Now one of the most popular payment apps in the USA, Venmo is a part of day-to-day life for many Americans. Whether you’re looking to split a cab fare, buy something at a yard sale, or split the bill, Venmo is an easy choice.
The business has thrived despite the pandemic, with more than 50 million usersprocessing $159 billion in payments during 2020. But due to the digital nature of the company, many worry about the security of their money.
That’s why in this article we’ll be looking at everything you need to know about Venmo and answering the question, is Venmo safe?
What Is Venmo?
Venmo is a direct payment app. This means money can transfer from person to person, with no intermediary bank or other parties.
The company is owned by online payment giant PayPal. The parent company launched Venmo to offer a simpler payment app for American users. Provided the other party you want to pay has Venmo, anyone can use it.
Venmo works in a similar way to PayPal. All you need to do to use it is download the app to your phone. You’ll need to link your Venmo account to a debit or credit card, or your bank account.
Once you’ve set up the above, you’re good to go. There is an initial $299 per week transfer limit.
If you need more than this, you’ll have to provide ID documents. For verified users, the transfer limit is $4,999 per week.
Venmo also offers its own debit card. Users can apply online provided they’re over 18 and an American resident.
There are many pros and cons to using Venmo as your preferred payment option. You can find out more on the Transferly blog.
Is Venmo Safe?
In short, Venmo is generally very safe. However, Venmo has been hacked in the past and the billions of dollars in transactions on the platform make it a very appealing target for cybercriminals.
The app uses encryption methods that are on par with banking apps to help keep your data safe. It also offers many optional security features such as PINs and two-factor authentication. Using these options reduces the risk of your details getting into the hands of a hacker.
This said many of the default settings for Venmo aren’t safe. For example, the default profile and payment settings on Venmo are public. This means anyone can see your profile and the payments you’ve made.
How to Make Venmo More Secure
You can, and should, make your Venmo account private. This means only friends or other accounts you trust can see your profile and previous accounts.
You should also avoid leaving a large amount of money in your Venmo account. Regular transfers to your bank account are the best idea to avoid losing money in the event of a hack.
Your Venmo password should not be the same as any other account. You can use a password generator and manager for the best security.
Set up the two-factor authentication mentioned above and enable notifications so you receive a text whenever your Venmo is used.
It’s also worth connecting your Venmo account to a credit card, as opposed to a debit card or bank account. Credit cards offer extra protection against unauthorized use in the event of a hack.
Be aware of phishing schemes on the platform. A common scam is to send a text claiming to be from Venmo to get users’ passwords so criminals can log into the app and steal funds.
Venmo would never ask for your details outside of the app by text or phone. If in doubt, contact Venmo directly or log in to your app on a secure device to seek help.
These measures make using Venmo much safer and don’t take much effort at all to set up.
More Personal Finance Advice
So, is Venmo safe?
Generally yes, but users can take extra precautions to ensure their safety. This includes using two-factor authentication, unique passwords, and setting profiles to private to name only a few.
You can find lots more helpful personal finance advice on our blog, so be sure to take a look.