How to Use Venmo

Posted by Frank Gogol
Updated on May 17, 2022

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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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.

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