By Joe Callison
25 March, 2017
You may be familiar with the use of PayPal for sending money from your PayPal account linked to a credit card or bank account to another person’s PayPal account for Ebay purchases or receiving payments from others when selling items on Ebay. It has been around for a number of years and since being split off from Ebay, it is being accepted by many other types of stores and for peer to peer payments. There are a number of competing services available now. TopTenReviews “The Best Mobile Wallets of 2017” lists Android Pay, Apple Pay, Capital One Wallet, eWallet, Gyft, Key Ring, LevelUp, Samsung Pay, and Walmart Pay in addition to PayPal.
Another new payment method offered by Google has been built right into your Gmail program. It has been active for a while on the computer version of Gmail and just became active on the mobile versions. When you compose a new email message using Gmail, there are several attachment and insert icons at the bottom including a dollar sign that allows you to send and request money. Clicking it allows you to send money via email with Google Wallet by adding a debit card to your Google account (if you have not already set one up for your Google Wallet). Google Wallet is a digital wallet, meaning it holds money you or others add to it and you can transfer money from Google Wallet to other people or back to your debit card or a linked bank account. Credit cards are not used because of the associated fees. Google Wallet is free to use, though the bank supplying the debit card may or may not charge fees for using it. This provides a simple and free or low cost way to transfer money from person to person.
Facebook Messenger also provides peer to peer transfer of funds with no fees.
Venmo is another service to transfer funds between friends through a debit card or checking account for free, and can also be linked to a credit card but with a 3% fee to cover processing costs. It has sometimes been used by buyers on Craig’s List to scam sellers because it allows at least a day and sometimes several days to cancel a transfer of funds after making a purchase, so the buyer can take delivery of the item and then cancel the payment, therefore it is not a good idea to accept a Venmo payment from a stranger.
For a comparison of features and fees of these and other peer to peer mobile payment services, see: