Show me the money: Our guide to some of today’s top payment apps

Team AMI
Team AMI
Feb 20 · 3 min read

The era of only being able to take cash or check in direct sales is behind us! (Remember those days?) Even the Girl Scouts, who’ve swarmed plazas with their cookies, have cracked the excuse of “I don’t have any cash on me!” by gladly accepting credit cards.

But, how do you know which of the many payment options out there is right for your business? Your preference also might not be your customer’s preference. Right as you’re set up to swipe a card on Square, a customer might ask, “Can’t I just Venmo you?”

The ways to take payments in direct sales are constantly evolving

We’ll run through the pros and cons of a few popular payment options, below:

PayPal

PayPal has been a household name for a while and one of the first options we typically see offered by direct sellers. It’s easy to use and has a long-standing history of being secure and reliable. Payments between friends and family are free, but there is a small transaction fee (~2.9–3%) when accepting payments for Goods and Services. Your customers’ data is also encrypted and safe; no financial information is shared between you and your customer.

Venmo

Venmo has jumped head-first into the payments scene over the past few years. It’s popular among customers since many people already have it set up and it’s free to use. Keep in mind: Venmo is not permitted to be used for Goods and Services. However, since Venmo is so popular and customers often include friends and family, Venmo remains a popular choice for direct sellers.

Cash App

Cash App is a newer contender and is quickly gaining traction, particularly in certain regions (Atlanta, we’re looking at you!). Cash App was created by Square and is similar to Venmo; it’s intended to send funds to friends and family rather than paying for Goods and Services. You may also hear people refer to this app as “Square Cash.”

Square

Square is the heavy-hitter in modern credit card processing. They changed the game when they created a card reader that could turn any smartphone into a point of sale (more on that, below!). With a similar fee (3%) and a strong referral program (credits on processing fees and a discounted reader), they tend to be the go-to choice for credit card payments among direct sellers.

What’s the difference between Social Payments and Point-of-Sale?

If you’ve been looking at payment apps, you may have come across the terms social payments and point-of-sale. Even though many companies can support both, there are different scenarios for using each one.

Social payments typically happen between friends and family, and everything is done in-app (no exchange of financial info is needed!). A huge perk of social payments is that you don’t need to be physically with the person paying you, and they can pay at their convenience. Popular social payments apps include PayPal, Venmo, and Cash App.

Point-of-sale refers to an in-person payment, often with a card reader or cash. This is an easy way to take payments during vendor events, in-person parties, and fundraisers. It allows you to securely accept credit cards, keep a record of your transactions, and efficiently move through a line of customers. Pro tip: You’ll need a physical card-reader offered by these companies to use this option. Popular point-of-sale apps include Square and PayPal Here.

Want to learn more about payments? We’ve found a few articles that break down more of the pros and cons of payment apps. We’d also LOVE to hear your opinion on this topic in our #poweredbyAMI Community on Facebook.

About Us

We launched in 2017 with the mission: build both a product experience and a community for direct sellers around the world.

We would also love to work with you on future blog posts. If you would like to share your story and experience, send us a blog submission!

Sell with AMI

Stories, spotlights, and insights into the changing face of the direct sales industry

Team AMI

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Team AMI

We’re changing how direct sellers build the relationships key to their businesses & transforming the perception of the direct sales industry.

Sell with AMI

Stories, spotlights, and insights into the changing face of the direct sales industry

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