Do you Venmo? (Should you Venmo?)

So, you are out for a night at BINGO, having a few beers and realize you used all your cash and want to play another game or get some nachos. A friend pays for you…but, now how do you pay them back? They ask you: “Do you Venmo?” (Should you Venmo? might actually be an even better question…) but sure, it’s okay to do it as long as you know what you are doing.

With the advent of social (aka peer-to-peer) payment platforms, new terms keep popping up. Of course, there is Venmo, but there are also others, like Zelle. These apps can help send money in an emergency or eliminate that awkward moment when someone pays the bill, but you don’t have cash to pay them.

Clearly, Venmo and Zelle are not just for Millennials anymore. Parents of teens, college students and young adults are getting into the app, too. Once set up, you can easily share funds with your friends using these peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, whether you are paying for beer, BINGO, nachos or more important things, like your share of the internet or heating bill in the apartment.

Venmo, Zelle, plus Apple Pay and Facebook’s Messenger payment are all pretty widely used. We have provided links to each of these companies, plus, some brief information about security, safety, and ways for you to protect your funds from hackers.

Easy to set up in just a few minutes, the account can be linked to a credit card, debit card or a bank account. Users can transfer money from one person to another as long as they are both on the app, and become “friends” in the app.

Funds can remain in the account for future use, or can be transferred to the user’s bank which can take a couple days (sometimes longer.) Sending money from a credit card will cost you on average 3% (or, whatever their current rate is at the time you happen to be reading this blog in the future.)

Because these accounts can be connected directly to a user’s credit card, debit card or bank account – profiles should be kept private, off the “social feed” and shared only with those you know and trust. Keeping your account private helps restrict general users from seeing payments you’ve made, who you paid and the amount of each transaction.

Using a complicated password can enhance security…remember, the account has access to checking, savings or credit card, and if hacked, can be depleted in moments. It is also recommended to transfer money to your bank account when the balance goes over a certain amount to limit exposure and loss of funds.

Just like Apple Pay, the Venmo app can allow you to pay merchants, too. (Read up on Facebook developing their P2P network in this blog, but at press time, Zelle does not offer this feature.)

Currently, Venmo is accepted as a form of payment at almost 2 million merchants. (Venmo charges the merchant 2.9% plus a base 30-cent transaction fee for funds charged to a credit card.)

Apple Pay does not currently assess a fee, but equipment must be compliant with the Apple Pay system. Apple iPhone 6 and higher users set up payment methods within the app to use at retailers, restaurants and service providers…those who accept payments on their POS system or payment terminal.

Now, if you will excuse us, we have to get back to our game…BINGO!

PS Contact us to learn more on how to set up your business POS or payment system to accept one or more of these peer-to-peer (P2P) methods today.