Smartphone technology has reshaped the way we live our lives in the 21st Century. These devices are shifting the way we connect to each other, on a personal level and a professional one. Now more than ever, we are using our mobile devices to perform various financial tasks, including sending and receiving payments.
Smartphone applications provide individuals and businesses with convenient and easy ways to pay one another. With so many mobile apps on the market today, which ones are the best for payment processing?
How do Mobile Payment Apps Work?
First, let’s take a look at how payment apps work. Mobile payments refer to the use of smartphone devices to pay for a transaction. These devices use an app, or application, to send and receive money digitally for payment processing. People using portable devices to pay for things in-store utilize a technology known as NFC, or Near Field Communication.
Mobile payments fall under a specific category of payments, as they are referred to as Card-Not-Present transactions or CNP. Other payment methods such as e-commerce and online, phone and mail orders, recurring payments, online invoices, and any transaction with no physical card, falls under this category.
Must-Have Features to Look for in Payment Apps
When choosing the right payment service app for you or your business, you should create a list of the features you would like the applications to have. When researching the various applications for payment, consider finding a service that offers features such as:
- Cross-Platform Capabilities: Some apps only work with specific branded software, while others are compatible for all types of smartphone technologies. So look for the one that will work best for your mobile phone.
- Safeguards: Security is the biggest worry of Canadians when considering using mobile apps, with less than a third of consumers believing that app payments were safe and secure. With encryption and cybersecurity measures in place, many of these mobile wallets offer you financial protection.
- Easy-to-use Interface: Many applications offer users intuitive dashboards and interfaces so it’s best to find one with straightforward functionality for quick learning and easy usage.
- Multiple Currency Support: International transactions are becoming more common so look for an app that offers users various currency options to cover all of your bases.
- QR Code Capabilities: QR codes are rising in usage across the digital payment landscape, so finding applications that offer this functionality is always a good idea in case a situation calls for it.
- Cloud Integration: Most financial apps use cloud technology integration as it offers users a secure and convenient transaction method, providing an array of functionalities at your fingertips.
Best Payment Service Applications
According to a 2019 survey taken by smartphone users in Canada, the most used payment app last year was various financial institution applications. Over 40% of Canadians used their specific bank’s smartphone app to cover their payment needs. The second was PayPal, and a close third was Apple Pay.
In this section, let’s take a look at the mobile payment apps in Canada used on the current e-commerce market today. These include:
- Various Banking Apps
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
Each of these applications will need to be connected to your bank account to complete all types of transactions. This type of app is known as a digital wallet. Digital wallets offer one of the more secure forms of mobile payments, as they use complex encryption codes to ensure safe and protected transactions.
Mobile Banking Apps
Mobile banking is the use of an app that is provided by a user’s bank. In Canada, all of the leading financial institutions offer their account holders smartphone banking options. Each bank will have its own signup procedures, but it is fairly easy to get going once you’ve opened a bank account at one of the branches.
Smartphone banking applications also allow individuals to send and receive money using the Interac e-transfers. This feature offers quick and convenient forms of payment as users can send money through an email or phone number directly into another person’s bank account. E-transfers are gaining in popularity as more people look to pay option for all kinds of transactions.
Apple Pay is considered a mobile wallet app, or digital wallet, which stores credit card and banking information on your device to be used for all sorts of transaction types. This payment app is only available for Apple products and the IOS platform.
Contactless payment, in-app purchases, and online payments can all be facilitated using Apple Pay. You can easily connect your bank details, credit cards, and debit cards to this digital wallet to facilitate payments.
To pay in-store with Apple Pay, place the phone atop the payment reader while your finger is on the Touch ID button, this should activate the wallet and complete the transaction. As a business looking to accept this type of app payment, you will need to possess a contactless reader machine enabled for NFC.
The PayPal wallet app can be used to send money quickly, and to almost anywhere in the world- the perfect app for those looking to complete international transactions. Individuals can send money using just an email address or cell phone number. PayPal can be used to pay for things online too, as millions of sites allow for transactions made on this platform.
For businesses, you can sign up for a PayPal Business App, which allows you to use the platform for invoicing, transferring funds, issuing refunds, and monitoring transaction details. Businesses will also be able to view customers’ transaction histories and track the status of their invoices.
One of the best things about PayPal invoicing is the fact that your customers’ won’t need a PayPal account to pay their bill, as they can settle their invoice online with a credit card or debit card.
Not so much a consumer mobile app method, but Square focuses on the business transaction side of payments. This software is one of the most popular forms of accepting NFC and contactless payment options for businesses across Canada. Their brand sells hardware and software for the point of sale system processing that allows in-person payments for all forms of transactions.
For businesses offering this as a service, they can get a decently priced contactless reader from Square, which can be used for all sorts of payment applications, not just its own brand.
Google Pay is a great mobile app that works similar to Apple Pay, but is specific to the Android platform with versions 4.4 and later. Connect the Google Pay app to your bank account and you’ll be able to pay for things in-store by holding the device over the payment reader with the app open.
Payment Apps and Your Small Business
Contactless payments are on the rise in Canada. Whether with a credit or debit card or with mobile payment apps, the use of contactless payments has skyrocketed across the country, according to a recent Payment Canada Report. The use of contactless payment methods will only increase due to the ongoing pandemic as people look for more ways to shop with limited contact between people.
Opting to provide contactless and mobile pay options for your customers is one way to stay relevant in the market today. Using applications to pay your business’s bills is also a great way to stay on top of your finances. These smartphone apps offer quick and convenient payment processing for use by customers and businesses.
Want more smartphone applications for your business? Find out the 50 best small business apps for greater productivity and management.
Syncing Payment Apps with QuickBooks
The payment environment is turning into a digital landscape of 2020. Businesses will need to take these transaction changes onboard when providing services, or utilizing services themselves.
Whatever applications you choose to use for your small business- easily sync these apps with QuickBooks Online to cover all your payment, management, and accounting needs in one place. Try it free today!