How to Use Venmo

Updated on January 6, 2024

At a Glance

  • Venmo is a popular app-based payment service in the U.S.
  • It facilitates easy money transfers and includes social media elements.
  • Venmo allows users to send/receive money and make payments for various purposes.
  • While free for most transactions, fees apply for credit card use and instant transfers; users should be mindful of privacy settings.

During this age of contactless payments, it is likely that someone has told you to “Venmo” them. Since when has “Venmoing” been a verb?

Venmo has payments that total $150 billion on its platform every year. That’s the same as the entire economy of Ukraine or twice the size of Venezuela’s or Bolivia’s. If that doesn’t justify the use of “Venmoing”, then what does?!

Below we will cover some Venmo basics. After reading this, you will know how to use Venmo. We also check out Venmo’s safety and privacy features, and its fee structure so you can safely and securely use Venmo for your payment needs.

What Is Venmo?

Venmo is an app-based payment service in the U.S. It is simple and easy to use. Unlike other payment apps, like PayPal, Venmo also includes aspects of social media. You can find friends to pay using social media accounts, your payments are public so your friends and family can follow your activity, and you can comment and use emojis.

Most people use Venmo to transfer small amounts of money between friends, family, and acquaintances. There are no fees associated with a Venmo transfer, so it is a convenient way to transfer the $15 you owe your friend for lunch, along with a mimosa emoji. Or you can request that everyone in the office pay their $6.50 contribution towards Karen’s going away gift into your Venmo account.

What Is Venmo Used for?

You can use Venmo to send or receive money between Venmo users for almost anything.

Anyone over 18 with a bank account, debit card, or credit card can sign up for a Venmo account by downloading the app on their smartphone. Once you have linked your bank information to your Venmo account, you can transfer money to, and receive money from, anyone in the U.S. with a Venmo account.

Some websites also offer Venmo as a payment option.

How Does Venmo Work?

Your Venmo account acts as a bank account. Any money you get paid will go to your Venmo account. When you make a payment via Venmo, this balance will be used first. You can transfer money into your Venmo account. You can even request that your paycheck be directly deposited to Venmo so that you always have a balance in the app.

If you don’t have enough money in your Venmo balance to complete the transaction, money will be drawn from your debit or credit card, or your bank account.

You can also transfer money from your Venmo account to your bank account.

How to use Venmo

Finding out how to use Venmo is quick and easy.

To ask for or send money, you open the Venmo app and then tap on the “Pay or Request” button in the lower right corner of the screen. You can browse or search for someone to pay by entering their username, phone number, or email. If your friend is nearby, you can also scan a QR code from the app.

Once you have selected your friend, you can either request money from them, or send them money. Enter the amount and add a note or emoji indicating what the payment was for to complete the transaction.

How Long Does It Take to Send Money on Venmo?

In the app, money transfer is instant. Once the money is sent, it shows up immediately in the recipient’s account. From there it can immediately be spent on Venmo or transferred to a linked bank account.

When moving money from your bank account to your Venmo account and vice versa, you might have to wait a bit. If you want to transfer money from your bank account to your Venmo account, it can take between one to three business days to complete the transaction.

If you want to transfer money from your Venmo account, it also usually takes between one to three business days to complete the transaction. You can select the Instant Transfer option to transfer money from your Venmo account to your bank account. An instant transfer takes about 30 minutes. But keep in mind there is a fee associated with an instant transfer.

What Fees Does Venmo Charge?

For most actions in Venmo, there are no fees.

The following fees apply to Venmo transactions:

  • It is free to receive money into your Venmo account
  • It is free to send money to other Venmo users when you use your Venmo balance, bank account, or debit card
  • If you send money using your credit card, Venmo will charge you a 3% fee
  • If you are withdrawing money from your Venmo account to your bank account using the instant transfer feature, there is a 1% transaction fee
  • If you are doing a standard withdrawal from your Venmo account to your bank account, there is no fee.

Is Venmo Safe?

Venmo uses several security measures to protect your financial information. It is unlikely that your financial information will reach those with malicious intent. If an unauthorized person does access your account, through Phishing or a password breach, Venmo will make sure you get your money back.

However, Venmo doesn’t offer the protection of a traditional bank. If you accidentally send money to the wrong person, your only option is to politely ask for it back. Venmo will try to help you retrieve your money, but cannot guarantee that the money will be recovered. Venmo also does not protect you from transaction fraud. If you send money to someone for goods or services that are not provided, Venmo won’t be able to help you recover your money.

Privacy Settings on Venmo

Keep in mind that Venmo has social network-like features. Each transaction you make has a default “Public” setting. This means that other users can see and follow your transactions.

