An app designed to make quick digital payments between friends (and strangers) with just a few clicks, Venmo has made it easy to share a dinner note, purchase group event tickets, or any other reason you need to. resolve a money sharing situation. In the app, you can find someone through their phone number, username or QR code and then send or request money.
By creating a Venmo account, users can link their app to a checking account, debit or credit card in order to send and receive money as intended. On the home page of the app, you can browse transaction logs showing payments made by other people. Not just friends, nobody. When opening Venmo, users can filter global, network (friends and social contacts), and personal payment streams, see who billed / paid who and their reason, but never the amount transferred.
Considering the advertising of transactions and the app connecting to a credit / debit card or bank account, many people are wondering: How secure is Venmo? Read on to learn more about security measures, how to best protect yourself, what to do if something goes wrong, and how safe Venmo is.
How secure is Venmo?
Link from Venmo to your bank and / or a credit card account is what makes it possible to send payments from person to person. Money received can be stored on the app’s platform for future payments, or users can withdraw funds directly from bank accounts or cards. Through an application programming interface (API), Venmo is able to securely process transactions and connect businesses and websites to their services.
According to their website, Venmo stores user information on servers in secure locations and has encryption protocols in place to protect their customers’ payment information. Through its API and private data hiding, Venmo is able to provide a seemingly safe and secure platform for users to send and receive money. However, there are things that can be done to improve your security in this money transfer app.
How to Protect Your Personal Information on Venmo
Each Venmo account must be configured with a username and password. As an added layer of security, Venmo offers users the option of setting up a PIN, Face ID, or fingerprint scan in order to access their app. If someone were to steal your phone and attempt to falsely distribute your money, these additional security measures would reduce the risk that they could tamper with your account.
In Venmo’s privacy settings, users can turn off who is allowed to view their transactions. Rather than sticking to the default Public setting, switch your account to Friends or Private to protect yourself from the world over seeing your monthly electric bill payment to your roommate. While the social aspect of Venmo can be fun, it’s completely unnecessary. Also on this page is the option for other users to find your account by email address or phone number, which you can activate / deactivate according to your preferences. Here you can also access any users you have blocked and set more stringent privacy settings on your past transactions.
In addition to configuring your application, there are a few Venmo tips you can use to drive yourself in the safest way. As a general rule, don’t leave too much money in your Venmo balance, as this money is the most accessible for anyone trying to access your account. It is good to keep a working balance to avoid constant transfers, but at a certain threshold you need to transfer your money to your bank account where it is better protected. Additionally, users should only exchange funds with people they actually know or share information with in person. Enabling notifications will allow easier tracking of connection attempts, requests and payments.
What happens if you get ripped off on Venmo?
Even with security features in place on the app and ways to protect your account, the sad truth is that there are Venmo scams designed to trick you into willingly parting with your own funds.
Venmo scam actually involves thieves paying has a strangely large sum of money to carry out their project. From there, they’ll often contact their victim, claiming that they “made a mistake on the username” or “paid by accident” and kindly ask you to send it back. The problem is, these crooks are probably using a stolen credit card to fund the account or intend to dispute their original transfer, robbing you of the money you thought you were returning. Cases like these are easy to deal with – don’t engage with crooks like this.
The most common Venmo scam occurs when you sell things through Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or any other state “e” sale. When the buyer uses Venmo and you remit or ship their purchase, your account will show recently received funds. While this sounds like all is said and done, payments take several days to be processed from the bank / card account to Venmo and possibly your account. This gives fraudsters a window of time to cancel the transaction, potentially by disconnecting their account. In most cases, the account you were “paid” to will not be found on the app and you will end up with no product and no payment.
Because it defines itself as a service intended to be used “among friends and people who trust each other”, Venmo does not generally assist its users in these cases. Additionally, there is no offer of buyer or seller protection through Venmo. With these less than ideal policies in place, try to avoid accepting large payments through Venmo and make sure you know who you choose to interact with on the app. In major cases, taking legal action or bringing in the police may be the only real solution to a scam.
Should I use Venmo?
Venmo offers an intuitive and easy-to-use service for making payments. Tracking your balance and keeping track of your current payments is simple through the app and can be viewed anytime.
Of course, you have several choices when it comes to sending money digitally or sharing a check with friends. In addition to options like Pay Pal, CashApp or simply in cash, most banks now offer Zelle as a potential alternative to Venmo. It’s hard to determine which one is better – they have similar security protocols and their convenience will likely depend on each individual’s payment network.
Overall, Venmo is affordable, user-friendly, and offers options for tying a money source, something not found in all peer-to-peer applications. Transfers are free and fast (usually the next day), users are not hard to find, and with the right safeguards, Venmo can be a safe and convenient payment option.