The Best Payment Apps for 2024 (2024)

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Payment apps allow business owners to make payments directly from a smartphone without using traditional payroll methods. You can also connect your credit cards or bank accounts to a payment app.

The best payment apps offer compatibility with a wide range of credit and debit cards, quick transfer speed, and support for a wide variety of devices. We compared ease of use, lack of payment limitations, fund transfers, and even incentives for consumers. Learn more so you can choose the right option for your device.

The Best Payment Apps for 2024

Best Payment Apps

Best Payment Apps

  • Our Top Picks
  • PayPal
  • Wise
  • Stripe
  • FreshBooks
  • QuickBooks Online Mobile
  • Venmo
  • See More (3)
  • Final Verdict

  • Compare Providers

  • How Do Payment Apps Work?

  • Are Payment Apps Safe to Use?

  • What Types of Payments Can Be Processed With an App?

  • Methodology

Best for Ease of Use and Convenience : PayPal

We chose PayPal due to its convenient payment options, powerful brand-name recognition, and robust tools. In addition, you can send up to $60,000, depending on the currency, and can use PayPal Balance, which offers more features.


  • Easy to use

  • Offers safe encryption and monitoring

  • Free to pay friends and family


  • Fees apply for business accounts

  • Confusing array of packaging and services for merchants

  • Some banks charge a transaction fee

The PayPal app also made our list based on its seamless payment options between parties. Register your credit card or bank account with your PayPal account. You can then swiftly send payments by tapping "Send" or request money by tapping "Request Money." You can use PayPal Instant Transfer for a 2.5% fee (up to $25) or tap into its standard service, though it will take a couple of days to funnel into your bank account.

Users pay 2.90% to send money via a credit card or debit card. PayPal charges 5% to send international personal transactions using a PayPal balance, bank account, cards, or through an Amex Send account.

You'll feel secure with PayPal's encryption standards and 24/7 monitoring. The PayPal Security Key will also send you a temporary security code through SMS when you log in. If you accidentally send money to the wrong person, request a refund. If the individual doesn't respond, dispute the transaction with PayPal directly.

Read our full PayPal review.

Best for International Payments : Wise

Wise earned our top spot because it uses the standard exchange rate instead of bank rates. Anyone who transfers money internationally can use Wise. Its multi-currency account offers a cheaper alternative to the fixed fees and exchange-rate markups often charged by banks.


  • Lets you avoid bank exchange rate markups and high foreign transaction fees

  • Can always pay in the local currency

  • Instant notifications


  • Recipients cannot track the status of transfers

  • Not as fast as other payment apps

  • No protection by a financial protection scheme

Wise took the top spot for best international payments because it doesn't charge overly large international transaction fees or exchange rates. You can send money to over 80 countries. However, you may send money to a country not on Wise's list if the recipient's account uses U.S. dollars, euros, or pounds.

Wise offers mobile apps for Apple and Android devices and enables robust security and encryption so you can protect your personal information. You can also choose two-factor authentication for extra security. Wise doesn't offer the same protection that the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), the U.K.'s statutory deposit insurance and investors compensation organization, offers with a bank account.

Converting money can take a maximum of two working days, but often takes less time. It also depends on how quickly the recipient's bank can process deposits and the ways in which you can send money in that particular country.

For the personal accounts, the daily limit to receive funds is $1,000,000 and the annual limit is $5,000,000. For business accounts, the limits are $3,000,000 daily and $15,000,000 annually.

You can spend the money you keep with the Wise card.

If you accidentally send the wrong payment to the wrong person, try canceling the transfer yourself and set up a new transfer using the correct bank details. However, sometimes it’s too late to cancel. Once marked "complete," the money goes into the banking system. In that case, get in touch with the person you paid and ask them to contact their bank and find out whether their bank can send the money back to Wise.

Best for Freelancers : Stripe

Stripe, which incorporates software and APIs to help small businesses (including freelancers) get paid, takes our top spot because of its robust payment processing platform. Its powerful products also accept payments and send payouts. Customers can send money from their bank account through a credit or debit card transaction directly to your freelancers' business account.