You need to opt in to change the status of each transaction from “Public” to “Friends” or “Private”.

You can change the privacy settings for each transaction, or you can go to the “Settings” menu, tap “Privacy” and change the privacy settings until you are happy with it. Use the Back arrow at the top left to save your changes.

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Conclusion

Now you know how to use Venmo. Venmo is one of the easiest options to send and receive money for users in the U.S. The app is user-friendly and easy to use. The interface turns money from a taboo subject into a social event. It makes it easy to pay your part of group expenses and to remind your friends that they owe you money.

Because of the no-fee structure, you can send even the smallest amounts of money without paying transaction fees.

Venmo is backed by PayPal encrypted data, so it is safe to use. However, the social element of the app means your data might be inadvertently shared. Venmo also doesn’t offer you the same transaction fraud protection as a traditional bank does.

By understanding the advantages and limitations of Venmo, you can now send and ask for money with confidence.

“Hey, just Venmo me.” — you, after reading this article.

How to Use Venmo FAQ

What is Venmo, and what can I use it for?

Venmo is a popular mobile payment service owned by PayPal that allows users to send and receive money from friends and family using a mobile app. You can use Venmo for a variety of purposes, including splitting bills, paying for goods and services, and making peer-to-peer payments.

How do I get started with Venmo?

To get started with Venmo, follow these steps:

  1. Download the App: Visit your device’s app store (iOS App Store or Google Play Store) and download the Venmo app.
  2. Sign Up: Open the app and sign up for a Venmo account. You’ll need to provide your email address, create a password, and verify your phone number.
  3. Link a Payment Method: Add a payment method to your Venmo account. You can link a bank account or debit/credit card.
  4. Set Up Your Profile: Customize your Venmo profile by adding a profile picture and a username that others can use to send you money.

How do I send money to someone using Venmo?

To send money to someone using Venmo, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Venmo App: Launch the Venmo app on your mobile device.
  2. Tap “Pay or Request”: In the app, tap the “Pay or Request” icon.
  3. Select a Recipient: Enter the username, email, or phone number of the person you want to send money to. Make sure you select the correct recipient.
  4. Enter the Amount: Specify the amount you want to send.
  5. Add a Note: You can include a note to describe the payment’s purpose, such as “Dinner” or “Rent.”
  6. Choose Payment Method: Select the payment method you want to use (bank account or linked debit/credit card).
  7. Review and Confirm: Double-check the payment details, including the recipient and the amount. Once you’re sure, tap “Pay.”

Can I make payments on Venmo public or private?

Venmo allows you to choose the privacy settings for your transactions. You can set payments to be either public or private. Public payments are visible in your Venmo feed and can be seen by your friends and connections. Private payments are not shared in the feed and are only visible to the sender and recipient.

How do I receive money on Venmo?

To receive money on Venmo:

  1. Open the App: Open the Venmo app on your device.
  2. Check Your Venmo Balance: Your Venmo balance will show on the app’s home screen. You’ll see incoming payments there.
  3. Transfer Funds: You can keep the received funds in your Venmo balance or transfer them to your linked bank account.

Is there a fee for using Venmo?

Venmo offers free transfers when using a linked bank account or debit card for payments. However, if you use a credit card for transactions, a fee may apply. Additionally, there are fees for certain expedited services, such as Instant Transfer to a bank account.

Can I use Venmo for business transactions?

Venmo is primarily designed for personal use and is not intended for business transactions. Businesses should use PayPal for their payment processing needs. Using Venmo for business transactions may result in account limitations or restrictions.

How do I protect my Venmo account’s security?

To protect your Venmo account’s security:

  • Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for added protection.
  • Set a strong, unique password for your Venmo account.
  • Regularly review your transaction history to spot any unauthorized payments.
  • Be cautious about sharing your payment details and only transact with trusted individuals or businesses.

Can I use Venmo for international transactions?

As of my knowledge cutoff date in January 2022, Venmo primarily facilitates transactions within the United States. International transactions and cross-border transfers are limited. Be aware that services and capabilities may evolve over time, so check the official Venmo website or app for the most current information regarding international use.

What should I do if I encounter issues with Venmo?

If you encounter any issues with Venmo, such as unauthorized transactions or problems with your account, it’s essential to contact Venmo’s customer support through the app or their official website for assistance and resolution.

Please note that the information provided is based on my knowledge as of January 2022, and there may have been developments or changes in Venmo’s services and features since that time. Always refer to the official Venmo app and website for the most up-to-date information and guidance on using the service.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.