When the pandemic hit India I was working in a city far from home and had INR 500 in cash with me. For the 2 months I was stuck there I didn’t have to take out any more cash than that, even that lonely 500 note stuck with me till I came home. From cabs to essentials like grocery everyone was more inclined to a digital payment than touching cash of a person whose journey they didn’t know about.
Even though the pandemic has acted as a catalyst for the popularity of payment apps in the past few months it is not the sole reason behind our inclination towards digital payments. In tier-1 and tier-2 cities, digital payments are not just an option but rather a necessity. For the past couple of years, tier-3 cities have also incorporated them to quite an extent. The reason behind this might be the technology revolution that has taken the world by storm, a storm that is working with even more ferocity as we work from home using the internet and pay for most things using our Smartphone.
The change from cash to card to digital payments was a gradual one but has increased three-folds if you consider from 2018. A lot of people are still skeptical about digital payments, especially the elderly. And of course, their skepticism even though incomplete in its understanding is justified. Even after such skepticism, India is still contributing about 2.2% to the global digital economy.
In fact, we could all benefit from a bit of skepticism when it comes to digital information seeing how tough cybersecurity is nowadays but that is a topic for another day. Most of the apps that do provide digital payments carry out a number of security measures to keep your money safe.
But which one is the best well that is a toughie, isn’t it? Well with a plethora of options to choose from I thought you might be confused and cynical about cybersecurity. So I have some of the best options for you to choose from. This is based on thorough internet research.
So if you had any doubts about the current app that you are using, with a change of features, or a looking to start for the first time with a digital payment app then here is a list of 5 apps to choose from.
Play Store rating: 4.4
The reason for this app being ahead on the list in addition to its Indian origin is that Paytm is one of the early birds when it comes to digital payments. It started as a modest mobile recharge app and now has over 300 million downloads and is worth $10 Billion. The Noida originated app provides its users with both a secure UPI payment option and reliable and easy to use a digital wallet. The app has been a part of the digital journey for a lot of Indians.
Paytm now being one of the biggest players of the digital world has expanded its horizon to eCommerce by introducing Paytm mall. In addition to all this Paytm is integrated with a lot of other eCommerce platforms as a mode of payment because of its huge userbase. According to the company more than 7 million merchants use its QR code as a mode of payment for their customers. You can be one of them.
Play Store rating: 4.4
PhonePe is a Bangalore based digital payment company that started its journey in the year 2015 and has quickly gained a good reputation in the country. PhonePe has truly played an important role in the revolution of technology in India by gaining the trust of its users. Like most other apps in the list, basic features of PhonePe include UPI payments, online recharge for mobile and other bills, and serving as a payment option on eCommerce websites and local merchants.
In addition to all the above features, the app also provides many reward options to its 100 million customers.
Play Store rating: 4.3
Google is a tech giant that has all its fingers dipped in different fields. In January of 2018, it rebranded its original digital wallet as Google Pay more commonly known as G Pay. With the US-based tech-giant safety is key and it ensures its 100 million-plus users of safety. It is also one of the fastest ways to send money.
You know how Paytm and Phonepe have started giving scratch cards rewards to their users. This fun reward feature was first introduced by Google Pay. In September of 2018 Google Pay acquired India based UPI payment app called Tez. Millennials especially those living in the “big” cities find the app as a necessity more than a convenience. When I moved to my city of work I had to download the app because from Auto drivers to Chai stalls almost everyone used G Pay.
Play Store rating: 4.1
Once you have created your BHIM UPI ID and linked your bank account this popular digital payment app allows its users to use features like Mobile Recharges, bill payments, sending, or receiving money. Freecharge is one of the most trusted and popular digital payment apps you can find in the market. Some of the other things people used this app for include paying insurance premiums, invest in Mutual Funds, Express FD, buy digital gold online, and get loans too in few taps away.
Play Store rating: 4.3
Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi under his campaign to make a digital India launched BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) in December of 2016. BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) with its motto “Make India Cashless” is a UPI enabled initiative by the National Payments Corporation of India. Due to this initiative held by the prime minister, the app is trusted by millions of Indians across the nation and has gained quite a following. The app is secure because it automatically logs you out after 90 seconds. If none of the other apps made you feel secure and you still want to start your digital payment journey than BHIM is the way to go.
Did you know Malayalam is the most spoken language in India? If you too are a Malayalam speaker than other than these apps I have another great app for you – Malayalam Keyboard With Malayalam Stickers
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