Best payment and wallet apps for iPhone: Square Wallet, PayPal, Passbook, and more!

Best payment and wallet apps for iPhone: Square Wallet, PayPal, Passbook, and more!

Don't want to weed through payment cards at the cash wrap? Try these payment and digital wallet apps for iPhone instead!

Looking for the best iPhone apps to pay with at your favorite stores? The ones that will let you make your wallet digital? The App Store offers all kinds of payment solutions for iPhone. Whether you're buying online or going to a good old-fashioned brick-and-mortar, there are a ton of apps to choose from. But wish payment and wallet apps are the very best?

Square Wallet

Best payment and wallet apps for iPhone: Square Wallett

Square Wallet lets you link a debit or credit card to your Square account and pay with it anywhere Square payments are accepted. If someone sends you a Square gift card you can also store that inside the Square Wallet app for use whenever you're at that merchant. For some places of business, you can even choose items from inventory and have your sale ready before even getting to the cash register. Square merchants can then see you're using Square Wallet from the Square Register app and simply tap to confirm your payment.

If a lot of merchants in your area use Square, you can't go wrong with Square Wallet.

Google Wallet

Best payment and wallet apps for iPhone: Google Wallet

Google Wallet, currently available for purchases in the United States, lets you save all your loyalty cards in once place. You can also make payments online and at any merchant that has a card with credit attached to it. If you need to send money to someone, you can do so for free as long as they're using Google Wallet as well. Google Wallet offers tap to pay for NFC-enabled devices but as the iPhone doesn't have NFC, tap to pay isn't something Google Wallet supports for iOS... yet.

If you make a lot of digital payments or are tied into Google's services already, Google Wallet is a great option.


Best payment and wallet apps for iPhone: PayPal

PayPal is one of the most accepted payment services on the planet. Lots of physical merchants can also let you pay with PayPal, no actual credit card needed. The PayPal app can use your location to determine what merchants around you let you pay with PayPal. Once you're at the checkout, just tell them you're paying with PayPal instead of cash or a card. You'll just have to enter your mobile number and PIN and you're good to go. PayPal just deducts the funds from whatever bank account or credit card you have linked.

If you already use PayPal as your payment service of choice, check out what merchants support payments with PayPal in your area.

Isis Mobile Wallet

Best payment and wallet apps for iPhone: Isis Mobile Wallet

Isis is available to both AT&T and Verizon customers and offers the same tap to pay functionality Android users currently enjoy with NFC. The only catch? You'll need to buy an accessory case to make Isis work. After that you can add all your payment cards, including American Express Serve and Chase bank cards, and start tapping to pay at literally thousands of merchants with tap to pay terminals.

If you don't mind buying a case in order to get the same tap to pay treatment Android customers already enjoy, get Isis Mobile Wallet.

See also:

  • Incipio Cashwrap Isis Ready Case - AT&T - $69 - Buy now
  • Incipio Cashwrap Isis Ready Case - Verizon - Buy Now


Best payment and wallet apps for iPhone: Passbook

Last but definitely not least, lots of merchants have deployed their own payments cards that are integrated through Passbook. Just add the card within the merchant's app with support for Passbook and you're good to go. Whenever you're within the vicinity of a merchant you have stored in Passbook, your pass should appear on your Lock screen for easy access. Popular merchants such as Starbucks have deployed Passbook payments worldwide.

  • Built in to iPhone running iOS 6 and above

Your payment and wallet picks?

Do you make payments both online and at local merchants right from your iPhone? If so, what payment apps do you find yourself using the most? Let me know in the comments!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Best payment and wallet apps for iPhone: Square Wallet, PayPal, Passbook, and more!


Amazon / Apple / Braintree / Dwolla / Google / Isis / Square / Stripe / Whoever Payments—the facts …

Online or at physical point-of-sale, via plastic or mobile phone—from the merchant payee’s point of view—all of the “non-bank” providers suffer the same serious handicap that eBay’s clunky PayPal suffers: none have interactive access to buyers’ funds held in retail banking debit accounts, nor to retail banking credit accounts (as do have the “bankcards” MasterCard and Visa); their only reliable access to payers’ funds is as Credit Card Merchant Account operators (which is what “PreyPal” claims to be when it wants to appear not to be operating its “pretend bank”) via their own retail banker.

