P2P stands for peer-to-peer. Many times, it is also referred to as person-to-person. P2P payment apps are exploding in popularity, primarily due to the ease of use they offer.
Due to the increasing number of smartphones today, P2P payments apps make up a huge section of the digital payments sector. Essentially, P2P apps accommodate a seamless transfer of funds between two individuals. If you have ever split up a bill in a restaurant and paid via the digital platform, you have likely participated in a P2P payment.
In today’s post, we will look at the top P2P payment apps that are highly popular among users. Additionally, we will understand how these P2P apps work. So, let’s get started.
How Does P2P Payment App Works?
P2P payment accounts are pretty easy to set up. Once you have chosen your preferred platform, you can easily create an account and link your bank account to it.
Certain P2P apps require thorough user verification and passwords to ensure complete security. Once the account is set up, you can use the search bar to look up other users by their phone number, username, or email.
When it comes to paying, you need to choose who you are sending the money to. Apart from that, you need to input the transaction amount and a reason to make the payment. Depending on the P2P service platform you use, the transfer time varies slightly. In most cases, the transfer time ranges between a few seconds to up to three business days.
Also, many apps keep the money stored within the app until the user manually transfers it to their bank account.
Ten Most Downloaded P2P Payments Apps Worldwide
The first P2P payment app that became most popular were PayPal, Venmo, and Google. However, now, several banking institutions and credit unions also offer quick and easy P2P payments.
When it comes to selecting the best platform, the choice really narrows down to the platform that most of your friends and family are already using. This makes the money transfer process easy and hassle-free.
Now, let us look at the ten most downloaded P2P payment apps that are highly preferred by users worldwide.
PayPal is an online payment service that facilitates easy personal money transfers, eCommerce, and online purchases. It enables the users to pay to their peers via their linked credit/debit card, bank account, PayPal balance, or PayPal Credit. It is a highly secure and reliable app for transferring funds to your friends and family.
Parent Company: eBay
- PayPal is the most downloaded P2P payment app worldwide. The app recorded 56.6 million downloads in the first half of 2021.
- Currently, the app has 361 million active users registered on the platform.
- 87.5% of the online buyers prefer using PayPal for making purchases.
- PayPal supports over 25 currencies in 200 different countries and regions
- PayPal lets you send and request money by searching for users by their username, phone number, or email id.
- Apart from P2P transactions, the app also enables users to buy/sell online. The app is well-integrated with several online retailer checkout pages.
- PayPal allows high transfer limits, i.e., up to $60,000. However, often, a single transaction may only allow transferring up to $10,000.
2. Google Pay
Google Pay is the second most downloaded digital payments app that enables users to transfer money and make online purchases with a digital wallet. The app can be downloaded on both Android and iOS devices. Google Pay users can even split bills for meals, utilities, and even rent without any hassle.
Parent Company: Google
- Google Pay is the second most downloaded P2P payment app worldwide. The app recorded 40.7 million downloads in the first half of 2021.
- As of August 2021, India accounts for 82% of Google Pay usage at POS or online sales. The second on the list is Russia, with 54%.
- With Google Pay, the money can be sent to and received directly from the bank account. Also, all transactions via the platform are instant.
- The app enables the users to complete payments via multiple options. This means that the users can transact through their phone numbers or Virtual Payment Address (VPA).
- Google Pay can be used at the checkout with several retailers. The app now also allows customers to activate discounts and promotional offers and save money with retailers.
Google Pay app can be used on both Android and iOS devices.
Alipay is a digital wallet with maximum customers from China. The app allows the users to pay on a mobile device or the web using their login credentials. Every transaction on the app is secured by trusted technology. This reduces the chances of fraud and makes the entire experience safe and hassle-free.
Parent Company: Alibaba Group
- Alipay has recorded 32.3 million downloads in the first half of 2021.
- As of 2020, the app had more than 1.3 billion active users worldwide and processed $17 trillion worth of transactions in China over the course of one year.
- Alipay commands a dominating share of the Chinese third-party payments market which is 55.32%.
- The app operates with over 60 financial institutions, including MasterCard and Visa.
- The Alipay digital wallet offers online and in-store payment options, providing adequate flexibility to the customers.
- Alipay ensures secured transactions along with contact-free payment options, such as QR scanning. This reduces the likelihood of virus transmissions and other frauds.
- The app also uses advanced encryption that protects the user’s private data and keeps it fully secure.
PhonePe is a mobile payment platform that enables a seamless transfer of funds using UPI. It also allows the users to pay utility bills, recharge their phones, etc. all using a single platform. Once the users have registered on the app using their bank account details, the money is directly debited from the bank account in a secure way.
Parent Company: Flipkart
- As of 2020, PhonePe recorded 100 million monthly active users.
- In June 2021, UPI providers in India recorded a total of 2.8 billion digital payment transactions that were worth 5 trillion INR. Out of these 2.8 billion, PhonePe had a share of 46%.
- The app recorded 30.7 million downloads in the first half of 2021.
- The PhonePe app allows users to split bills with their friends, pay utility bills, as well as recharge their mobile numbers.
- The users can send and receive funds using the QR code option. They just need to scan the QR code using their smartphone camera.
- The users can have a bank account with any bank and still use PhonePe to link multiple bank accounts within the same app. This eliminates the need to install multiple apps.
- The app supports money transfer 24/7 and even on bank holidays. Also, it can be downloaded on both Android and iOS phones.
