September 20, 2018


In the age of convenience we live in today, it is unsurprising that we now resort to technologies to make those simple tasks, just that much more bearable. Gone are the days where a dinner bill would be split four ways and the evening would end with a slight tension in the air as you couldn’t quite agree on ‘who owes what’. Person-To-Person (P2P) apps are on the rise and paying friends back for dinners, drinks and those little extras is now easier than ever, as you can transfer money needing no more than their mobile number.


Payment apps work by linking up to your bank account, so you can manage your money accordingly, allowing you to be in control of your outgoings at the click of a button. Young people in particular have been among those turning to the likes of Zelle and Venmo in an effort to take back hands-on control of how their payments are being handled and encourage them to reassess how they manage their financial lives. It is evident in recent years that people are becoming increasingly reliant on phone payments and contact less cards to the extent that even independent coffee shops, street performers and boutique stores have means of online transfers or contact less payments. It is as a result of these technologies that small businesses have been put in a position where they either have find ways to work with the current digital movement, or suffer financially in the midst of the cashless revolution.

Zelle, one of the most popular payment apps in the US despite only launching in June of 2017, has already processed more than 320 million transactions which holds an estimated value of £72bn ($94bn). However, despite P2P payment applications appeasing the demand for convenience, no new system comes without its doubts. In the decade where our awareness of digital security is at an all-time high, could such attempts to fast track a solution to the modern day desire for maximum results with minimal effort, be putting our privacy in jeopardy? Many variations have been made off the basis of similar concepts, however one that catches the eye of many is Venmo. A spin off payment service from PayPal, Venmo not only allows users to seamlessly transfer money, it also has a social media element, with a running news feed of fellow users. However, such information can often be seen by complete strangers, and if privacy settings are not set to a high standard, it is highly likely that many of the details used to make a quick transfer could be public knowledge. Representatives from the company have defended their approach and state that “[they] have all required security measures in place to protect user privacy and monitor account activity to help identify unauthorised transactions” and ensure “all users can limit the visibility of payments by updating the privacy settings on a payment even after they have sent it.” 

With the shift to all-digital methods supported by many business sectors, there is a combination of current technologies and the potential to build on ideas in place. Alongside contact less payments, eWallets and the ever-expanding ecommerce platforms, it is There may still be many hurdles to jump before cash is given up for good, but with eWallets expected to become the most popular payment method by 2021 with an estimated taking of £2.3bn and a potential market share of 34%, it is undeniable that the majority of the global population would have a vested interest in backing the progression.


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