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Millions of Americans use peer-to-peer payment services such as Venmo, CashApp, or Apple Pay for on-the-spot money transfers. Apps like these can definitely come in handy, especially as fewer people are carrying cash on them. You can chip in for gas, buy a friend a coffee, or even split costs like rent and utilities at the push of a button. 

But are they too good to be true?

Today, we are going to share a quick guide to money transfer apps. If you are more of a visual learner, watch our latest Tech Tip video to follow along with tech expert Katie. Let’s get started.

How Do They Work?

Cash transfer apps are relatively easy to get the hang of. First, you create a profile on an app and link your bank account or credit card to it. Once your banking information is set up, you can locate another person’s account on the app and transfer funds instantly into their account. If someone transfers you money you can either leave it in your account for future transfers or move it into your bank account.

Are They Safe?

The short answer is yes. All major money transfer apps take precautions to protect your personal and financial information, but as with any transfer of money, there is always a risk. Common scams include fraudulent sellers, who target an unassuming buyer to purchase an item from someone they met online. The buyer sends the money, but the item is never received, and the seller vanishes. 

With that risk in mind, here are a few tips for using cash transfer apps safely and effectively: 

  1. Opt in to stronger security. It takes only a few seconds to set up additional protections from your app settings, such as a PIN, and it’s so worth it.
  2. Send money only to people you know. Before you press “pay,” make sure you have the right username, phone number, and photo.
  3. Keep your app up to date. Hackers are always on the lookout for vulnerabilities, and out-of-date software is a big one. Make sure you have auto-updates turned on.

So go ahead, Venmo and CashApp to your heart’s content—just make sure you are taking precautions to protect your hard-earned money.

That’s it for this edition of Tech Tips! Check back soon for another tip to make your technology work for you.

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