Free mobile payment apps keep popping up in the major app stores. Some apps, like the new Nordstrom Rack app for iOS, work like typical online purchases using a credit card, but with the credit card number stored on a smartphone or tablet. Some online stores even offer free delivery.
Other apps work with in-store payments by using barcodes, like the Starbucks app. Some apps, such as those from Isis or Google Wallet, use near-field communication (NFC) chips that work with a variety of retailers, mainly on Android phones, or with the iPhone and a special smartphone NFC sleeve. Americans still love credit cards and cash, but payment apps are gaining steam. Here are some worth knowing about.