Practical Ecommerce

11 Innovative Mobile Payment Apps

With mobile now driving the majority of both Google searches and Facebook monthly active users, 2015 may finally be the long-heralded “year of mobile.” Innovations in mobile payment options may finally give consumers and businesses the incentives they need to commit to a mobile commerce world.

Here is a list of innovative mobile payment apps, leading the change in mobile commerce. There are innovative mobile payment platforms, social peer-to-peer payment apps, digital wallets, payment apps for wearable devices, and alternative payment systems for mobile customers.

Apple Pay

Apple Pay.

Apple Pay.

Apple Pay is Apple’s mobile payment system. It uses near field communication (NFC) technology. Apple Pay allows in-store customers to pay by holding an iPhone or Apple Watch (and tapping the side-button) to a contactless reader. Apple Pay can be secured using the Touch ID fingerprint sensors in iOS devices to approve transactions.

Apple Pay’s biggest impact so far has been its widespread adoption, leveraging the popularity of the iPhone. Apple Pay launched mobile payments in the U.S. last October, with six major card-issuing banks, American Express, MasterCard, Visa, and 220,000 locations. At its Spring Forward event, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that 2,500 banks now support Apple Pay, as well as 700,000 merchant locations. If the Apple Watch finds similar traction, mobile payments from wearable devices may become commonplace.

Google Wallet

Google Wallet website

Google Wallet.

Google Wallet is Google’s mobile payment system for in-store and online payments. The NFC system allows users to store credit and debit cards, as well as loyalty and gift cards. It allows merchants to run loyalty programs and distribute offers. Google Wallet’s Gmail integration even allows users to send money through Gmail attachments.

Recently, Google announced that funds in Google Wallet will be FDIC-insured, securing its system with the same federal protection held by banking institutions. As non-banking entities, mobile payment apps are not required to be federally insured. As a result, consumers are essentially providing unsecured loans to companies that may not be financially secure. Google’s action could be an essential step for a reliable mobile marketplace.

Venmo

Venmo.

Venmo.

Venmo is a mobile peer-to-peer payment system now owned by Braintree, a PayPal unit. Popular with millennials, Venmo says it is the app that has made payments social. Pay anyone with a phone number or email, whether or not he has Venmo. Pay instantly using money you have in Venmo, or link a bank account or debit card in seconds. There is a 3 percent fee per payment for credit cards and non-major debit cards. Receiving money on Venmo is always free.

Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger.

Facebook Messenger.

In March, Facebook Messenger announced a new feature for peer-to-peer payments. To send money, users simply tap the $ icon and enter the amount to send. Add a debit card to send or receive money. The money you send is transferred right away. The feature is another example of the increasingly social side of mobile payments.

LoopPay

LoopPay.

LoopPay.

LoopPay is a mobile wallet case and app that works with credit and debit cards, as well as gift and loyalty cards. Users purchase a LoopPay smartphone case, download the app and add cards to a phone. LoopPay’s Magnetic Secure Transmission technology allows users to pay at in-store payment terminals where normally a card is swiped. No special equipment is need for merchants to accept payments. LoopPay works with both iPhones and Android phones. Loop has been acquired by Samsung.

Square Cash

Square Cash App.

Square Cash App.

Square Cash is Square’s peer-to-peer solution to exchange money electronically. It’s a convenient way for groups to divvy bills, and send and receive payments. For businesses, it’s a lightweight solution to accept debit card payments and an alternative to the full Square Register. With Square Cash for personal use, there’s no fee to send, request, or receive money. Payments are deposited directly to your debit card. The Cash Pro account allows businesses to accept payments through the mobile app, online or via email.

Tilt

Tilt App.

Tilt App.

Another payment app popular with millennials, Tilt combines peer-to-peer payments with crowdfunding. Users create a project and set the amount needed. Contributors pay the organizer, and the organizer tracks who has and hasn’t paid. Collect from a group for free, or sell items for a 2.5 percent fee. Companies can also use Tilt Open for open-source crowdfunding pages and the Tilt API to add crowdfunding or group payments to an application.

Dwolla

Dwolla.

Dwolla.

