Protect Your Money When Using Payment Apps
More than half (64 percent) of adults say they use P2P for payments to individuals, and 81
percent of people age 18 to 29 say they do, according to a 2022 survey by Consumer Report.
You may already be using Zelle with your CommunityAmerica account, or be familiar with other payment apps, such as Venmo, Cash App, and Apple Cash. The cash payment platforms may differ slightly but they all work basically the same in the way they enable their users to transfer money person to person.
Still, questions come up — are these peer-to-peer payment apps safe to use? Generally, the
answer is yes, sending your money via the widely-used platforms is safe.
Yet, it’s still a good idea to be cautious while using the apps, mainly because using technology on any platform or device has risks. No security safeguard is infallible.
Tips for Using Payment Apps Safely
It’s important to be mindful before you send and receive money, to lower the risk of being a
victim of a scam or fraudulent behavior.
Only send and receive payments from people you know.
It’s best to keep your P2P activity between you and the people you trust, like friends and family.
Risks go up when you start using these apps with strangers. Because many of the transactions
are instantaneous and irreversible, you are risking a loss when you’re using a P2P with someone
you don’t know.
Be hesitant about buying merchandise you’re not holding in your hands already.
Scammers sometimes use payment apps to trick people into sending money by claiming to be
selling something you want to buy, such as concert tickets or even puppies.
The problem occurs when you send the money but don’t actually get the tickets or puppy
promised in the exchange.
Add extra security.
Set up your P2P app to require an extra security step, such as a PIN, passcode, or facial recognition to complete transactions. That way if your phone gets out of your hands, no one else can initiate a payment.
If your phone is actually lost or stolen, be sure to notify your bank or credit union that is linked
to your payment account.
Opt for notifications for every transaction.
The P2P app you use may already do this automatically. If not, look through your settings and
set it up so you’ll get an email or text whenever there’s a transaction on your account.
Watch for red flags.
For example, if you’re getting a request for payment from an individual that seems unusual, i.e,
from someone you know but something they wouldn’t send, don’t respond to the request;
instead contact that person or business directly.
Another flag to watch for would be any requests that ask you to send funds to upgrade or pay
for the app. That wouldn’t happen — all P2Ps are free to download and use.
Also, a CommunityAmerica representative would never call and ask you to send money via a payment app. If you get a call like this, ignore the request and contact us immediately.
What to Do if There is a Problem
It’s difficult to stop a payment from leaving your account in most P2P apps. Once it’s sent, the
money is gone. So, remember to heed caution before you send any payments to someone you
Liability for the funds generally lies with the P2P user. But if you spot a problem or have a dispute and your CommunityAmerica account is tied to the payment app, contact us immediately. You can reach us through live chat or a secure email in Online Banking or the Mobile App or call us at 913.905.7000 to let us know what happened and discuss best next steps.