Of all of the perks that the internet has brought over the past two decades, the ability to pay for goods and services online quickly and securely surely has to be right up there. Once upon a time we only had the option to head down to our local store with money in our pockets, but now we can buy almost anything, and at any time, with a few taps of our smartphone or tablet.
The benefits of e-wallets, as opposed to good old cash, have become more pronounced as the underlying technology powering them has improved. The security they provide has improved in line with the enhanced sophistication of tech: think two-factor authentication, Face ID, and the like.
You’ll never have to share your bank account details or your credit card credentials with a third party, which is another major plus for e-wallets, and of course, they are highly convenient – we can even tap our devices and pay in an instant in some stores.
So we know why more and more people are turning to e-wallets as their primary payment method, and it’s even been claimed that more than half of the world’s population will be paying for goods using their iPhone, iPad, or other smart devices by 2025.
Now is as good a time as any then to get the lowdown on the best e-wallets that you can download today.
It’s difficult to contest the idea that PayPal is the grandmaster of e-wallets: they have an estimated 392 million active users around the globe after all. PayPal was one of the first e-wallets to be developed, which gave the firm a crucial early advantage in building market share, but crucially the developers behind the wallet have continued to innovate and explore what PayPal can deliver.
You can use PayPal to purchase a number of goods and services online and in-person, with contactless payments available at physical stores with the right hardware. It remains most commonly used via web browsers, with its super-secure user protection and speed of transaction just two of the many benefits that PayPal users enjoy. And the best bit? Buying with PayPal is typically free, with no charges levied on your transactions.
One of the most interesting things about Skrill is that it was designed to solve issues within specific industries.
In the early days of online betting, there were issues with making deposits/withdrawals into an account, and Skrill, or MoneyBookers as it was then known, was created to offer bookmakers a secure and speedy solution for their customers.
In the present day, secure and quick transactions are favored by bettors all around the world, with some of the most established sportsbook and online casino brands offering a wide range of payment methods of this caliber. For example, as this Bet365 review outlines, the likes of e-wallets such as Neteller, Skrill, GooglePay, and AstroPay are available as deposit methods for players. Along with numerous other benefits, the extensive selection of deposit methods goes a long way in enticing prospective customers.
Skrill is used beyond betting too, with web managers able to use the platform at sites like Skype, GoDaddy, and Wix, gamers have a dedicated section on the brand’s site (and you can pay on Steam using your e-wallet).
It’s the versatility of Google Pay that makes it one of the most popular e-wallets on the planet. It can be used to pay for online orders, in-app purchases, and, using NFC technology, in-person payments where the store has an NFC-enabled terminal, though Apple devices are not supported with complete functionality.
Google Pay has superseded both Google Wallet and Android Pay and has an estimated 100 million active users worldwide.
As Google Pay isn’t particularly helpful to iOS users, it was only a matter of time before Apple came up with its own e-wallet platform. So now you can pay for a huge range of goods and services using your iPhone or Apple Watch, and thanks to the popularity of those devices it’s estimated that Apple Pay is more than double the size of Google Pay in terms of its number of users.
If you are looking for a new e-wallet to use, any of this quartet can be trusted to deliver an excellent user experience.