  • Easy-to-navigate user interface

  • Supports invoicing and regular billing, a must-have for freelancers

  • Can take customer data with you when you move to a different payment system


  • First payout can take up to 14 days

  • Not as familiar to some people as PayPal

  • Simple payment features can look scammy

We chose Stripe because it's easy for freelancers to take on its suite of payment products, including the ability to accept payments and send payouts globally. Stripe accepts all major debit and credit cards from customers in every country, so you don't need to limit your clients to the U.S.

Stripe’s products also prevent fraud, issue virtual and physical cards, and help freelancers manage how much they spend in their business.

Stripe offers mobile apps for iPhone and Android devices. You can gain access to its comprehensive dashboard from your mobile device. It also offers transparent, pay-as-you-go pricing. Stripe costs 2.9% plus 30 cents for each successful card charge. You can do what you need to from there without extra set-up fees, monthly fees, and other hidden fees.

As a freelancer, you'll feel secure knowing that Stripe meets PCI Service Provider Level 1 certification requirements, the highest level possible in the payments industry.

Freelancers often need to get paid quickly, and you can tap into Instant Payouts (for a 1% fee of the payout amount) to send earnings to a debit card within minutes. Daily payout limits may apply but this feature works 24/7 year-round.

Be aware that the first payout for every new Stripe account takes seven days after the first payment but can take up to 14 days for businesses in certain industries.

As long as you own or administer the Stripe account, you can invite anyone to access the account under Business Settings.

Best for Invoicing : FreshBooks

FreshBooks, a cloud-based small business accounting software, won our top spot for its comprehensive time-tracking and receipt and expense management options. It also creates, edits, delivers, tracks, and successfully follows up on invoices efficiently through FreshBooks Payments, powered by WePay.


  • Offers a free 30-day trial

  • Great for freelancers and small businesses

  • Actively supports invoices


  • Holds client limits

  • Cannot hold money

  • No payroll services

FreshBooks wins for best for invoicing because it automatically sends payment reminders and offers invoicing functionality. You can accept credit card payments right away and clients can pay online so the money goes into your pockets faster. That way, you can focus on your business instead of having to bug customers to pay their invoices.

We also liked it due to its simple pricing. It charges 2.9% plus 30 cents on most credit card transactions (American Express costs more, at 3.5% plus 30 cents). Bank transfers (ACH) cost 1%.

FreshBooks' app on the Apple App Store and Google Play runs its mobile accounting app from any iPhone or iPad running iOS 13.0 or higher and any Android device running Android 7.0 or higher. Once you have the app up, go to online payments and add your bank information.

The app lets users either log time worked or use a timer to log work for a client or project. You can also track time for non-client work, and you can pair the timer with the invoices on the app. FreshBooks also allows you to respond to questions and seek feedback right from the app.

FreshBooks connects with banks through ACH payments and credit cards, so it can handle seamless invoice options and process transactions in approximately two business days. Freshbooks' firewalls safeguard your banking information traveling between your browser and FreshBooks with 256-bit SSL encryption.

Best for Small Businesses : QuickBooks Online Mobile

The QuickBooks Online Mobile app swept the best for small businesses category due to the app's touch interaction and intuitive interface. The app lets small business owners pay invoices, accept credit cards, and make debit card payments online with low effort. It can also set recurring invoices and instantly pay online.


  • Automatically categorizes business expense deductions

  • Pays employees and contractors automatically

  • Automatic tax tracking


  • User interface could use some improvements

  • Expensive advanced options

  • Mobile apps not comprehensive

QuickBooks' Online Payments app took over this category because business owners can easily accept credit card payments and get paid quickly. QuickBooks stores customers' credit card information online and automatically processes it on the due date with recurring billing.

The app can also invoice, manage cash, catalog tax deductions, track travel miles, run reports, send estimates, manage bills, check expenses, and pay employees and 1099 contractors. The app also allows for real-time alerts and connects all bookkeeping.

