If you’re the kind of person who prefers using digital payments over dealing with cash, you’ve likely at least heard of Venmo. Venmo is used by everyone from friends splitting the cost of lunch to sports teams to businesses.
What is Venmo?Venmo is a mobile application owned by PayPal (no surprise there) that was created to allow people to easily send money to each other using their smart phones. Venmo
Signing Up for Venmo
Signing up for Venmo is pretty simple. Here’s what you’ll need:
- A smart phone that can install the Venmo app
- An email address
- A US-based bank account
To sign up for Venmo, you simply download the application to your mobile device, use your email account to set up a new account, then connect a payment account (usually a US-based checking or savings account) that will be used to send or receive Venmo payments.
Sending Payments with Venmo
When you open the Venmo app, there is a button in the bottom right of the screen that you can click to send (or request) a payment.
To send a payment through Venmo, you’ll need to either know the Venmo account handle of the person you’re sending money to, or you can use the Venmo codes feature that was introduced in 2017 as an easier way to identify the person you’re paying money to. Since Venmo codes came out, Venmo now has a scanning feature that allows you to scan the QR code (a two-dimensional bar code) associated with the Venmo account of the person you intend to pay. Since each code is unique, scanning a Venmo QR code ensures that you are paying the correct person. Many people and businesses have created business cards that include their Venmo QR code to make the process of finding and paying them through Venmo easier.
If you aren’t able to scan a Venmo code to identify the person you want to pay, you can also type in the person’s Venmo user account id.
If you’re not using the Venmo code scanner, Venmo’s interface for paying people can be a bit tricky, especially since the profile image is normally so small that you can’t very well make out who it is, and it’s often hard to tell whether you’ve got the right “John Smith” when you do your search.
There are actually four different ways to do a search for someone to pay through Venmo. Venmo allows you to search using any of the following pieces of information that you might know pertaining to the person you intend to pay:
The difficultly with using the Venmo search field is that it can be hard to tell who exactly you’re getting ready to send money to. The profile pictures are small enough and sometimes obscure enough that you may not be completely certain you’ve got the person you’re looking for. For that reason, it’s good to know the exact Venmo username of the person you intend to pay. Since the username is unique, having that correct makes it much more likely that you’ve found the right person.
In addition to a person’s Venmo username being unique, having their phone number or email (as long as they’re associated with the person’s Venmo account), will help you to be sure that you’re sending money to the correct person.
Phone Confirmation for First Time Sending Money
Because of the confusion that exists with finding the correct person to send money to through Venmo, Venmo implemented an additional security measure when you’re sending money to someone you’ve never paid through Venmo before. Venmo has added a confirmation screen that shows a larger profile picture and allows you to verify the last four digits of the person’s phone number before transferring payment. This additional step can give you an additional measure of confidence that you’re paying who you intend to pay.
What if You Pay the Wrong Person?
As mentioned above, it can be tricky to make sure that you’ve got the correct person when you’re making a Venmo payment. For this reason, you are always encouraged to double-check and confirm you’ve got the correct account before you hit the confirm button and send a payment.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation where you’ve sent money to someone other than who you intended to, Venmo does have potential remedies, but they’re not as robust as you might think. Venmo makes the payment you send available to the recipient immediately, which doesn’t leave you with a lot of time to fix the situation, especially if you’re dealing with someone who lacks integrity and considers your Venmo payment a fortunate gift from someone who should have been paying closer attention.
Here’s what Venmo recommends in a situation where you’ve sent money to the wrong Venmo account:
- Ask for the money back from the person by sending a “charge request” explaining that you sent the payment by accident.
- Contact Venmo’s customer support team to get their help in facilitating returning the money to you. It’s important to know that Venmo doesn’t guarantee that you can get your money back. However, going through their customer support team is a good way to explore any and all options that may be on the table.
If your inadvertent payment was sent to a new Venmo user account that hasn’t been confirmed and is inactive, it’s possible to cancel that payment and have the money reversed.
Requesting Money Through Venmo
Requesting money through Venmo is similar to sending money. To request money from someone, you find that person using one of the user identification methods described above:use their Venmo QR code or search by name, username, phone, or email. Once you’ve identified the person, you simply click the “Request” button after entering the amount you want them to send and an optional description of what the requested money is for.
