Written by Michael Lesser
The use of peer-to-peer payment platforms has expanded over the past few years, and most recently, many platforms have been released as mobile apps in order to target the growing user base of smartphones. While many options exist, Venmo is a new app that has stood out to me.
In particular, Venmo is intended to take the pain out of splitting payments among friends and colleagues. When you create an account, you can add and refer friends using your contact list or Facebook, and then you can link your account to a credit card, debit card, or bank account in order to transfer money. Like many peer-to-peer payment applications, it is relatively simple to send money to others. However, Venmo also makes it less awkward and frustrating to collect money from those who owe you. The “charge” feature lets you request money from others using the same straightforward process as you would to send money.
Although I have only known about Venmo for a few weeks, I am already encouraging my friends to download the app as I see a number of uses for it. As a college student, I often need to split expenses such as meals, rent, and utility bills. In addition, when others owe me money, I tend to rely on scattered notes and numerous reminders in order to actually get paid back. Needless to say, Venmo can make these tasks much easier.
Sending money is free as long as you use a bank account, debit card, or the balance in your Venmo account. If you choose to use a credit card, there is a 3% fee. Receiving money is always free. The app itself is free as well and it is currently available for iPhone and Android.