5. Cash App
Cash App is another highly popular money transfer app that enables users to send money via their Cash App balance, any linked bank account, or debit/credit card. The app also gives users an optional debit card, known as the Cash Card, to make purchases with funds available in their Cash App account. With this P2P platform, the users can even invest in stocks and bitcoins.
Parent Company: Square Inc.
- Cash App recorded 27.2 million downloads in the first half of 2021.
- Overall, the app has 36 million monthly active users and over 100 million downloads. Out of those, over 7 million users own a Cash Card.
- The app generated $5.9 billion in revenue in 2020, primarily from Bitcoin trading.
- The app comes with a free debit card, known as the Cash Card, allowing users to make transactions with the money present in their Cash App account.
- The users who have a Cash Card can benefit from Cash Boosts. This enables them to save money on purchases with specific vendors.
- The app is bitcoin compatible. In other words, the users can use it to buy and sell bitcoins. Also, the app does not charge any fee for basic services, i.e., sending or receiving money.
Paytm is among India’s largest mobile wallets. A highly effective and secure platform, Paytm offers merchant payments, P2P payments, money transfers, and much more. It enables the users to pay via their QR code, unique virtual payment address, or phone number. The Paytm payment gateway is PCI-DSS certified with 128-bit encryption. This ensures completely safe and secure transactions.
Parent Company: One97
- Paytm recorded 15.2 million downloads in the first half of 2021.
- Over 150 million Indians use the Paytm app on a daily basis.
- Currently, Paytm has the highest market share in offline vendor payments in India, with a growth of 15% month-on-month.
- Paytm app enables users to easily accept payments through multiple payment sources, such as Paytm wallet, bank account, debit/credit card, net banking, and Paytm PostPaid.
- The app also offers services like mobile recharges, bill payments, travel and event bookings, insurance payments, and in-store payments.
- Paytm has officially launched the Paytm Bank. This bank allows the users to deposit money and facilitate easy fund transfer.
- Apart from financial services, users can entertain themselves by playing Paytm games and even earn money in their loyalty wallets.
Venom is a P2P payment platform that PayPal owns. It enables the users to send and receive funds through their linked bank account, credit card, or Venmo balance. One of the best features of this app is that it lets the users make payments despite having inadequate funds in the Venmo balance. In this case, the deficit amount is retrieved from the primary funding source, i.e., the bank account or debit/credit card.
Parent Company: PayPal
- Currently, Venmo has over 52 million users. In 2020, the app recorded around 10 million monthly active users.
- Venmo processed approximately $160 billion in payment volume in 2020.
- Over 14% of adult Americans make use of the Venmo platform for conducting P2P transactions.
- Venmo facilitates the easy electronic transfer of funds from one party to another. It facilitates payments within friends as well as people in close proximity.
- Unlike most competitors, Venmo does not charge the users to send or receive more money. However, credit-based payments are charged at 3% of the total transferred amount.
- The app also offers a free, optional debit card. This debit card can be used with several retailers, and the cashback is added to the user’s Venmo balance.
Zelle is a popular P2P payment service offered by most of the major banks in the U.S. The platform allows users to send money to other Zelle users through their bank account. To send money, the users can simply enter the recipient’s registered phone number or email address and make the payment within a matter of minutes.
Parent Company: Early Warning Services, LLC
- Zelle recorded 8.2 million downloads in the first half of 2021.
- The app also reportedly processed 436 million payments, out of which 392 million belonged to the first quarter of 2021.
- Lastly, Zelle moved 106 billion U.S. dollars across its payment network in 2021 alone.
- Zelle is compatible with several banks and credit unions. Thus, it ensures direct and quick transfer of funds directly through the bank account.
- The users can easily receive any amount of money as there are no receiving limits. However, certain banks have set some sending limits.
- The platform enables users to split up bills with others easily. You only need to enter the total amount, and the app will do the math for you.
9. Western Union
Western Union is one of the oldest financial companies that have been around since the 1800s. It offers an instant money transfer option that can send money to a bank account, a mobile wallet, or any specific location for a cash pickup. This fintech company has also launched its global P2P payments, enabling users to quickly send and receive funds from their peers.
Parent Company: Western Union
- Western Union recorded 6.7 million downloads in the first half of 2021.
- Last year, the company reported all-time highs for money transfer transactions, marking a growth of 38% for digital revenues.
- The Western Union platform allows users to send money via bank account, credit/debit card, mobile wallet, or cash pickup.
- The P2P platform facilitates the transfer of money to over 200 countries and territories.
- The users can also track their money transfers in real-time by entering their MTCN, i.e., Money Transfer Control Number, into their app or website.
Last on the list is Remitly, a digital remittance service that aims to make the money transfer process highly quick, affordable, and transparent. It offers instant money transfers to the recipient’s bank account, a mobile wallet, or any specific location for a cash pickup. One of the best reasons for using this app is the ease of use and the intuitive website.
Parent Company: Remitly Global
- Remitly recorded 2.8 million downloads in the first half of 2021.
- As of 2019, the P2P platform allows users to transfer money to over 18,000 locations.
- Remitly enables the users to choose from a range of payment methods, such as bank transfer, debit/credit cards, and even cash pickup.
- The platform offers two different types of transfer: Economy and Express service. With the former, the deposited money takes 3-5 business days to reach the recipient, whereas, with the latter, the money transfer is instant.
- With Remitly, the users can send up to $30,000 in a single transaction.
This is our roundup of the top ten most downloaded P2P payment apps worldwide. All these apps present an excellent alternative to sending money internationally through non-bank methods. Also, in most cases, you can send money instantly for free. Just make sure to review any fine print for a fee or any other important information before choosing any P2P payments platform.