Which Payment Apps Are Safest? Former Bank Employee Weighs In #nigeria | #nigeriascams | #lovescams

A former bank employee has gone viral on social media for sharing their honest opinions of popular transaction apps.

The former teller and finance major, Sydney Bean (@sydneykidneybean), revealed whether or not they use Venmo, Cash App, PayPal or Zelle in a now-viral TikTok with over 1 million views and more than 2,300 comments. You can watch the full video here.

About Bean

Bean told Newsweek that they once worked as a lead teller at “one of the largest banks in the United States.” They then worked for the company as a banker during the height of the pandemic before moving on to a credit repair company. Now, they study finance at the University of Idaho.

“The information in my transaction app video is primarily my opinion. I formed these opinions after watching customers be scammed every single day for years,” Bean said. “Additionally, I [am] a finance major, so I know about the importance of FDIC [Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation] coverage and the full extent of Regulation E when it comes to covering unauthorized transactions.”

Sydney Bean (@sydneykidneybean) revealed whether or not they use Venmo, Cash App, PayPal or Zelle in a now-viral TikTok with over 1 million views and more than 2,300 comments.
Tero Vesalainen/istock

Per the Federal Reserve System’s website, Regulation E “provides a basic framework that establishes the rights, liabilities, and responsibilities of participants in electronic fund transfer systems.”

Which Transaction Apps Are Safe?

Bean created their TikTok in response to a commenter from a previous video, who asked: “Which transaction apps are safe?”

Bean answered the question by sharing which transaction apps they do and don’t use and why. Here’s what they had to say:


Bean said they use Venmo but won’t keep money in the app because it’s not FDIC-insured.

“Also, I connect [the app] directly to my debit card so that if it is fraudulently accessed somehow, I only have to replace my debit card and not my entire bank account.”

Cash App

Bean told viewers that, for various reasons, they don’t use Cash App.

“I’ve filed way too many claims on Cash App, I’ve seen way too many scams directed toward Cash App users, and I’ve also seen people who kept their money in Cash App and then had it totally seized or frozen,” they said.

Despite these issues, Bean did say that the Cash App card, or Cash Card, is FDIC-insured.


Bean does use PayPal, but for international transactions only.

“Because it’s globally accepted, it’s pretty common in other countries, and it’s far cheaper to do a PayPal transaction than to do an international transaction through your bank.”

It is worth noting that PayPal, like Venmo, is not FDIC-insured.


Bean didn’t specify whether or not they use Zelle, but they did advise against sending transactions to strangers via the app.

“Do not ever send a Zelle to someone you don’t know,” they said. “You are not going to see that money backā€”it’s gone.

The banks don’t care if you got scammed through Zelle…they’re only going to refund your money on a claim if the bank made an error [and] it’s provable,” Bean continued, adding that scammers “love Zelle.”

More Expert Advice

So, are any of these apps truly safe? James E. Lee, Chief Operating Officer for the Identity Theft Resource Center, told Newsweek that all instant payment apps are “well-known avenues for scams.” However, they are “generally safe” to use so long as people exercise caution.

“Instant payment apps are generally safe to use and offer a convenient way to transfer funds IF a person exercises caution and thoroughly investigates any merchant or individual they do not personally know and trust,” Lee said. “Limiting the use of instant payment apps to businesses and individuals you know and trust is the best way to avoid becoming the victim of payment fraud.”

Lee also advised users to shut off social media features that allow others to see what they spend.

“Some payment apps have a social media feature that allows people to see what you spend, on what, and with whom. Turn off that feature so your transactions are private. That will help ensure criminals cannot target you for a phishing attack based on your transactions,” Lee advised.

Bean also reminds people to read the fine print.

“Always read your disclosures and agreements!” they told Newsweek. “The transaction apps and the banks openly inform you about your transaction protections and limits. Also, call your bank any time you have a question or concern. The majority of bankers are friendly and informative, and above all, they [are there] to help you keep your money safe.”

Other Viral Posts

Zelle trended on Twitter last month after a rapper claimed he accidentally sent money to the wrong recipient and was refused a refund.

In May, Redditors defended a college-aged woman who expected to be Venmo’d immediately after footing the bill for a friend’s expensive birthday dinner.

And in February, a Florida woman said she lost thousands of dollars in a Venmo crime.

Do you have a similar monetary question? Let us know via life@newsweek.com. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.

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