By Logan Krenik

“Hey bro, do you want to go get some ice cream?”

“Sorry man — I’m out of cash.”

“Dude it’s all good! I’ll cover you and you can just Venmo me later.”

“That sounds good! Thanks man!”

Not once would anyone a decade ago think that something like this was possible. The concept of paying someone by using a phone app connected to your credit card account would be considered absolutely insane.

We now have payment apps like Paypal, Zelle, Square Cash, Apple Pay and Google Wallet. These apps have become immensely popular over the past 3-4 years as people are looking for easier ways to pay their bills or just pay their friends.

I read an article on USA Today: and in this article it talks about the rapid growth that has already happened and the rapid growth that is expected to continue in the mobile payment industry. The article stated that “In July, research firm eMarketer projected more than 91 million people will use these services by 2019, up from 31.4 million in 2015. Meanwhile, the value of transactions processed via mobile payment apps will surge from more than $46 billion in 2015 to more than $187 billion in two years.”
The part that separates Venmo from the others is the way that it’s almost like its own social media site. You can go on there to see which of your friends has paid someone else and get to see a little description of what they paid them.

I was talking about Venmo-ing one of my friends once and they said to me that sometimes when they’re bored, they’ll just scroll through Venmo.

“Honestly, sometimes if I’m bored and I’ve already looked through Twitter, Insta and Snapchat, I’ll just go on Venmo and see who’s paying who and what they’re paying them for. It’s very entertaining to see what some of the descriptions are sometimes.”

This has led me to sometimes do the same. When I get bored, I’ll just go on Venmo and see what people are paying other people. It’s interesting and even funny sometimes to see what people are doing.

However, Venmo isn’t the only mobile payment app available. PayPal, Zelle, Square Cash and Google Market are also mobile payment apps which each have their own thing that separates them from the others.

The unique thing about PayPal is that it allows the user to make transactions using 25 different currencies. Zelle is a pretty standard mobile money app, but one of the perks, according to USA Today is that “For those users reluctant to offer their banking info to a third-party app, Zelle is a solid alternative.” For the more conservative people who like to keep their information closer to them, this is a great option. Square Cash has a bonus that allows the user to have a Visa debit card that has your Square Cash balance that you use for your physical transactions. Google Wallet offers their users 24/7 protection from fraud as well as connect to either a bank account or a credit card.

However, Apple has entered the electronic payment market as well as they have released Apple Pay, which allows users to pay with their phone or Apple Watch and not even have to take out their wallet. Apple Pay will also allow users to “send and receive payments through messages,” according to USA Today.

Some people will always prefer to do things the old-fashioned way when it comes to money, but as long as these mobile payments are offered and being improved, the industry and population of people that use them will continue to grow.

Logan Krenik is a freshman at the University of Missouri.