Mobile payment apps simplify the process in face-to-face, online and remote transactions. Convenience combined with security is making mobile payment, or m-commerce, the next wave in the way we pay for goods and services of all types.
Here are five apps for your digital wallet that will take the hassle out of paying wherever you go in the real or virtual world.
Apple was slower than many other retailers to release its mobile app. Apparently, the extra time gave Apple a chance to evaluate what works and doesn’t work in their competitors’ products and create an app with all the pros and few of the cons.
It scores well in convenience, ease of setup, consumer protection and low fees. The single con is that it is still limited in where it can be used, but usability width is a problem with most mobile apps.
Apple Pay has partnered with some of the largest banks and retailers in the world including Chase, Capital One, McDonald’s and Nike, and of course, it offers seamless transactions with all-things Apple.
Clipp Tab App
The Clipp Tab App for Apple iOS and Android is designed for use in bars and restaurants. It has been hailed by the hospitality industry as a game changer while consumers love the convenience and control it gives them.
The app allows you to open a tab at participating locations and authorise a spending limit. As items are added to your tab, they appear for your review. When you’re ready to go, you simply choose the pay function on the app, add a tip and close/pay the tab. The establishment may close the tab too when a patron fails to do so. Tabs can even be divided amongst those in your party. You can see how this works here.
The app keeps track of receipts and reward points and has other user benefits. It is easy to set up and use, and it offers excellent security.
The LoopPay mobile app is currently the app that works with the widest spectrum of smartphones because it includes a fob or case with a chip to handle near field communication (NFC) which allows your payment information to be read by a terminal when you pass your smartphone in close proximity to it. The chip even works if your phone is dead.
The major concern is losing the fob or case containing the chip, and for that reason, reviewers rank it lower than most other digital payment apps for security. It gets some of the top scores for low fees, ease of choosing a digital wallet stored on the device and the number of locations where it can be used.
Google launched its Wallet in 2011 as one of the first of its kind, at least among major industry players. It allows you to store information from credit and debit cards in addition to loyalty card and gift card status. The display shows your payment options, and you select the one you want via the touchscreen.
The Google Wallet is the best choice for storing a large number of payment options and quickly selecting the one you want for the transaction at hand. It also gets high marks from users for convenience and low fees. It’s in the middle of the pack for consumer protection, and, like Softcard and Apple Pay, can’t be used as broadly as most consumers would like.
You might have known Softcard by its former name, Isis Mobile Wallet. With the rise of the ISIS organisation in the Middle East, it’s not hard to see why a name change was in order.
Softcard is a joint venture between AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile and uses NFC. Partners include Chase, Wells Fargo and American Express. The app stores card information, membership/loyalty points and cards. You can use the app to locate discount offers from retailers that accept Softcard.
If you’re like most consumers, you’ll appreciate Softcard for the convenience it offers and the low fees charged. You won’t be as thrilled about the limited number of places it can be used.
Your ability to choose a mobile payment app will be limited by the smartphone you select. The good news is that all those on this list simplify the buying process while doing an adequate job protecting your payment information.
About the Author
Philip Piletic – Marketing and e-commerce specialist with several years of experience in the field. In his spare time he loves to write about the latest trends in technology, economy and finance and help people adapt to the fast evolving world of today’s online business.
Photo credit: Softcard