90 million Americans currently use mobile pay apps, including Venmo, Apple Pay, Facebook Messenger, and Zelle. Recently, Consumer Reports released the scores of five of these apps based on data privacy and security practices, and the results showed that some of the apps have the potential for loss of data privacy or security. Apple Pay had the highest (best) score so far with 76/100 points, while Venmo scored 69, Square's Cash App scored 64, Facebook Messenger scored 63, and Zelle scored 50. Apple received a high score in part due to its data privacy system and payment authentication practices. In particular, they appear to collect little information on app users (that could be later sold). Square, Facebook, and Venmo lost points for data privacy, while Zelle lost points for data privacy and data security.
Consumer Reports declared that all the services appeared to be "safe to use," but emphasized that they could be improved. Zelle responded to the Consumer Report data by saying that the score was artificially lower due to some of their policies and systems being confidential. Additionally, regardless of score, some have criticized Venmo for the public aspect of the transactions made, which are displayed (unless you opt out) in one's newsfeed, much like Facebook for transactions.
Do you use mobile pay apps? Would you use Zelle or Venmo after reading this?