Last weekend, Nicola went camping in the Berkshires with a group of ten of her friends.

Someone bought groceries, a couple others drove, and another one paid for the campsite. Instead of engaging in an awkward conversation about who-owes-who-what, writing checks, and making ATM stops, Nicola’s friends “charged” her and the others whatever amounts they owed through a money transfer app called Venmo.

It’s programs like Venmo, PayPal, Square Cash, and Google Wallet that have quickly become the norm for casual payments. Instead of asking a friend to “spot you”, we’re now whipping out our phones and opening up a virtual wallet app. In 2013, there were $235 billion of transactions made through online payment systems. Gartner technology analysts estimate that there will be $720 billion of transactions through money sharing programs by 2017.

With news of the iPhone 6 featuring the Apple Wallet, an app that is partnering with Visa, Mastercard, and American Express to allow its user to make retail purchases with just the stroke of a finger, we at Turnkey Office Space have decided to evaluate our favorite money exchanging apps.

PayPal. For being the oldest payment service on the block, PayPal certainly spends a lot of time on the sidelines. Probably because the program is mostly associated with business transactions and its 2.9% +$0.30 fee it charges its pay-ers. As of late, the company has been stepping up its retail game. Over the last several months, PayPal has been partnering with eateries and small business and offering their customers discounts on their products if they pay using the app. It’s also the only service of the 4 available for Windows Phone.

Square Cash. This is the only money-exchanging app that requires only the pay-er to have an account. Square Cash and Venmo are the only programs that don’t have a service fee for debit card payments.

Google Wallet. Perhaps the most fickle of the four, Google Wallet is attached to your Gmail address and requires answering several security questions. Wallet lets you pay with credit card, which Square and Venmo don’t, but it charges 2.9% for every debit or credit card transaction.

Venmo. A Twitter-esque social media feed and check cashing center is how Venmo defines itself. When signing up, the service gives you the option to link up your Facebook profile and add “friends”. You also have the option to make your transactions public or for “friends only”, so others can check out and “like” your transactions.

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