There are so many ways to send money these days. One of the more popular routes is with the popular new mobile app called Venmo. According to their site, Venmo is “a digital wallet that lets you make and share payments with friends. You can easily split the bill, cab fare, or much more.”
The convenience that Venmo provides is unmistakable. With this service you no longer have to worry about carrying around cash or driving across town to a friend’s home to hand over the few bucks you owe them. You can save your gas and send them a payment with Venmo.
How It Works
To use Venmo, you’ll need to link up your debit card, credit card, or checking account to the app. Venmo users can then exchange money or request funds from one another. You have the option to store money on Venmo’s platform or you can cash out your balance and send the funds to your bank account.
Cash transfers with Venmo can now be instantaneous and you should see funds on your debit card within 30 minutes. However, a 1% fee (with a minimum of 25 cents and a max of $10) is deducted from the amount of each instant transfer. If you don’t need access to the funds immediately, you can do the standard bank transfer for no fee and it will be completed in 1-3 business days.
Venmo has a unique social component to it. After you have transferred or received funds Venmo will post the transaction details on its news feed. This post never includes the amount of money publicly, only the sender and receiver can see that.
With each transaction a description is required whether it’s text, emojis, or both. Venmo does not enforce what you write in the transaction. Say you go out with a friend for Sushi and split the bill. You could write “Sushi Night “ or “ “ or something as puzzling as “Yum.”
If you’re not comfortable with anyone being able to see the type of transactions you’re making day to day, then you can change the setting so that only your contacts can see those details or you make it completely private. If you choose the private option, only the two parties involved in the transaction will be able to see it.
Venmo encrypts and monitors your data to protect against any unauthorized transactions and says this encryption-protected data is stored on servers in secure locations. Venmo was built as an app to be used between friends and family. According to Venmo’s Terms, “Venmo may not otherwise be used to receive business, commercial or merchant transactions, meaning you CANNOT use Venmo to accept payment from (or send payment to) another user for a good or service.” This means there is no protection if you choose to send a payment through Venmo for a good or service. Don’t make transactions with strangers through Venmo. Stick to a dedicated commercial service like PayPal.
You can also set up two-factor authentication to protect your account further. Additionally, a PIN that must be entered before the app can be opened is a great idea. These protections help you in case someone else gets their hands on your phone.
Overall, we believe Venmo is safe to use between family and friends. Another think to always remember is to never give your personal information (account numbers, debit card numbers, etc) out to others.