Paying Your Share.

We know people who make a big show of reaching for their wallet to put in their share of a meal but somehow can’t find it. Sometimes a friend legitimately left her wallet at home. Now, with the popularity of peer to peer (P2P) payments and mobile wallets, splitting bills and repaying friends is very easy. These P2P apps are money transfer apps that allow users to send one another money from their mobile devices.

It takes the stress out of sharing the costs when traveling with a group or going out for a meal with friends. Digital wallets and P2P payment apps give users the ability to pay their share without using cash or checks. They also eliminate the need to carry credit cards and cash. When the recipient receives a transfer from you, they can either leave it in their P2P account or transfer it into their bank account. The P2P is a middleman.

A study by Javelin showed that mobile retail payments will grow from $180 billion in 2016 to $410.5 billion in 2020.

I began my P2P foray by signing up with Cash App by Square, the credit card processing company. With Square Cash you can exchange money with friends and family within the United States. Users can draw from a credit card (for a 3% fee) or from their bank account (no fee). Information is encrypted and users may protect their password with either a password or fingerprint scanning. It is for both iOS and Android. See an earlier ASE article on Square Cash.

Google Wallet is Google’s P2P option. Users can send and receive money through the Wallet app via Gmail or on the website walletgoogle.com. Users sign up using a Google account and a debit card. There are no fees for sending or receiving money. Funds from a bank account can take up to three days to arrive at your recipient. Using a debit card will take up to 24 hours for funds to be received. Wallet encrypts all financial information and has fraud protection that covers all unauthorized Wallet transactions in the U.S. Available on Android.

PayPal.Me is easy to set up and use. Connect your cell phone to your PayPal account, create your own PayPal.Me link, set a PIN and start sending and receiving money from friends and family within the same country. It is compatible with all credit and debit cards issued by major banks. To transfer cash from your bank account or PayPal account is free. Sending money from a credit or debit card will have a fee. Available for both iOS and Android.

Venmo is owned by PayPal and is very popular. The app has a public feed so users can detail how they spent the money and with whom if they choose to. Sign up with Facebook or with your email, then link your account to your bank or debit card. Sending money from a Venmo balance, bank account or debit card is free. If you use a credit card there is a 3% fee. Recipients need to register with Venmo to receive the money sent. Your financial information is encrypted, and you can set a PIN to use with the mobile app. My daughters report that when they are out for a meal with friends, one person will put the tab on their credit card and everyone else will ‘venmo’ what they owe to that person. It has become a verb, like ‘google’. Given its popularity, I have signed up for Venmo. It is available for both iOS and Android.