Dwolla is an alternative payment platform that allows individuals or businesses to send, request, and accept money — without relying on credit or debit cards. Pay or request payments via email, phone number, or Dwolla ID. Dwolla offers mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. Dwolla connects to a bank account and allows people to move money at a very low rate — just $0.25 per transaction or free for transactions $10 or less.

Tab

Tab.

Tab.

Tab is a mobile payments app for dining, to bypass waiting for the check. Choose your restaurant, and open a new tab. Once you’ve checked into a restaurant, there’s no need to use the app. When you’re done eating, simply leave. The receipt is emailed to you. Friends can join your tab for instant bill splitting. Currently, Tab is only available in Toronto and Montreal. Although Tab is a niche app for dining, it’s also a good example of mobile commerce’s eventual challenge to traditional point-of-sale systems.

LevelUp

LevelUp.

LevelUp.

LevelUp is a mobile payments and loyalty system focused on innovating the restaurant industry. Use a LevelUp scanner to scan the customers’ QR codes on smartphones or smart watches to process transactions. LevelUp supports mobile payments for iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone with QR Code, NFC, iBeacon, Apple Passbook, and Google Wallet. LevelUp also provides analytics to learn about customers and their habits. Merchants can also use LevelUp to run loyalty and rewards campaigns for their customers.

Blockchain

Blockchain.

Blockchain.

Blockchain is a Bitcoin wallet, providing a secure and convenient way to store and use Bitcoins. The Blockchain wallet provides an encrypted solution to store the pioneering digital security. The Blockchain wallet also helps consumers discover local businesses that accept Bitcoin. Blockchain.info provides data on recent transactions, mined blocks in the blockchain, charts on the Bitcoin economy, and statistics and resources for developers. The platform has successfully processed over $13,000,000,000 in transactions.

Sig Ueland

Sig Ueland

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Comments ( 6 )

  1. Elliott Wilkins May 20, 2015 Reply

    Interesting stuff! I had heard of a few of these but I wasn’t aware that there were so many of them available on the market. Larger financial organisations really do need to learn from the innovations that these small disruptive start ups are making, however the problem is that they are much less nimble and unable to keep up. At Qmarkets we have a product called Q-Scout which allows organisations to build up a database of start-ups and smaller organisations which they can track with the goal of eventually purchasing the ones that can be of benefit to them. I think if more financial organisations were aware of this service, the apps that you see above wouldn’t last long before being bought out!

    Elliott Wilkins
    http://www.qmarkets.net/

  2. Devika Girish May 25, 2015 Reply

    Great post Sig. It is inetersting to see how an impressive number of banking partners and retail stores like Best Buy are now acceoting Apple Pay, Apple’s flagship mobile payment platform. In fact, according to Juniper research report, growth in proximity payments will outpace other transactions over the next five years as mobile commerce explodes. Therefore, it is now high time that retailers and other businesses in the payments and commerce space start focusing on proximity payments. We’ve discussed in detail on 4 payment services that are already using beacons to make it big in the proximity payments segment here:
    http://blog.mobstac.com/2015/05/4-payment-services-that-are-using-beacons-to-make-it-big-in-the-proximity-payments-industry/

  3. Dan Palanisamy September 20, 2015 Reply

    Guys, there is an app called Minkasu. It’s so simple, smart and secure for mobile payment. I was amazed that it’s software only solution. Try it and see.

  4. Gratzeez November 28, 2016 Reply

    Gratzeez is also One of the best Mobile Tipping App. It has been used widely in every high star rating restaurants, hair dressers, car service stations etc. It’s been designed for those who won’t carry money with them but need to show gratitude by paying tip to service provider. The survey shows that Gratzeez will be a boon for every business organizations and it may reach peak benefit by 2018. Gratzeez allows users to know the service centers like restaurants, car work stations, hair dressers nearby through GPS facility so that they can avail the best service and then the users are allowed to pay tip to service provide through Gratzeez app. It is also a way of appreciation which came up with mobile tip payment service.

  5. keith lau November 29, 2016 Reply

    “Mobile Payment App” is a misleading title which leads to reader to think mobile payment. It talks about App related to different payments method (online, mobile payment,…)

    Apple Pay is obviously a mobile payment, but some of them aren’t.

    Keith
    iBonus Limited
    http://lite.ibonus.net

  6. Harry Beav January 11, 2017 Reply

    Great input Keith