You can also use GoPayment, a free mobile point-of-sale app that allows you to take payments on the go. All devices can connect to QuickBooks Online on the web with the QuickBooks Online mobile app. Funds arrive in your bank as soon as the next business day with the GoPayment app. In addition to the fees for QuickBooks online, costs include:

  • ACH bank transfers: 1% (max $10)
  • Card (Swiped): 2.4% plus $0.25
  • Card (Invoiced): 2.9% plus $0.25
  • Card (Keyed): 3.4% plus $0.25

QuickBooks Online embraces high-tech encryption and authentication technologies such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), digital certificates, and RSA encryption to protect your business's valuable information.

For QuickBooks Online Payments users, payments are typically deposited in two to three days while credit card payments made before 3 P.M. PT should be in the account the next business day.

QuickBooks makes it easy to correct errors if you accidentally send a payment to the wrong person or vendor. You must delete your payment and recreate it if you send payments to the wrong account.

Best Peer-to-Peer App : Venmo

We awarded Venmo our top peer-to-peer app designation for its instant transfer to a bank account or debit card, which arrives in about 30 minutes (for a 1.75% fee). Venmo works with all U.S.-based banks. You can send money for free through the app, although you'll pay 3% of the transfer total to send money via credit card.


  • Can get your money within 30 minutes

  • Works with all U.S. banks

  • Simple and easy to use


  • Past safety and security concerns

  • Fee for instant cash-out transfers to your bank account

We chose PayPal's Venmo as the best peer-to-peer app for your cash because you can spend, send, or transfer money to your bank account or to a friend's with ease. You can even personalize your communication with emojis or share animated stickers with friends and family.

You can send money using your iPhone or Android-based smartphone by choosing a sign-up method and creating a secure password. Venmo asks you to verify your phone number, email address, and bank account. In addition, you must also verify your bank account when accessing funds.

The standard bank transfer through the ACH network to a verified checking account typically takes one to three business days to arrive. You can keep money in Venmo or your bank account. Venmo requires a person-to-person spending limit of $299.99, but users can increase the weekly rolling limit up to $60,000 by verifying their identity.

You can add additional layers of security to your Venmo account by adding multi-factor authentication and a PIN.

If you accidentally send money to the wrong person, you can request a return for the money. If you don’t hear back or need help sending a charge request, contact Venmo's support team, though they don't offer a recovery guarantee.

Read our full Venmo review.

Final Verdict

Ultimately, the best payment app depends on your needs and preferences. For example, if you freelance full-time, you may want to gravitate toward Stripe for its additional business services.

For ease of use and convenience, along with robust offerings, you can't beat PayPal. Its high standards, quick turnaround time, and encryption make it a great choice for just about any solopreneur, small business, or large company. It also fits the bill for people who need to pay each other or send other money requests.

Compare the Best Payment Apps

CompanyOperating SystemPayment MethodsFeesTransfer Speed
PayPal Best for Ease of Use and ConvenienceiOS and AndroidSend payments by tapping "Send" or you can request money by tapping "Request Money."Free to send to friend sand family in the U.S. Users pay 2.90% plus a fixed fee to send money via a credit card. Charges 5% to send international personal transactionsInstant transfer (paid option) or could take a few business days
QuickBooks Online Mobile Best for Small BusinessiOS and AndroidYou can easily accept credit card payments with QuickBooks' Online Payments app. Send customers a "Pay Now" link.ACH bank transfers: 1% (max $10); Card (Swiped): 2.4% plus 25 cents; Card (Invoiced): 2.9% plus 25 cents; Card (Keyed): 3.4% plus 25 centsFunds arrive in your bank account the next business day with the GoPayment app.
Wise Best for International PaymentsiOS and AndroidWise Batch Payment tool for payroll allows employers to pay in more than 45 currenciesSee its website for more info. Fees vary with country and currencyZero to two business days
Stripe Best for FreelancersiOS and AndroidComprehensive dashboard offers many payment methods from your mobile deviceCosts 2.9% plus 30 cents for each successful card chargeInstant Payouts (for a 1% fee of the payout amount) to send earnings to a debit card or bank account within minutes; subject to daily payout limits.
FreshBooks Best for InvoicingiOS and AndroidEdit, deliver, track, and successfully follow up on invoices more efficiently through FreshBooks Payments, powered by WePayCharges 2.9% plus 30 cents on all credit card transactions (American Express costs more, at 3.5% plus 30 cents) and bank transfers (ACH) at 1%Two business days
Venmo Best Peer-to-Peer AppiOS and AndroidStandard bank transfer through the ACH network or can keep money in Venmo or your bank accountSend money for free through the app, although you'll pay 3% of the transfer total to send money via credit card. Instant pay feature costs 1.75% of the total cost.Instant transfer option available for the fastest transfer method; standard bank transfer method takes between one and three business days.

