Top 5 Mobile Payment Apps Of 2020

December 21, 2020
min read

Mobile payments have been on the upwards trend over the past few years but have become significantly more important today during the global pandemic. With mobile payments, you avoid worrying about how sanitary the cash is in the register, and it’s more convenient to pay using only your smartphone. In addition to the convenience of mobile payments at checkout, they’re also an easier and safer method to send money to your peers.

In this article we will give you a brief overview and a pros/cons breakdown on our favorite payment apps that will make it easier for you to have contactless checkout experiences.

A Quick Overview On Security

For paying in-person with your mobile phone, these apps use anonymized tokens that encrypt your sensitive information like your credit card number. This makes it actually safer than using a physical credit card. Mobile payment apps must be PCI DSS compliant to handle contactless transactions. In addition, most apps require that you give the app permission to pay at the POS. This prevents the situation where if someone else were to take your phone at the POS they would need either your biometric data or your PIN to approve payment at the POS. If you’re confident using a credit card to pay, you may feel more confident using your mobile device with this information.

Using P2P apps like Zelle or Venmo, transactions can be riskier than paying with a credit card as these services do not offer fraud protection. They are riskier, specifically if you do not personally know the person you are sending money to as transactions are considered “authorized” and are nearly instantaneous. The person you are paying could receive your money and take-off without sending you goods. There is no cancellation or reversal.


Zelle is a P2P service that is great for paying friends or family. Forget cash and send money directly using your mobile phone. If you use online banking on your phone in the USA you may be pleasantly surprised to find that you already have access to Zelle through your bank's mobile application.

Zelle Pros

  • P2P payments service available with most banks in USA
  • Integrated with your bank
  • Faster transactions than Venmo
  • No transaction fees

Zelle Cons

  • US Only
  • Not every bank has a relationship with Zelle
  • Security… It is not designed for online shopping
  • P2P only

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay is a mobile payment application that allows you to pay for goods and services at points of sale or online. Payment information between merchants and users are tokenized as an extra security layer. Samsung Pay was the first solution to offer a rewards program and it is the only payment app that can make payments with legacy magstripe technology.Samsung Pay Pros

  • Works with nearly all types of POS in 18 countries
  • Money management platform Samsung Money
  • Rewards program
  • Can use PayPal

Samsung Pay Cons

  • Busy interface
  • Not P2P enabled
  • Only available on Samsung devices
  • Not all Samsung devices have the technology


One of the most versatile payment platforms for consumers, PayPal offers P2P transactions, a mobile payments solution and the ability to shop online without providing financial information.  It has an excellent security track record but does not offer NFC payments like Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay. In order to pay using the app users must use a QR code or load up their PayPal debit/credit card onto another payment app.

Paypal Pros

  • International transactions
  • Pay online or in-store
  • P2P enabled
  • Loyalty program

Paypal Cons

  • P2P Transaction fees
  • Customer service / Account freezes (occasionally)
  • NFC not available through PayPal app
  • Target for phishing scams


Apple Pay makes paying at a point of sale easier than cash or credit card. Simply hold your iPhone near the NFC enabled terminal and authorize your transaction with your PIN or biometric scan to make a payment. Like its competitors, Apple Pay is safe and secure by using tokenization to encrypt your sensitive data. Apple Pay recently introduced the Apple Cash feature enabling P2P payments through its platform. They’ve also released an Apple credit card with a significant rewards program. Paying with Apple’s Face ID is now tricky during the pandemic with masks being recommended when in contact with others, however you can use your PIN to enable the payment.

Apple Pay Pros

  • P2P transactions using iMessage
  • No app to download
  • Loyalty program
  • Pay online or at physically POS

Apple Pay Cons

  • International P2P transactions
  • iOS only
  • Verification with Face ID not as good as other platforms

Google Pay

Like Apple Pay, Google Pay offers online transactions, in-store POS transactions and P2P transactions. Its one stop shop solution is also available on iOS. Its security feature for payments substitutes your credit card information with virtual numbers. In-store transactions are handled via NFC like Apple Pay and Samsung pay, so you can safely checkout with a completely contactless experience. It also offers a loyalty program but does not work with Siri or Google Assistant.

Google Pay Pros

  • P2P transactions
  • Fully functional on iOS, web and Android
  • Easy to use
  • Loyalty program

Google Pay Cons

  • International P2P transactions
  • Concerns over your data privacy
  • Does not work with Siri or Google Assistant

There you have it, a brief overview of the top mobile payment systems. Not only are they extremely convenient, they are a sure fire way to keep your POS or P2P transactions safe and contactless during the pandemic.