These are the best mobile payment apps of 2020

Cropped image of teenage girl using mobile phone

Sending and receiving money has never been so easy.

Maskot/Getty Images

In this era of social distancing due to COVID-19 crisis, most of us are likely to handle much less cash. After all, COVID-19 is a viral disease, and who knows where that dollar bill has been? Instead of risking cash, it’s easier and safer to send money and receive payments digitally. If you are also interested in learn to save money with appsThis guide explains it to you.

Founded in 1998, Paypal was one of the first great online payment services in the United States. Since then, many other players have emerged: big tech companies like Apple, Google, and Samsung; newer ones like Venmo and Cash and institutional giants like Zelle. We’ve rounded up here the most popular apps you can use in the United States to pay for goods and services, request contactless payments, and move money.

Patrick Holland/CNET

If you have an iPhone, you can send and receive money directly through the Messages app with Apple Cash. You can use an Apple Cash debit or credit card to finance a payment.

To start a transaction, open the application Messages and select or create a new contact. Tap the Apple Pay icon at the bottom of the screen, choose an amount, and tap request or send. Apple says it takes between one and three days to process transactions. Apple Cash is free to use, unless you choose an instant transfer, which guarantees processing in less than 30 minutes, but it comes with a 1 percent transaction fee. Read our guide on Apple Cash.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

The Cash app, formerly known as Square, is the # 1 financial app on the App Store. Once you sign up, you are assigned a $ Cashtag: your username. You can identify contacts using your email address or phone number.

Once you add a bank account or credit card, you can send, request and receive money through the application. As long as you are financing and receiving payments through your bank account, there are no fees or transaction costs abroad. But there is a fee – 3 percent of the transaction amount – if you pay by credit card.

Cash application generally takes one to three days to transfer funds. There is an option to access your money instantly, but you are charged an additional 1.5 percent fee (with a minimum charge of 25 cents). Read more about the Square Cash app.

SOPA Images/Getty Images

Google Pay replaced Google Wallet and Android Pay in 2018. You can use it to pay for goods and services, as well as send and receive money.

While Apple Pay is exclusive to iPhone users, anyone with a Gmail account can use Google Pay. You can access it directly through the Google Pay application or point your browser to Transferring to a debit card generally takes 24 hours, while transfers to a linked bank account can take up to five days. There are no transaction fees to use Google Pay. Everything you can do with Google Pay.

homas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

PayPal, one of the first platforms for digital payment, is free to use as long as you are connected to a bank account (or have a PayPal Cash bank account). If you start a transaction with a credit card, there is a 2.9 percent fee. Standard transfers may take one to three days to appear on your account. Instant transfers appear immediately, but a 1 percent transaction fee is charged. How to add PayPal to your Google account.

Getty Images

Venmo, owned by PayPal, is the third most popular finance app on the App Store. Once you download it, you can send or request money to anyone in the United States with a Venmo account. It is free as long as the payment comes from a bank account, debit card or prepaid debit card. For credit card financed payments, Venmo charges a 3 percent commission.

Transfers to a bank account generally take one to three days to complete. There is an option for an instant transfer, which is processed in 30 minutes or less. They are charged an additional 1 percent transaction fee. Read more about how Venmo works.


Owned by a collective of 10 US financial institutions, including Bank of America, Capital One, and JP Morgan, Zelle allows you to transfer funds directly between bank accounts. There is no app to download or an account to set up. You just enter the email address or phone number of the person you want to pay to and you’re done: the transaction is instantaneous and all your contact information and bank account details remain private.

You can download the Zelle application or use it on your bank’s website, if it is one of the more than 30 institutions that support it. (Not all banks or credit unions participate, but most do.) While Zelle will not charge you to send or receive money, some banks may apply fees to transactions made using the technology. Read more about Zelle.

READ  The Pentagon declassifies UFO images and unleashes memes on Twitter