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Ditching cash and using smartphones to pay bills
CINCINNATI (John Lomax) -- More people are saying goodbye to their wallets and checkbooks to send and receive cash through their smartphones.
When aspiring actor Adam Berard pays his roommate Madeline his share of the rent he doesn't get out his checkbook. He pulls out his smartphone and opens up "Venmo."
He said, "It's an app that connects to your bank account."
Adam and Madeline both registered with venmo.com. When one owes the other money, it's as easy as finding the name, entering the amount and hitting send.
Square cash, Google Wallet and Pay Pal work in a similar way, linking to the user's bank account. Several banks also have their own payment apps, allowing parents to pay babysitters, friends, to split dinner checks and more.
James Wester of IDC Financial Insights said, "It's the convenience factor of paying with your phone considering that you are carrying it with you all the time. It's fantastic, you no longer have to find a check, you no longer have to have cash on hand."
Many of the apps can also be used to pay retailers. Wester says after a slow start, mobile payments are hitting their stride.
"I do see it taking off in a pretty big way starting right about now," he said.
Most apps are free, but some charge a fee if linked to a credit card or debit card. For the roommates Adam and Madeline, it makes paying bills almost a pleasure.
Users can only send money to people who have the same app that they do.
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