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Venmo Definition & Meaning

Venmo is a peer-to-peer (P2P) mobile payment application available for iOS and Android users that allows for quick and simple monetary transfers between individuals. The app features a social media-esque feed that differentiates itself from other money-transfer apps. Users can send or request money with emoji-embellished messages that describe the transfer in question. These messages appear in a Facebook-style feed that other users can see if they are Venmo friends. The dollar amount always remains private.

How Venmo works

Venmo is essentially a middleman between the two bank accounts of the users exchanging funds. After installing the app and linking the Venmo account to their credit card, debit card, or checking account, users can immediately begin exchanging funds with others.

Venmo is free for payments funded by a bank account, debit card, or prepaid debit card. If users want a payment funded by credit card, there is a 3 percent transaction fee. If a user wants an instant transfer, meaning the money is delivered within half an hour, there is a 1 percent transaction fee. Venmo is operated by PayPal, so both the sender and recipient must live in the United States.

Unverified users are limited to being able to transfer $299.99 per week. Once a user has verified their identity by providing identification such as Social Security Number, ZIP code, and birthday, the limit is raised to $4,999.99 per week.

Is Venmo safe?

Since Venmo is directly linked to consumer bank accounts, it must be held to the highest safeguarding standards. Venmo uses data encryption technology to protect users from unauthorized transactions. It also stores user information on servers in secure locations. PIN and fingerprint-based login options are available along with two-factor authentication. If a user loses their phone or suspects someone is using their Venmo account without their knowledge, they can log out of the account remotely on Venmo's official website.

Venmo alternatives 

Different online payment systems and peer-to-peer apps include: 

  • Google Pay: A digital wallet platform that allows users to send money from their bank account through Gmail for free.
  • Payoneer: An online payment system that allows for money transfer to anywhere in the world and also allows for making purchases through a prepaid Mastercard.
  • TransferWise: This app lets users transfer money to consumers in 59 countries with new currencies added on a consistent basis.
  • PayPal: A popular payment application that allows users to transfer money to and from U.S.-based bank accounts and other foreign accounts.

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