Sending money with the click of a button on your iPhone would have been a foreign language for many mere years ago. Today, it’s as easy as emoji pie. 

“I use it any time I owe money, since I rarely carry cash,” said Monroe County Public Defender Robert Lockwood. “Not everyone has caught onto it, but if they have the knowledge and technology to accept it, I use it.”

He says the beauty of apps, including Venmo, Apple Pay, Cash, Circle Pay, Square Cash, and Zelle, is there are no fees on either end of the transaction (although some charge a fee for using a credit card). He prefers using Apple Pay, claiming it’s by far the easiest if the other person also has an Apple phone. Samsung and Android also have pay options. 

J.C. Holmes of Mariner’s Hospital uses the app about five to 10 times a week. Last year while campaigning for Good Health Clinic’s Big Kahuna, he used any avenue available to raise funds for the nonprofit. Although he used the fundraising app on Facebook, which took a percentage, he preferred sending donors a link to the cash.me app. 

“Most people don’t carry cash anymore,” said Holmes. “It’s the easiest way to share costs with friends when going out or even splitting the cost of gifts for family members.”

 

Person-to-person payments is an online technology that allows customers to transfer funds from their bank account or credit card to another individual’s account via the Internet or a mobile phone. P2P transactions appear to happen instantaneously, but there’s actually a processing delay of several days, and the person sending you money can cancel the transaction or reverse it during that time. Use the apps exclusively to transfer money back and forth with people you know and trust, such as your friends and family members.

 

Holmes also uses the app when accepting payments from friends for just about anything. In November while planning a dinner where the attendees would be chipping in, he simply sent a text with the link so those involved could pay. “It’s a safe and secure way to send funds instantly,” he said. 

Banks seems to like the feature also. “For instance, if I send you $100, it’s a bank’s dream that you will just leave it in there for a few days before accepting, or accept it and not transfer it to your banking account,” said Lockwood, who has researched most of the available money apps. “When it sits in there, the money is floating; I think banks like that.”

“Just Venmo me” is catching on about as fast as using Google as a verb. Venmo is a hit with college kids who are living away from mom and dad or for splitting dinners or cab fares. 

Cathy Crane of Big Coppitt uses Venmo to pay her daughter Kristin’s rent in Tallahassee. “I just log in, find her landlord, key in the amount, verify and just like that, her rent is paid,” said Cathy. “I also use it to request payment from Kristin’s roommates for their share of the utilities. Once they pay, I get a notification or I can send a reminder.”  

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