Why Clark Says You Should ‘Ignore’ Paze as Trendy New Payment Option

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Did you know that the latest reports indicate a majority of Americans now regularly use some method of digital payment?

From Apple Pay to PayPal and several others in between, there is increasingly widespread acceptance that digitized payment for online and in-store purchases is the way of the future.

And, as of now, that space is dominated by Fintech companies instead of traditional banks.

Money expert Clark Howard says the banks are aiming to change this with a product called Paze.

“This idea of paying digitally is important real estate that everybody wants,” Clark says. “And now the banks have come out with their own thing.”

Paze is offered as a digital payment method by several large banks, including Bank of America, Capital One, Chase and Wells Fargo.

Clark’s disdain for another bank-backed digital money product (“big, bad Zelle“) is well known. Does he feel the same way about Paze? And what exactly does Paze do that is different than what’s already on the market? Let’s explore those questions and more.

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What Is Paze?

Paze defines itself as “an online checkout experience/solution that makes it easy for you to make purchases.”

This is a digital wallet that is designed to allow you to check out for online purchases without giving the merchant any of your banking or credit card information.

Part of the pitch is that it’s easier to use than a third-party app like PayPal, which requires you to load your banking or credit card information onto its platform.

Paze claims to improve that experience with no new passwords to memorize and no need to manually enter your card details.


Paze was launched in 2023 and is backed by many of America’s top banks and credit unions. This includes:

  • Bank of America
  • Capital One
  • Chase
  • Elan
  • PNC
  • Truist
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo

And, in many cases, if you’re doing business with these institutions you don’t have to do anything to sign up. In fact, you may find that you already have information stored in a Paze digital wallet. Read on to understand how this works.

How Does Paze Work?

At this point, you’re probably wondering: “What does Paze offer me that using Apple Pay, PayPal or Venmo doesn’t?”

Well, the short answer is that it’s designed to give you security during the online checkout process without requiring a third-party app to complete the transaction. It keeps the backing banks in control of the information shared during a transaction, and in the process allows you to shield some of your personal information from third parties.

So, for example, you may find a Paze button next to Apple Pay, PayPal, Amazon Pay or Google Wallet payment options on the checkout page of your favorite online retailer.

And rather than logging into one of those competitors with a unique username or password, you’d simply click on the Paze button and enter your email address.

From there, you’ll receive a one-time passcode on your trusted device. Once you successfully enter the passcode, you’ll be offered a menu of payment methods to use from banks that are a part of the Paze network:

Paze menu for choosing a payment method
Illustration via Paze

Though this menu does appear during the checkout process, Paze does not share your actual card number with the merchant to complete the transaction.

Why Clark Says You Should Ignore Paze

Paze was a topic of conversation on a recent episode of The Clark Howard Podcast.

Clark says that soon you’ll likely see banks push it as a new, fresh and convenient way to pay. Some of you may have already received the offer to try it with your bank account. But Clark says to resist the temptation.


“When you get [marketing communications] from your bank telling you how great Paze is: Ignore it, ignore it, ignore it,” Clark says.

His issues with Zelle, which is a peer-to-peer bank-backed digital payment service, are rooted in the security of your money.

That’s something to monitor, too, with the customer-to-merchant product. But to fully understand why Paze lands on his “ignore” list, he says you need to take a larger view at what the banks are trying to do with these products.

“Why are they doing it?” Clark posed during the podcast. “Because they want to try to have what’s called a ‘sticky.’ They want to try to keep you stuck with them instead of the innovation of the digital market that happens from technology companies.”

Clark says the banks see the writing on the wall with third-party services, which are offering arguably superior products in both the peer-to-peer and consumer-to-merchant transaction space. These Fintech companies lessen the bank’s influence over day-to-day transactions. Ultimately, that’s impacting the long-term viability and profitability of banks.

But you’re under no obligation to use a service that is designed to “wall you off” from their competition.

“Don’t get stuck in the concrete of the past by using some kind of bank product,” Clark says. “Stay with the independents. But, know that the digital way of paying for everything means that everything you do is tracked.”

Have you used Paze before? What was your experience? And if not, what’s your favorite digital payment option? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the Clark.com community.