AFPL App Spotlight: Venmo

Have you been out to dinner with a bunch of your friends and when it’s time to pay the check everyone gets silent because everyone has a card rather than cash? Have you ever wanted to buy something from a friend but didn’t feel like going to the bank to take out cash? Venmo is your solution to those problems.

The easiest way to describe Venmo is it’s sending money digitally through texting. Basically when you want to send money to someone, you open the app and send it to them in a message. The transaction takes one business day to be reflected in your bank account.

There is also a social component to Venmo in that you have “Friends” and you can see who your friends are sending money to (the price is not visible but you can add a description of what you bought in the transaction).

In my experience using the app, it is extremely easy to use and it is reliable. So far I have sent two transactions to my friends for fantasy football and a bass amp and they received the money within one business day.

One of my big concerns about this app though is security. Venmo claims that it has bank level security to protect it’s users but people have beat the system by sending a payment and then cancelling the payment before the one business day. Essentially saying they sent payment but once they get the gift they cancel the payment so they don’t actually get charged.

At the end of the day, I believe this app has a bright future. It’s backed by it’s parent company PayPal which is one of the leaders in mobile money management and the core of its service works extremely well. My advice for those who are wary would be test it out with people you trust like friends and family. I wouldn’t use this for internet marketplace payments (like Craigslist or Letgo) yet but I believe in the future it will integrate very nicely.

Learn more about Venmo by visiting their website: venmo.com

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