PayPal, Zelle, Snapcash, Square Cash, Venmo, Popmoney — the world is flush with peer-to-peer (P2P) payment services. Go above and beyond to keep your money safe by doing the following when using P2P services:
- Add a PIN or two. Each platform should have a way to add and require a personal identification number to complete transactions. For added protection, set one up on your mobile device, too, so in case you ever lose your phone it’s not exactly like you lost your wallet as well.
- Opt in for notifications on every transaction. Some platforms do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, dig into your settings so that you get emails or texts any time there’s a transaction on your account.
- Know who you are paying. Pay and receive money only with people you know. Don’t pay strangers with P2P.
- Use a protected payment source. Link a credit or debit card when using peer-to-peer payment services so if your money is misdirected, you can have the error resolved by federal law. If you use funds kept in the P2P account, you are subject to state laws and the provider’s own policies, which can vary.
- Don't make errors. If you mistype a recipient’s email address, phone number or name, the money could go to the wrong person. Double-check the accuracy of your recipient’s information before you send off a payment.
- Security and user experience: The service should be easy to use and understand, and be secure. Most well-known platforms have good security in place, but you should still err on the side of caution. Avoid apps that have bad customer ratings and bad histories with data breaches.