Friday, July 14, 2023

Streamline Your Finances: Top 10 Payment Apps for Remote Workers

Working from home is becoming increasingly popular, with many businesses shifting to remote work and people seeking more flexibility. However, working remotely also comes with unique financial challenges. Getting paid and making payments can be more difficult without access to typical office accounting systems and practices. 

Luckily, there are now many great online payment services that make receiving and sending money easy, fast and secure—no matter where you’re working from. In this post, we’ll highlight the top 10 payment services to consider if you work from home.

1. PayPal

PayPal is likely the most widely used online payment system, with over 400 million active user accounts globally. This service allows anyone to pay or get paid through email or mobile devices, using bank accounts, debit cards or credit cards. You can send and receive money easily between individuals or businesses. PayPal offers top security and allows you to store balances in your account. Transaction fees are reasonable and there are no setup costs. Extensive features and integrations with platforms like Shopify make PayPal a top choice for freelancers, small businesses and online sellers.

2. Venmo

Owned by PayPal, Venmo is focused on peer-to-peer transactions and offers a user-friendly social interface. It’s ideal for accepting payments from individual clients or reimbursing personal expenses. You can easily request money from contacts, transfer funds to bank accounts, and make purchases with Venmo at approved merchants. Standard transactions are free, with instant transfers costing a small fee. The social newsfeed and emojis make Venmo a more casual way to exchange money with coworkers, family and friends.

3. Square

Square provides extensive payment processing solutions for businesses, but individuals can also benefit from Square’s simple invoicing, virtual terminal and POS services. Send custom invoices, accept debit/credit payments, process tips and manage expenses. Square charges minimal transaction fees (2.6% + 10¢ for virtual terminal) and has no monthly fees. The responsivePOS app turns tablets and phones into payment devices. Square Send is also great for personal payments between individuals. Overall, Square is ideal for freelancers and home-based businesses looking for affordable yet advanced payment services.

4. Stripe

Stripe focuses on payment processing for online businesses but also offers helpful services for individuals working from home. Contractors and freelancers can use Stripe Tax to prepare 1099 forms and handle estimated quarterly taxes. Stripe Treasury helps manage finances and cash flow with FDIC insured bank accounts. Fees are very low at 2.9% + 30¢ per successful card charge with no recurring charges. Extensive features for invoicing, fraud protection and global payments make Stripe a top choice for larger independent businesses and contractors managing finances from home.

5. Zelle 

Zelle is a fast, easy way to send money directly between bank accounts. No account registration is required—just a U.S. mobile number or email address connected to the recipient’s account. The Zelle app or partner bank apps (Bank of America, Chase, etc.) are used to send and request payments. Transfers between participating banks are completed quickly, usually within minutes. Individual transaction limits depend on banks but are often around $500-$2000. Zelle is terrific for splitting shared expenses, paying a pet sitter or reimbursing a family member.

6. Wise

Previously known as TransferWise, Wise offers international money transfers for businesses and individuals. Their mid-market exchange rates save 30-40% on average compared to banks. You can easily send funds abroad to contractor bank accounts and hold balances in 55 currencies. The Wise debit card also lets you spend directly at ATMs and retailers worldwide. For U.S-based freelancers working with international clients, Wise provides transparent, low-cost currency exchange and transfer services.

7. Apple Pay

Though not exclusively a money transfer system, Apple Pay facilitates easy peer-to-peer payments between iPhone users through the Messages app. You can securely send and receive money just by authenticating with Touch ID or Face ID. It utilizes the credit cards you already have on file with Apple. Fees vary by bank but are generally nonexistent for debit and negligible for credit transactions. Apple Pay is seamless for splitting bills, reimbursing friends and making payments. 

8. Google Pay

Similarly, Google Pay is a digital wallet app that allows fast transfers between Android users. Like Apple Pay, it’s a convenient peer-to-peer payment method if you and the recipient both have Google Pay set up. You can also send money to those without the app using their debit card or bank account details. Transactions are secured through token encryption and verification codes. Google Pay charges no fees directly but merchant transaction fees still apply. Overall, it’s a handy app for personal and freelance payments.

9. Dwolla

For low-cost bank transfers, Dwolla is a solid option. Send and receive money directly to and from U.S. bank accounts for a flat fee of only $0.25 per transaction. No percentage-based fees apply. You can also receive bank payments for free. Dwolla offers reliable same-day ACH transfers to and from contracted vendors. Useful for transactions like payroll, vendor payments, client invoices, and reimbursements between $1 and $10,000. Dwolla keeps fees low in exchange for direct bank account access.

10. Skrill

Skrill is an online payment platform that allows you to make transfers to and from a prepaid Skrill account. You can get a Skrill debit card to spend your balance in stores and ATMs, or transfer funds to other users and bank accounts. Fees are 1% for sending funds to other Skrill accounts or email addresses. Higher fees apply for exchanges to other countries and currencies. Skrill can be useful for freelancers getting paid by overseas clients.

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re a freelancer billing clients, an entrepreneur transacting with vendors, or an employee getting reimbursed for expenses, finding the right payment service is key for working from home smoothly. Payment apps like PayPal, Venmo, Zelle and mobile wallets offer peer-to-peer convenience. More advanced platforms like Square, Stripe and Wise provide features tailored to running a home business. Every service brings pros and cons, so evaluate your needs in terms of fees, speed, security and integrations. With the wide variety of payment processing options now available online, you can easily find a solution that meets your unique work-from-home financial management requirements.


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