Even if it's just splitting the tab among co-workers at your annual holiday get-together, it's clear that this is the season for instant payment apps.
Venmo and Zelle have exploded in popularity, particularly among 18- to-34-year-olds. In fact, millennials are six times more likely than boomers and Gen Xers to use payment service Venmo in lieu of cash, checks and credit cards to settle up for everything from dinner and drinks with friends to paying the month's rent, according to new research by Qualtrics and Accel.
"Peer-to-peer apps are crucial to modern personal finance," said Sean McQuay, a credit card analyst at NerdWallet.
Venmo alone processed about $4.9 billion in person-to-person payments in the third quarter of 2016, up 131 percent from a year earlier, according to PayPal's most recent report.
Venmo's peer-to-peer transaction volume is expected to grow to about $84 billion in 2019, according to Josh Olson, an analyst at Edward Jones.
But although 21 percent of consumers have used a mobile app on their phone to make a payment — a number that likely will continue to grow — only 11 percent of consumers trust alternative payment providers to protect their payments, according to a recent survey from the American Bankers Association.