another option, but it doesn’t allow you to perform person-to-person transfers.
Do also note that when using either of the aforementioned apps, if you’ve connected a credit card and want to make a transfer using that card, you’ll be limited. Apple Pay charges you 3% for a transaction like that and Google Pay simply doesn’t allow it.
The Best for Zero Fees: Facebook Messenger
Who knew that you could also send money via Facebook Messenger? We did! And so do lots of other people who enjoy using the app’s online payment feature to send money to friends and family. There are zero fees associated with these transactions but you do need a Facebook account to set up the payment feature.
The Best for Ease of Use: Venmo or PayPal
Venmo is a lot more social than other online payment apps as it allows you to see what kind of transactions your friends are making and vice versa. PayPyal, on the other hand, can be a great online payment tool option for freelancers and small business owners
What About Apps for Online Banking?
If you’re not interested in using a mobile app to make payments, you’ll still likely find that utilizing an app to store your debit card and make quick payments is helpful. In short, you don’t need to be transferring cash to benefit from a mobile banking app and digital wallet. Our app of choice? Cheese of course!
When you download the Cheese Mobile Banking app from the App Store or the Google Play Store, you’re able to create an account within minutes and start using your digital debit card immediately after. What if you’re an international student or immigrant? Cheese is actually built for you! It’s why you’re able to apply with an established US address, passport, and valid visa.
The features and functions of the app are similar to standard banking apps as well but we take them to a whole new level. You can, for example, enjoy 10% cashback at select stores, get up to a 3% deposit bonus, and access your paychecks up to two days early. Plus, you’ll get both a physical card to swipe and a virtual card to use when you wanna go contactless.
And, that’s on top of all of the other perks, such as:
❌ No Monthly Fee 🧀️ $5 cash bonus
❌ No ATM Fee 🧀️ Up to 10% cashback with every purchase/transaction
❌ No Overdraft Fee 🧀️ Potential Double Cheese Cashback
❌ No Insufficient Fund Fee 🧀️ Up to 3% Saving Bonus
❌ No Minimum Balance Requirement 🧀️ Early Paycheck
❌ No Int. Incoming Wire Transfer Fee 🔐 FDIC Insured
Get Cheese for free today and set up your account in minutes. Then, enjoy all of the great benefits.