Let’s admit it: cash is good…but the cards are better.
If there’s something we have in common… it’s that we have different sorts of cards in our wallet: debit, credit, gift card, you name it. When we shop online, we pay with our card. When we buy in-store, we sometimes use our card. Fast and easy. But you know which is easier? When we use the best digital wallet app for Android.
We’re not saying you should ditch your wallet and go cashless…
It’s nice to just use our phones when we transact online or even in stores. Don’t you dream of just pressing your phone and, voila, you’ve sent money to your family or friend? Well, that would be nice. How about requesting money with just a few taps on your phone? Oh, what a life!
You can do all that and leave the dream by installing a digital wallet app on your phone.
First: What is a digital wallet?
Basically, a digital wallet is a virtual wallet and payment system that stores credit, debit and other card information on your smartphone, laptop, and desktop. You can use this for different payment methods (some allow in-store payment), to send and request money, to split a bill, get rewards, and more.
But is it safe?
It’s safer than carrying actual cash in your wallet. It features an extra layer of security to safeguard card and banking information. It’s encrypted. And when you accidentally lost your phone or somebody steals it, you wouldn’t have to worry much about your card and bank information getting compromised. They’re password protected.
Is it the same as a mobile wallet?
You may have read or heard the 2 terms used interchangeably. At a glance, they may appear the same.
But there’s a key difference…
You can only use a mobile wallet on your smartphone. On the other hand, you can access a digital wallet even on your computer, laptop, or other Android devices. In that manner, you can do much more with a digital wallet. It’s more than just a virtual wallet. A credit card reader may also come handy.
Now…to the big question. Which is the best digital wallet app for Android in terms of service and security?
Let’s find out.
Related: NFC Payment Apps for Android
1. Google Pay
Google Pay is perhaps the most comprehensive app in the list. It’s more than just a digital wallet. It’s a payment system as well, making it a must for both personal and business transactions. Ordinary users, customers, and merchants will find this app useful in many ways.
With this app, you can shop online and in-store even without using your physical cards. Just use your phone. Since it’s now made available in 28 countries, supported by major banks, compatible with many Android devices, and accepted at millions of stores that accept NFC payment, you can use this practically everywhere. Shop online, in-store or in-app with just your phone.
- Pay in-stores with your Android device
- Pay in-apps and on the web
- Multiple-layered advanced security
- Request and send money
- Split the bill
- Loyalty programs and rewards
- Major banks support
- Accepted in over a million stores
- Available in 28 countries
This app is supported by many major banks in the US and other countries and is integrated with several mobile banking apps. So there’s a great chance that you’ll be able to use your card and connect your bank account with this app. And if you’re an Android user, chances are, your phone or device is compatible with this app.
Download the app and start sending or requesting money for personal or business transactions. Transfer money to your bank, store boarding passes and tickets, shop online, and do more with this app. Use it with no worries. Thanks to its multi-layers of advanced security designed to protect your account from malicious attempts and other fraudulent activities.
Read our full Google Pay Review here.
2. Samsung Pay
If you’re a Samsung user, then you must have already heard of Samsung Pay. This digital wallet app is designed primarily for compatible Samsung devices. While it boasts more or less the same features with Google Pay, its edge over the latter is that it’s not only compatible with NFC, but also with MST terminals. That means it’s accepted at more places or stores.
You can connect your credit card, debit card or bank account to this app on your phone. Not only that, you can add your PayPal account too! When making a payment, just simply tap Pay and select the payment method of your choice. Make payments at wireless contact terminals, or use this for in-app payments or online shopping. It does not allow direct online payment though. You’ll have to go through Visa Checkout.
- Accepted at millions of stores
- Make in-app and web purchases
- An extra layer of protection and security
- Encrypts card information
- Compatible with various credit, debit and other cards
- Get gift cards, exclusive deals, and rewards
However, unlike Google Pay, it does not allow you to request money to your friends or split the bill. It’s great for money transfers and making payments though. You also earn points for every purchase and get exclusive deals or discounted gift cards.
Related: Samsung Pay vs Google Pay
If you want a digital wallet app with a fun twist, then Venmo is for you. It’s a great app to have when you want to split the bill and send money the fun way.
Use this app when you eat out with your family or friends and you’re splitting the bill. It’s also a great way to transfer money to your roommates when you’re paying the monthly rent. Settle up your balance or pay for a concert ticket, you can use this app for plenty of things.
- Split bill with your friends
- Transfer money to friends
- Get paid fast
- Shop with Venmo card
- Use Instant Transfer
They also have a Venmo card you can use. Use its Instant Transfer feature to get your cash. Just take that you’ll have to put money in the bank. Compared to the other digital wallets in the list, this is perhaps the most basic. It doesn’t have comprehensive features like Samsung Pay or Google Pay. It’s a great app for paying small amounts or sending money just to a group of friends or family.
Not all digital wallet app is also a payment method. Zelle is this kind of app. If you’re looking for an app that you can use for online shopping or purchasing in-stores, then this isn’t it. Zelle is pretty straightforward. It’s designed for sending or requesting money from your contacts; that is, other Zelle users.
It is super easy to use. Just use the recipient’s mobile number or email to send payment. Enter the amount and send it. It’s that simple. What is even better is that it does not charge a fee per transaction. Take note, however, that bank and mobile carrier fees may apply.
- Send and receive money
- Fast and easy bank-to-bank transfers
- Partnered with major U.S. banks and credit unions
- No transaction fees
With Zelle, you can move the money from bank to bank fast and easy. You can use this app with your Mastercard or Visa card linked to your U.S checking account. The app is partnered with leading credit unions and banks in the U.S. But that’s also its downside. Unlike Google Pay, for instance, this is only available for those with U.S bank accounts.
5. PayPal Mobile
Perhaps everyone’s familiar with PayPal. We know it as a payment system. But it’s a digital wallet as well. The PayPal Mobile app is designed to quickly transfer your money from your PayPal account to your bank.
Using your bank account, card or PayPal balance, use it to send or request money to or from your friends and family. The transaction is free within the U.S. With this app, you can also pay for services and goods.
- Send money to family and friends
- Pay for goods or services
- Send money to PayPal accounts
- Easy way to transfer funds
- Secure encryption technology
- 24/7 transaction monitoring
This app keeps your financial information protected. It uses secure encryption technology to secure your account from fraud and other malicious attempts.
However, unlike Samsung Pay or Google Pay, you cannot pay cashless in-stores with contactless payment terminals. Nevertheless, it’s a trusted digital wallet and payment system app across the globe.
Make Transfers, Send Money…
We’re living in the future. Before, we are used to paying or sending money using physical cash. We always carry our wallet with us anywhere we go. Nothing’s wrong with using physical wallets with all sorts of cards in it and some cash. But in this modern age, it’s more practical to have a digital wallet. It’s fast, easy and safe. This is not to say that we should ditch our wallets totally. Why not use both?
So which of the 5 in the list is the best digital wallet app for Android? If you want something with more features and is also accepted in many stores, we recommend Google Pay and Samsung Pay.
Which of the apps is your favorite? What do you think of our list? Let us know your thoughts. Feel free to leave your comment or suggestion below.