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California’s Most Popular and Safest Ways to Pay In 2024

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FINANCIAL - Californians are spoiled for choice with a plethora of ways to pay that are convenient and safe. However, all payment methods vary in some way or another, and certain payment methods may be better suited for certain purchases. Most residents in sunny California prioritize secure payment types with convenience and ease. Let’s explore the most popular and safest ways to pay in California this year. 

In California, one of the most popular ways to pay is with credit or debit cards. These cards are easy to use and have been around for years, leading to their widespread adoption. Consumers typically use cards to purchase goods or services online or in person and in major cities in California, residents will be hard-pressed to find a business that does not accept these cards. 

In recent years, credit and debit cards have been re-imagined thanks to advances in tech. For example, instead of swiping or sharing card details, consumers can now tap their cards over payment terminals to pay. Plastic is accepted at restaurants and retail stores in person. Online, they are accepted at e-commerce sites, gaming sites, and gambling sites. For those who enjoy wagering online, popular card types like Visa and MasterCard can now be used to fund online wagering at sites that offer instant payouts. Beyond online shopping, gaming, and gambling, plastic can also be used online to pay for services, book holidays, and much more. Cards typically use EMV chip technology which reduces the risk of fraud, making this one of the safest and most popular ways to pay in California. 

Another popular way to pay in California is with mobile payment platforms. Mobile payment platforms are newer than cards and are gaining popularity quickly. For example, Google Pay, Google Wallet, and Samsung Pay are all examples of mobile payment options, usually called digital wallets, leading the way in this field. Consumers can store their card information safely on their phones using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology and then simply use their phones to complete transactions. Digital wallets are a popular way for Californians to pay when they are out shopping in person, grabbing groceries, or dining out. Being able to complete transactions with just a phone has streamlined payments and made the process easier and more convenient for many. 

Cryptocurrencies are starting to gain traction as a payment method in California as well with Governor Newsom’s recent support. Although not yet as popular as cards or digital wallets, the adoption of digital coins is growing. California is home to Silicon Valley, a tech hub, which is home to many crypto-related businesses leading the way in this field. Many residents use crypto to purchase goods and services online in California. For example, Californians can book holidays using coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum, play games online using crypto, and even wager at online and anonymous casinos using cryptocurrency as a payment method. Cryptocurrency is ideal for online payments as it offers quick transaction times, reduced transfer fees, and higher levels of anonymity online than most other payment methods. 

Beyond these options, there are other popular ways to pay in California. Some residents still use bank transfers, especially for larger amounts. For example, when purchasing a home or buying a car, it is common to transfer large sums of money via bank transfers. Bank transfers are known to be a little slower to possess than other payment methods, but are highly secure. Additionally, another way to pay is with cash. Cash is still used and accepted in California, although some businesses have gone “cashless” in recent years, causing controversy in the state.

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