Eating out with friends is often a fun time. Together, your group picks out a new trendy restaurant everyone has been waiting to try. Everyone orders their food, a few drinks and enjoys everything. Stories are shared and, in general, fun times are had.
Then comes the bill. You see how many ways the check could be split, or if multiple cards can be used. In other instances, restaurants may only accept cash or will split the bill only two ways, which isn't helpful if your group is over that number.
It's at this point the person with a credit card, or enough money in their checking account, usually steps up and covers the check, with friends promising to contribute their portion. Some friends will pay right away, while others may forget about it until months later, or instead offer to cover dinner the next time.
Eating out is only one example of an instant where you might find difficulty paying back friends and family. Luckily, developers and startups have created multiple mobile applications that make payments easier than ever before.
What you need
Many of today's most-used programs are found on smartphones and tablets, with some being accessible on regular computers. This makes it easy to send money in a moment's notice. In addition to the hardware, you need the appropriate app. This is where the situation might get tricky because so many services exist that not everyone uses the same one, or multiple ones might be used.
What are the most popular apps?
PayPal is one of the original services that allows users to easily send money to designated recipients. It's also perhaps the most well known and accessible, as PayPal offers a mobile and desktop version of its service.
Here's how it works: You sign up for an account and can then link your checking account, debit card or credit card. When you need to send money, you first transfer the funds into your PayPal account and then send it. The same works when you receive money, as you must withdraw any money you receive from PayPal.
You might consider using PayPal if you tend to shop online through independent dealers and artists and don't prefer to use cash or a check. You can also rest easy knowing your transactions are secure. You're even afforded certain buyer protections if you purchase items off eBay.
If you're looking for a relatively newer payment option that features a heavier social integration, look no further than Venmo, an app available on iOS and Android.
With this service, you link your checking account. When you need to send friends money, you can search for them through your contact list and find out if they also use Venmo - or you can also ask. You then bring up a new payment, enter the amount and what it's for. The money is then withdrawn from your bank account and sent he recipient's way.
If you're on the receiving end of a Venmo payment, you will receive a notification and have that designated amount within the service. You will then have to withdraw the money from Venmo, and in about two days it will deposit into your checking account.
Venmo is ideal if you're splitting restaurant bills or making other small purchases, such as gas money while on road trips or paying back for a night at the movie theater. The appeal of Venmo revolves around it's ease of use, as you can send money in under five minutes.
Furthermore, the service is protected by some of today's highest security standards. You can enable strict settings on your mobile device by requiring a password or turning on your device's fingerprint scanner. According to Venmo, the app itself uses bank-grade security and strong data encryption. This translates to you not having to worry about potential account breaches all the time.
Other apps to consider
Other than PayPal and Venmo, numerous options exist that allow you to split bills and send money without difficulty. Most generally work in the same way, but apps to keep in mind and try out include Divvy and Square Cash.
Some banks even include a payment option within their mobile option. You should contact your local bank to see if they offer such a service.
"Paying friends for monthly bills or splitting a restaurant bill has never been easier."
Internet giant Google even offers their own payment system. Known as Google Wallet, you have to link a debit card or checking account to your account. You can then send money through the mobile app with a few taps, or on a desktop computer. Whenever you do make a payment, you immediately receive a digital receipt.
The advantage of mobile payments
Mobile payments offer numerous advantages to users, starting with their simplicity. Paying friends for monthly bills or splitting a restaurant check has never been easier.
Additional perks include their ease of use and security. With Venmo, PayPal and Google Wallet, you can relax knowing your finances are protected at all times.
Today's wallet no longer simply consists of credit and debit cards and cash. You must now account for the smartphone because apps allow for easy payments to friends and family members.
Cash will never truly go away, but these new ways to pay take the hassle and difficulty out of figuring out how to split a check. Even better, if someone forgets his or her wallet or purse, he or she can still pay.
For more tips and updates on the latest in banking technology, contact Landmark Bank.
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