Quick notes:

 

  • Venmo has quickly become one of the most popular payment apps for Millennials
  • While Venmo uses security, encryption and also offers liability insurance to protect its users from losses, this doesn’t mean hackers can’t breach it
  • The first thing you should do when setting up a Venmo account is change your account to private

 

 

Venmo has quickly become one of the most popular payment apps for Millennials. Not only does it allow for secure peer-to-peer payments, but almost two million merchants also use it as an acceptable form of payment.

While this widely popular app has been quickly gaining popularity, it has also been the subject of harsh privacy concerns.

Here’s everything you need to know about Venmo and how to protect yourself against privacy concerns.

What is Venmo?

In 2009, Venmo burst onto the payment system scene as a way for people to pay each other through text messages. In 2012, the company gained major popularity as it incorporated a social media network. That same year, Braintree, the payment system for Uber and Airbnb, purchased Venmo for $26.2 million. Not long after PayPal Holdings Inc, bought Braintree for around $800 million.

Today, PayPal monetizes Venmo’s user base. Venmo mainly makes money by charging merchants fees to use their platform as a payment system.

For the most part, Venmo is a free service for individuals who use it to transfer money between people. The app is currently being used in several popular applications. While in an Uber, for example, riders can pay using Venmo in the Uber app. You can split your fare with friends or pay using your Venmo balance or linked card.

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How to use Venmo

Using Venmo is reasonably straightforward. To start, you can sign up for Venmo using an email account. After you link a debit card, credit card, or bank account, you’re all set to use Venmo to make payments to friends, accept payments to friends or purchase goods and services through merchants who use the platform.

In terms of the social aspect, Venmo allows for peer-to-peer payments in a public manner. If enabled, the transactions you make will be seen by fellow Venmo users. When signing into the app, you may see cute emojis and notes about what your friends have recently exchanged money for.

Is your Venmo account safe?

The real value of an app like Venmo is in the user data. By default, nothing on the internet is technically safe. This is why applications like Venmo that are tied to people’s bank accounts are under such high scrutiny when it comes to safety standards.

While Venmo uses security, encryption and also offers liability insurance to protect its users from losses, this doesn’t mean hackers can’t breach it.

Nothing on the internet is technically safe

Recently, Venmo got into some trouble for failing to disclose certain information to consumers about fund transfers and the use of privacy settings. The Federal Trade Commission has cracked down on Venmo for violating safeguard rules.

By default, a user’s Venmo account is public. Any friend or possibly even friends of friends can see every transaction you’ve made. People can see when you paid your dog walker, how you split your bar tab, or when you paid your roommate for cable.

How to protect yourself

Despite the possible dangers, there are a few ways you can protect yourself while using Venmo. First, you should always transfer your bank account balance right away. Don’t store large amounts of money in Venmo, either.

The first thing you should do when setting up a Venmo account is to change your account to private. This will stop your transactions from being made public. Don’t exchange Venmo information with people you don’t know.

Make sure to sign up for Venmo push notifications so that you can see if there is any fraudulent activity on your account. Sign up for the security measures Venmo makes available as well. You can set up a Touch ID as well as a PIN to better protect yourself.

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