Splitting the Bill: Venmo

As college students, it’s not unusual to split the costs of activities, groceries, utilities, etc. with our friends in order to save some money. There are a lot of apps advertising that they can help with finances or even access your money. Some help you save money or budget your money like Albert, Mint, or Qapital. One particular app that I have found useful is Venmo:

Venmo: While Venmo is not targeted with helping you budget or save money, it is still a popular finance-related app. Venmo is a mobile payment service owned by Paypal. It allows users to transfer money to others using the service through their smartphones. Both the sender and receiver have to live in the United States and have the app downloaded in order to use this service. Unlike similar apps like Square Cash, Venmo has a social media twist to it allowing users to send or request money using text messages and emojis which show up in a feed.

What you should know: Venmo is linked to your bank account and can be linked to your credit card. Know that for any transaction funded by a credit card, you will be charged a 3% transaction fee. Secondly know that there is a 1% transaction, or a .25 minimum, for instant transfers. This is when you cash out from a Venmo balance to your debit card. Also know that if you link a savings account to your Venmo account, you cannot make more than six online withdrawals or transfers per month. If you would like to avoid this six withdrawal limit, you can connect Venmo to a checking account.

Without verifying more personal information, you cannot transfer more than $299.99 per week. After you become verified, you can send up to $2,999.99 in one or multiple transfers per week. The maximum you can transfer from Venmo to a bank account starts at $999.99 per transaction, but once you’re verified, the limit goes up to $19,999 per week.

Security: There are security features on the app including a PIN and fingerprint-based login options and two-factor authentication. If you lose your phone, you can also login online and disallow access to your account from your phone. Secondly, Venmo keeps an account of security slip-ups and has worked with the Federal Trade Commission to improve support channels, fraud identification, and security measures.

Useful: Personally, I like Venmo. I rarely carry cash on me, so this app makes it easy to pay my friends back for splitting pizza or an Uber ride. It can also be useful because you can name these transactions. It helps me remember if I paid my friend back or if they’ve paid me. However, if you carry cash on you or don’t find yourself having to pay people or having them pay you, this app is of little use.

While some apps can be helpful tools, always remember to be cautious of handing out your bank account routing number, social security number, credit card or debit card numbers, and other personal financial information. Some apps are FDIC insured meaning that they are likely more secure and safe to use. Like Venmo, make sure you are aware of fees that may be subtracted from your account. Check into reviews before you download a finance app.

Questions on certain apps? Comment below or send us an email!