Digital wallets have taken the payment processing industry by storm in recent years.
Venmo is one of the best-known digital wallets around today but if you don’t have a US bank account then you can’t use it so are there any alternatives to Venmo?
In this post, we are taking a look at what digital wallets are, what they do and some great alternatives;
- What is a digital wallet?
- Venmo background
- Why digital wallets have caught on
- Digital wallets – the pros and cons
What is a digital wallet?
A digital wallet is a method of receiving, storing and transmitting cash. Typically users will access their wallet using their smartphone as an app but some (like PayPal) also have a standard website that you can use.
Just like a physical wallet, when it is empty you’ll need to top it up in some way. Often that will be by receiving money from other people or businesses but usually, it is by making a transfer from your own current account.
Just as if you keep money in your leather wallet or purse, you won’t be earning any interest while it is there but we’d venture to suggest that keeping cash in a digital wallet is much more secure than having it in your pocket!
Venmo is a very well-known type of digital wallet.
Started in 2009, Venmo is of course a child of the smartphone age and originally it was conceived as a way for family and friends to send small amounts to each other.
Perhaps you want to pay your brother for a gig ticket he bought or you want to split a restaurant bill between a group of friends. Venmo helps you to do all of that.
Originally, the aim was purely to handle consumer-to-consumer transactions but when Venmo was bought out in 2012, that all changed.
People with accounts with ultimate owner PayPal are now able to transact using Venmo too.
And in a further step away from the simplicity of the original concept, Venmo users can even buy cryptocurrency using the app.
But Venmo only operates in the US so if you are an international user then it is not an option for you.
Why digital wallets have caught on
Digital wallets offer the one thing that every consumer loves – convenience.
One item that pretty much everyone carries every time they go out is a smartphone and being able to pay using your phone makes this a superb way of doing business.
The apps are usually free and in general, the transaction costs are low which makes a digital wallet ideal for low-value payments and receipts.
Add to this the effect of COVID-19 where businesses were only taking contactless payments and you can see why an electronic version of cash was a big winner.
Digital wallets – the pros and cons
Let’s start with the app that is in the title, Venmo.
This is an app that has been around for a while and given that it is owned by PayPal, you’d expect it to be pretty secure.
Venmo is great for small-value transactions between friends such as splitting cab fares or lunch bills.
But Venmo isn’t widely accepted by businesses although you can use it as a checkout option with Uber, GrubHub, Hulu, Poshmark, and Foot Locker.
There’s no charge for the app but you do pay transaction fees and it can take some time for withdrawals to reach your bank account.
Pros of Venmo
Simple to use
Has a ‘socials’ feel to it with likes, comments, and messages
No monthly or annual fees
Cons of Venmo
Can’t be used outside the US
Fees can be quite high with up to a $10 charge for withdrawals
Withdrawal money takes time to get to your bank account.
Can’t cancel payments
No international payments
One of the best-known digital wallets is Apple Pay.
Designed as a way of increasing the utility of Apple devices, the app is a free add-on available to users.
Naturally, as an Apple-branded product, the app is only available for use on Apple devices although the payments can be processed by the merchant using any Near Field Connectivity (NFC) device.
Pros of Apple Pay
Can still be used even if the phone is in airplane mode
Can link up to smartwatch
Cons of Apple Pay
Questions about security
Apple Collects Significant Personal Data
Users have reported new release bugs in the software
Not easy to split bills
We couldn’t mention Apple Pay without including Google Pay.
A direct competitor to the Apple product, Google Pay is the tech behemoth’s move into the instant payment market.
It’s simple to install on any android device with NFC (which is most of them nowadays) and pretty simple to understand and use.
Unfortunately, there have been reports of users being unable to use the app on older phones and of course, there are the age-old questions about the sheer amount of data that Google collects.
Pros of Google Pay
Easy to use
Can link up to smartwatch
Great reward programmes
Cons of Google Pay
Google’s data collection policy
Not so good for older phones
Not easy to split bills
Tapeeno is a modern alternative in the digital wallet space.
Featuring a clean and user-friendly interface, Tapeeno is designed to be immediately understandable out of the box.
It’s great for making payments but Tapeeno really scores big when it comes to bill splitting. The user can simply pay the bill and then enter the amount they need from their friends, and their friends can tap their card on the phone to transfer.
One great aspect of Tapeeno is that it is useful for people to use both personally and as part of their business as it also works as a virtual credit and debit card machine.
Pros of Tapeeno
Clear and Simple interface
Works well for consumers and merchants
Very good for bill splitting
No fixed costs or monthly charges
Cons of Tapeeno
Needs Wifi or mobile data to operate
Not everyone gets accepted
Works only on Android
Try a digital wallet now
Digital wallets have become the biggest thing in payment processing. There can’t be many people who haven’t been in a supermarket queue and seen the person in front of them pay with their phone.
Digital wallets have taken off in a big way and with good reason.
They are simple to use, secure and cheap or even free!
They make life so much simpler when it comes to making payments and with the amazing bill-splitting features in apps like Tapeeno, they can help avoid embarrassing restaurant situations!
Why not try a digital wallet now? We think you’ll never go back.