PayPal Mobile Apps Bring Digital to Your Wallet

PayPal apps for iPhone and Android
PayPal App for iPhone and Android. PayPal, an eBay Company

PayPal's latest app for Android, iPhone or Windows Phone rivals Google Wallet by allowing you to ditch a wallet full of credit and debit cards to instead process payments from these accounts via the app.

PayPal started off in 1999 as an online payment system that has been used by millions of people around the world through the years. The service offers a secure, reliable way to make payments online and with a mobile app.

PayPal offers a protection plan to consumers that covers the purchase cost if they don't receive their order along with many other helpful features.

Making Payments in Stores

Using the PayPal app, you can place orders in advance at retail stores so you can stop by the store to pick up an order at your convenience. To do this, select the store from the app, then tap on the items you want to add to your order. Set a pick up time in the app and confirm the order, and it will be waiting for you when you get to the store.

You can also pay using the app at participating restaurants, where your server will give you a code to use for the payment process. Select the restaurant and enter the code, add a tip and confirm the payment amount, then you can leave the table. You'll get a receipt via email or text. This payment method is especially helpful at busy establishments, but you will need to check in with the app before you're seated so the server knows you're not skipping out on the check when you leave.

To check in, select the store from the app. You may see money saving deals that you an select to apply to your purchase, then use a slider in the app to check in. The hostess or cashier will verify your identity (you'll need a photo attached to your PayPal account).

The app will find stores that work with the app in your area.

You can also use the online store locator where you enter your zip code. While there are 4 pages of stores for a large city like San Francisco, I found only a handful for bigger cities in my area. PayPal says more stores are being added all the time, as is the case with Google Wallet. Payment apps are catching on, it's just a matter of time before they will be one of the primary methods of payment in retail establishments.

Send and Receive Money

In addition to the digital wallet features of the PayPal mobile app, you can send money to people you owe, which is really handy for when you split a bill, such as rent with roommates or an office gift that one person is going out to buy but others are pitching in to cover the cost. Of course you can also receive funds with the app. With 72% of those who shop online in the U.S. holding a PayPal account, chances are good that you'll be able to complete these transactions with friends and others.

Manage Your PayPal Account

The PayPal app lets you access your account from your iPhone, Android or Windows phone at any time.

You can check the balance of your account and transfer funds to and from your attached checking or savings account, or credit and debit cards. You can also view a history of your transactions, whether they were completed with the app or online.

Cost of Using the PayPal App

Using the app is free in most instances. Buying online or in stores will cost you nothing. Sending and receiving money directly from or to a PayPal account is free, but if you want to use a credit or debit card for these transactions, it will set you back 2.9% plus .30 cents per transaction. The person sending the funds can decide whether they are going to absorb the fee or if they will pass it on to the person receiving the funds. International transactions have higher yet still tolerable fees, which you can find on PayPal's fee statement.

Download the Paypal Mobile App

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