How Do Payment Apps Work?

Payment apps offer convenience for business owners, contractors, and individuals who want to send money from person to person. Payment apps work by allowing you to make payments directly from your smartphone. You can make payments through your app without needing to have your credit card or debit card handy at all. The app may allow you to bypass a bank altogether and may offer other features, such as business invoicing, timers to track work, and more.

Are Payment Apps Safe to Use?

The payment apps on our list were specifically tested for their safety features. You can usually find protection against unauthorized transactions with a payment app but may not get the same type of financial protection you might get through FDIC-protected banks or other financial institutions. Many apps offer authentication technologies such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), digital certificates, and RSA encryption to protect your business's valuable information.

What Types of Payments Can Be Processed With an App?

From making customer billing payments to paying a friend for drinks or dinner, payment apps will transfer payments between two parties through individual banking accounts or credit cards. You can register your business or personal credit, debit, or ACH information once. Then, in just a few taps, you can pay employees, purchase goods, pay a bill, and even keep track of invoices and business expenses.


We analyzed a dozen apps offered by the top companies for the best user experience and assessed app pricing, features, user reviews, and ratings.

We considered apps that primarily focus on payments, that come with low (or no) cost to sign up, offer an easy-to-use interface, and that provide multiple device accessibility.

We also looked into security features, products, educational tools, security, and how each app accesses your financial data. Finally, the apps on the list have thousands of reviews and high ratings in the App Store and on Google Play.

The Best Payment Apps for 2024 (7)

Article Sources

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  1. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. “Deposit Insurance."

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I am an expert in payment apps and related financial technologies. I have extensive knowledge and experience in this field, and I'm here to help you understand the concepts mentioned in this article.

Concepts in the Article

The article discusses various payment apps and their features. Let's go through the concepts mentioned and provide more information about each one:

  1. Payment Apps: Payment apps are mobile applications that allow users to make payments directly from their smartphones. These apps provide a convenient alternative to traditional payment methods like cash or credit cards.

  2. Compatibility with Credit and Debit Cards: The best payment apps offer compatibility with a wide range of credit and debit cards. This means that users can link their existing cards to the app and make payments using those cards.

  3. Quick Transfer Speed: Payment apps should provide fast transfer speeds, ensuring that payments are processed quickly and efficiently.

  4. Support for a Variety of Devices: The best payment apps should be compatible with a wide variety of devices, including smartphones and tablets running on different operating systems like iOS and Android.

  5. Ease of Use: Ease of use is an important factor when choosing a payment app. The app should have a user-friendly interface and intuitive navigation, making it easy for users to send and receive payments.

  6. Lack of Payment Limitations: Some payment apps may impose limitations on the amount of money that can be sent or received. The best payment apps should have minimal or no payment limitations, allowing users to transact freely.

  7. Fund Transfers: Payment apps should provide a seamless process for transferring funds between users. This includes the ability to send money to friends, family, or businesses.

  8. Incentives for Consumers: Some payment apps offer incentives or rewards programs for users. These incentives can include cashback, discounts, or other benefits that encourage users to choose a particular app.

Now that we have covered the concepts mentioned in the article, let's move on to answering any specific questions you may have or provide additional information on any of these topics.

The Best Payment Apps for 2024 (2024)


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