6 Tips to Protect Yourself When Using Payment Apps

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These tips will help you better protect yourself and your finances when you send money to others using payment apps.

Using payment apps is becoming a regular part of life. Whether you're using these apps to pay back a friend or family member or are paying a small business owner for their products or services, it's a convenient way to make a payment quickly. Plus, you don't need to worry about having cash with you.

But it's essential to make sure that you're cautious and using good judgment when using these apps. Otherwise, you may fall victim to scams or may put your finances at risk. These tips will help you protect yourself when using payment apps.

1. Only use well-known payment apps

If you attempt to use a payment app that is brand new or that is not commonly used or recognized, you may risk losing your money. If you're not sure which apps are popular, check out our list of top payment apps. There are several options of well-known, reputable apps -- including:

2. Only send money to those you know and trust

If you're using a payment app to send money, make sure that it's someone that you know and trust. You don't want to send money to a stranger and then not receive the service or products. Many scammers will ask for payment upfront and then not deliver on their word.

Stick with using payment apps for people you know. If you're going to make a transaction with someone you've never met, you may want to stick with traditional payment methods like a check or money order.

3. Protect your accounts

When using payment apps, you want to ensure that you're protecting your accounts well. You can do this by creating and using strong passwords. If you use the same password you use for all other apps or use a guessable password, it may be easier for someone to hack your account. Choosing a strong password can keep your personal information and money safe.

Strong passwords use a mix of upper and lowercase letters and special characters and numbers. Payment apps also let you turn on PIN and Touch ID settings within the apps. Doing this can help give your account an extra layer of security.

4. Verify all payment details

Before sending money to someone, take a few seconds to verify all payment details. Verify the email address, phone number, or username and the amount of money you're sending. This way, you don't make a costly mistake and lose out on the money you sent.

Many payment apps don't allow you to cancel a payment after you send it. That is unless the recipient sends the money back to you. That means if you send money to a stranger by accident and they don't want to offer you a refund, you will be in a difficult financial spot. Verifying all payment details will help you avoid this mistake.

When making payments through apps, always go into the app itself to make the payment. Don't fall for payment app links sent via email or text message.

There are scammers out there that will send messages asking for payment while including a phishing link. The link may appear normal, but when you enter your personal and financial information, they steal your information and gain access to your account or financial details. You can avoid these scams by never clicking links -- especially from people you don't know.

6. Review your financial statements regularly

It's a smart financial habit to review your banking and credit card statements regularly. Whether you're using payment apps or not, this is a smart way to double check your finances and make sure no unauthorized charges occurred. Many people never look at their statements carefully, resulting in missing red flags like unrecognized payments and withdrawals.

Many payment apps have safety and privacy features in place. But it's never a bad idea to be extra careful to protect yourself and your money. For more tips to help you better handle your money, check out these personal finance resources.

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