AARP Offers Cautions About P2P Payment Apps

Nonprofits might soon find older Americans more cautious about using peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, Square or Venmo for contributions or payments. The AARP has issued guidance about these systems, which transfer money for everything from charitable contributions to making purchases to sending money to family and friends.

According to data from a survey by the Washington, D.C.-based AARP, 71 percent of respondents use these payment platforms, with 52 percent believing they can easily recover money sent. In practice, recovering funds is fairly difficult.

Age and race/ethnicity differences were found among those who say they used P2P payment platforms. Younger adults, African American/Blacks, and Hispanic/Latinos are more likely than Caucasian/Whites to use P2P payment platforms to send money to a family member or a friend, while older adults and Caucasian/Whites are more likely to use it to purchase an item through an online bidding site. 

“We know scammers are already capitalizing on anxieties and fears around coronavirus. With so many people at home, consumers should be alert for possible scams on peer-to-peer payment platforms,” according to Kathy Stokes, AARP director of Fraud Prevention Programs.

While contributions to nonprofits currently do not rank high among P2P payment app uses, nonprofit digital managers should be aware that older potential audiences will be primed to resist these contribution methods. For nonprofits, this might mean adding reassurances when soliciting donations or payment for charity events or products through these apps.

The NORC Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Chicago conducted the survey on behalf of AARP between Nov. 4-8, 2019. A full copy of the report is available here: https://bit.ly/3bMfVLc