Likely the most attractive thing about Venmo is that there are no fees associated with most of the financial app’s functions, including opening and maintaining an account, receiving money, sending money from your Venmo balance or from your bank account, transferring money (using their standard transfer option) to or from your bank account, and some other relevant tasks.
Venmo fees are most commonly incurred when you send money to someone using a credit card and when you withdraw money from an out-of-network ATM or over the counter at a bank.
The following chart from Venmo’s signup page lists the fees associated with various Venmo activities.
|Opening and holding an account|
|Account setup||$0.00||No fee to setup an account.|
|Monthly fee||$0.00||No monthly fees.|
|Spending or sending money|
|Online purchases||$0.00||No fee for online purchases.|
|Sending money to people (using your credit card)||3%||There’s a fee for sending money to people using your credit card.|
|Sending money to people (using your balance/debit card/bank)||$0.00||No fee to send money to people using your Venmo balance, debit card, or bank account.|
|Adding money to your account|
|Transfer from bank account||$0.00||No fee when you link your bank and use it to add money to your Venmo account.|
|Receive money from Venmo users||$0.00||No fee for you when Venmo users send you payments with Venmo.|
|Receive merchant refund||$0.00||No fee for you when a merchant sends you a refund.|
|Receive money using Direct Deposit||$0.00||No fee when money is added using Direct Deposit.|
|Transferring money from your account|
|Electronic withdrawal (standard)||$0.00||No fee to transfer money from your Venmo account to your bank account with the standard option. The money is typically available in 1-3 business days.|
|Electronic withdrawal (Instant Transfer)||1% (minimum $0.25 fee, maximum $10 fee)||There’s a fee to transfer money from your Venmo account to your eligible linked debit card or bank account with the Instant Transfer option. The money is typically available in minutes.|
|Customer service (automated)||$0.00||No fee to call our automated Customer Service line.|
|Customer service (live agent)||$0.00||No fee to call a Customer Service agent.|
|Real-time alerts||$0.00||No fee to receive real-time alerts on your phone. Standard text message & data rates may apply.|
|Account statements||$0.00||No fees for CSV copies of your account statements.|
|Transaction declines due to insufficient funds||$0.00||No fees for declines due to insufficient funds.|
|Using the Venmo Mastercard® (optional)|
|Venmo Debit Card acquisition||$0.00||No fee to get a Venmo Debit Card.|
|ATM withdrawal (in-network)||$0.00||No fees for ATM withdrawals in the MoneyPass network. Find no-fee ATMs near you at www.moneypass.com.|
|ATM withdrawal (out-of-network)||$2.50||There’s a fee for non-MoneyPass ATM withdrawals. You may be charged an additional amount by the ATM owner even if you don’t complete a transaction.|
|ATM balance inquiry||$0.00||No fee to check your balance at an ATM. You may be charged a fee by the ATM owner.|
|Over-the-counter cash withdrawal (bank and other financial institution)||$3.00||$3.00 per signature withdrawal if a signature is required to obtain cash. You can withdraw cash at the counter inside participating bank branches or other financial institutions. The fee is charged per signature withdrawal if a signature is required to obtain cash.|
|Automatic reloads (using your bank account)||$0.00||No fee for reloading your Venmo balance when your Venmo balance is insufficient to cover a purchase made with your Venmo Debit Card.|
|Card replacement||$0.00||No fee to replace your lost or stolen Venmo Debit Card.|
Venmo Payment Limits
When you first sign up for Venmo, you are limited to sending up to $299.99 per week. However, once you’ve confirmed your identity with Venmo, you are given a much higher rolling weekly limit of $4,999.99 for person-to- person transactions and an overall limit (including person-to-person transactions and online purchases) of $6,999.99.
Venmo also has a per-transaction limit of $2,999.99.
For more about how Venmo payment limits are structured, see Venmo’s Payment Limits description.
Venmo Customer Service
Venmo has a customer service team that is available through the app using email and chat. You can also find customer service FAQs and other help resources at the Venmo Help Center.
There is also a Venmo customer support phone number that’s a bit harder to find. The Venmo support phone number is (855) 812-4430.