Even if any of these middlemen make use of direct debits via the ACH system (as “PreyPal” prefers to do to more cheaply access payers’ funds), the access is not interactive: there is no immediate acceptance of the debit by the bank nor any guarantee that, the following day, the bank won’t reverse the debit due to an insufficiency of funds; the simple fact is, direct debit via ACH is not a suitable medium for physical POS transaction payments where the goods involved are going to immediately walk out the door; the only safe route for a merchant for such transactions (credit or debit) is via a retail bank Credit Card Merchant Account with its interactive linking to the retail banking system …

Regardless, all these “pretenders” are parasitic middlemen that, in the main, ride—precariously—on the backs of the retail banks’ existing systems; they make their money out of the difference between what the banks/MasterCard/Visa charge them and what they then charge their merchant-payee customers; therefore, their services, invariably, are going to be dearer, or are unlikely to be cheaper; anyone that thinks otherwise has been drinking too liberally of the disingenuous nonsense that continually flows from the eBay Dept of Spin …

“PreyPal” is different in that it will hold onto payees’ funds: “PreyPal” operates a “pretend bank”—the “bank” they have to unlawfully hold onto merchant-payees’ receipts, and the “bank” they don’t have when the banking regulator comes sniffing around. That “PreyPal” manages to skirt wholly around U.S. banking regulations while operating this clunky, unlicensed, unregulated, non-FDIC-insured, “pretend bank”, frankly, defies belief; possibly it’s due to the same bureaucratic laziness/corruption that allows eBay to knowingly and calculatedly facilitate, massive, blatant, auction fraud on the consumers of the world …

Merchants who receive payments via “PreyPal” also face the additional problem that, unlike MasterCard and Visa, “PreyPal” will not invest in the human resources necessary to defend a credit card charge-back by a buyer—even if it is defensible; for most payees “PreyPal” will deal with the matter in the most cost effective way—for them, and that is to acquiesce to the chargeback and let the payee take the loss. The reality is, anyone that accepts payments via “PreyPal” does so at their constant peril …

Undoubtedly, “digital wallets” are the way of the future for buyers, particularly for online payments, and with the recent arrival of the professional mobile/plastic POS/online digital wallets from MasterCard (“MasterPass”) and Visa (“”), these “payments pretenders”—with the exception of where they are mandated/integrated into an online marketplace—are now effectively redundant …

With respect to physical point-of-sale transactions by such pretenders (Square excepted, as Square offers unique hardware solutions for particular merchant situations), can I simply invite readers to, next time they visit The Home Depot, ask a cashier how “Pay Here With PayPal” is going—LOL …

Vendors keep harping on mobile payments, I'm not sure that payments is what consumers care about in a mobile wallet.

For example Passbook is primarily and ticket and coupon wallet. It can rather easily be enhanced to add receipts, warrantee cards, local shortcuts, shopping lists, etc.

The point is...most consumers want the "non payment" elements, not payments. Most merchants are more focused on marketing and promotion issues, not payments.

The only "payment app" I use on my phone is the Starbucks app. I do wish the US would get with the program and replace the antiquated mag stripe processing. I know this will cost money to overhaul all the equipment, but it just seems like a no brainer in terms of security and convenience. In terms of payments from your phone to physical retailers, there really needs to be a standard. If Android, iOS, Windows, etc., all back different technologies/back ends, I fear that widespread acceptance will be a long time coming.

My name is Michael Roche I am the CEO/Owner of Flashpoint media LLC maker of the popular Instant Rewards iPhone App. I am writing you today because I came across an article you wrote about “apps that pay you” while you have many great apps in this list ours is not part of it. Our App Instant Rewards was recently featured in seventeen magazine and on several other media outlets. We have over 50,000 users and 4.5/5.0 rating in a side by side comparison of some of our competitors such as: Jingit, Checkpoints, Appjoy, Gigwalk or adfun we beat them in all categories. We Offer users Videos to watch, Surveys to take, Apps to download and recently partnered with Kiip to offer “real Life” rewards to users. We also pay more and offer both paypal and Amazon giftcards as a cashout method, and unlike all of our competitors we are open worldwide not just limited to the USA. In conclusion I believe your readers deserve to be informed about the best apps around and quite frankly one of the best apps (ours) is not included in this list. Don’t take my word checkout the reviews yourself we are better than most if not all rewards apps available today!
The Link to our app is:

Michael R Roche- CEO/Owner Flashpoint Media LLC