Following a 16% year-on-year increase, the digital payments sector’s overall value clocked in at an astounding $5.4 trillion at the end of 2020, and adoption continues to grow at a rapid pace. Aside from being more secure, digital wallets also pose the benefits of being more hygienic by reducing the need to touch public surfaces, while also being fast and convenient.

Spearheading digital wallet adoption, these are the top 5 digital wallets in the United States with the most users (and features).

#1 Apple Pay

Over 383 million people around the world trust Apple Pay, and it also remains the top choice in the United States, where nearly 44 million people utilize it for everyday payments both online and in-person. It’s among the most prominent of all digital wallets and, like others, remains completely free to use.

When using Apple Pay online, a user can make the purchase on their iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch. If they’re using a MacBook or other iOS device with Touch ID, they can also submit payment with that. For other iOS devices without touch ideas, such as older MacBooks, users can select “Apple Pay” when checking out wherever it’s accepted online and they’ll be prompted to pick up their synced device (i.e., their iPhone) to complete payment. 

To pay in-store using Apple Pay, a user must have either an iPhone or an Apple Watch. They’ll simply need to hold their device close to the card reader and their device will confirm that the payment was successful. In all instances, both online and offline, the transaction is confirmed and made more secure with the requirement of Touch ID, Face ID, or by entering the user’s passcode.

#2 Google Pay

With around 100 million users worldwide, Google Pay may not be keeping pace with the acquisition of Apple Pay, but its numbers are growing at double-digit rates throughout the mass digital payment adoption in the USA (and elsewhere) over the past year.

Google Pay works much like Apple Pay, except you can use it on any mobile device where the Google Pay app is installed, meaning it works for both Android and iOS devices. Google Pay’s app also featured “Clipper,” which is comparable to the Apple Pay “Wallet” where users can store encrypted versions of the cards they wish to use for payments along with digital copies of boarding passes and tickets.

In addition to paying in-store and online using the Google Pay app, users can also send money to friends and family and request money from the same, which makes splitting bills easy. The search giant has also bundled countless other features into the Google Pay app, showing users an overview of their recent transactions, total money spent over various time periods, and even exclusive offers from the retailers they frequent. 

#3 Samsung Pay

Boasting similar numbers to Google Pay, Samsung Pay is a close third on the list of the most popular digital wallets in the United States and even claims to be accepted at more retailers across the country than any other digital wallet on the market. However, Samsung Pay is only compatible with select phones and some other devices produced by Samsung.

Like Apple Pay and Google Pay, Samsung Pay keeps the payment process quick and simple. All a user must do is swipe up from the home screen for in-store purchases and their favorite card will appear on the screen. From there, they simply verify it’s them using their fingerprint, and then hover their device by the card reader to finalize the transaction.

While Samsung Pay is only available for the brand’s own smartwatches and phones, one thing that helped spearhead adoption was the introduction of Samsung Rewards, which allowed users to earn points for every Samsung Pay purchase they completed. Unfortunately, that program was discontinued at the end of 2020 and, with competition increasing amongst digital wallets, it will be interested to see the shift in users as other changes continue to take place.

#4 Walmart Pay

It’s no surprise that 22 million users rushed to adopt Walmart Pay given that over 140 million Americans shop at Walmart every week. However, while solutions like Samsung Pay are limited to branded devices, Walmart Pay introduces the opposite dilemma: It only works for Walmart purchases.

Anyone with a smartphone can download the latest version of the Walmart app, which allows for online ordering, among other things, and they’ll be halfway there to using Walmart Pay for their purchases. Setting it up is as easy as adding a card to the Walmart app and then, next time you shop in-store at Walmart, use any register (regular or self-checkout) and complete the payment using your device.

However, while Apple Pay and others use a dedicated wallet that transmits encrypted information to the payment terminal, Walmart Pay is much simpler in concept. Walmart Pay users simply scan a QR code that the payment terminal screen displays, which sends a signal to Walmart’s servers indicated that the user’s saved Walmart Pay card should be charged for the transaction. Simple, but still secure, as this method means the signal never transmits actual financial information.

#5 Facebook Pay

Relatively new, Facebook Pay is yet another popular digital wallet that’s transforming how people interact and make payments online. Perhaps the biggest inspiration for the creation of Facebook Pay was how much money was changing hands amongst Facebook users who were buying and selling things on Facebook Marketplace.

Now, if you buy an item on Marketplace, many sellers opt to give you the choice to use Facebook Pay to send them money–no need for cash, checks, or trusting a third-party payments provider like PayPal. Instead, Facebook Pay makes sending money to other Facebook users quick, easy, and secure.

Unlike Walmart Pay, which only works in Walmart stores, Facebook Pay branches out a bit more, working not just on Facebook, but in Messenger, on Instagram, and in WhatsApp. However, the availability of Facebook Pay does vary by country, but it doesn’t require the installation of any new app–just add a payment method to the apps you already use.

Modernize Your Payments System

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