Splitting the dinner bill with friends just got easier

(WPRI) – Splitting the dinner bill with friends just got a little easier.

Nowadays, more people tend to use debit or credit cards over cash when making transactions. New smartphone apps add another method of payment.

One app, which can be downloaded at venmo.com, allows people to transfer money from one to another with just a few taps on their cell phone.

Square Cash, Google Wallet and PayPal work in a similar way by linking to the user’s bank account. Several banks also have their own payment apps, allowing parents to pay baby sitters, for friends to split dinner checks and more.

James Wester, Research Director for Global Payments at IDC Financial Insights says “It’s the convenience factor of paying with your phone considering that you are carrying it with you all the time, it’s fantastic. You no longer have to find a check; you no longer have to have cash on hand.”

Call 12 For Action found many of these apps are free but some charge a fee if linked to a credit or debit card. With recent security breaches with large companies such as Target and eBay, some consumers don’t feel safe linking their phones to their bank accounts.

Vital steps to make sure your money is secure:

  • Don’t ignore mobile security threats
  • Check your carrier’s security policy to see how you’re covered, just in case something goes wrong
  • When depositing or paying bills on your phone, make sure your bank offers fraud protection

Before downloading a payment app, you should read the fine print, privacy policy and look for hidden fees. It’s important to make sure your information isn’t going to be sold to a third party.

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