As hacking incidents multiply, online payment security is more important than ever. Convenience and mobility matter, too. If you’re looking an alternative to PayPal — or maybe you didn’t even know there was an alternative, definitely check out Venmo.
I reviewed Venmo for Android. This is a service similar to what PayPal provides. Like PayPal, Venmo requires that you fund an account with either an electronic fund transfer (EFT) or credit card. Unlike PayPal, there is no charge associated with transactions.
And Venmo focuses most purely on social network and mobile users — making it a quick and easy way to exchange small payments — say coffee or lunch — with other people. Check out Venmo on Android. Here’s a screenshot I took that shows you what the experience is like. It’s all front and center on screen.
Venmo lets you make payments or request money with the mobile app. It also lets you easily withdraw cash out of the bank account or credit card you’ve put on file with your system.
Venmo really is useful if, say, you borrowed money from a friend and want to let them know you fully intend to pay them back. It lets you share your transactions on Facebook and Twitter. social networks. Post feel-good comments like, “Thanks for the loan, buddy.” Or keep the comments private. It’s all opt-in — there’s no automatically publishing or sharing to worry about. Privacy is the default.
No need to worry about payments to your office bookie for the March Madness basketball pool getting back to your peers or significant others without your knowledge. Especially considering laws against penny ante gambling. Check out my social transaction screen below.
Back to security, Venmo reps promise bank-level security in keeping with US FDIC guidelines. It keeps its collective funds in a custodial account at Wells Fargo. Transactions and accounts are strongly protected by 256-bit SSL encryption. Check out its security FAQ page for more.
Venmo isn’t as well known as PayPal. But with its mobile-first bent, strong security and free transaction feature, Venmo sure is worth a look. I find it to be ultra convenient — and secure enough to satisfy me. And it’s free for Android and iOS.