It used to be that paying people back was a hassle if you didn’t have cash on hand in the moment. Bank transfers are often only available between members of the same bank, and even remembering to schedule one in the first place is a major hurdle. All that changed when Venmo came onto the scene. Venmo is the original payments app that allows users to send and receive money from friends and family -- for free.
Venmo users must link a bank account, credit card, or debit card to the app in order to begin making payments. Payments made through Venmo are charged or debited directly from the from/to the linked account. When the user receives a payment, she can either choose to leave the money in her Venmo account for use to make payments later, or she can transfer it out of the app and into her bank account.
The app interface is incredibly simple. By default, the app loads on a feed of recent transactions within the user’s network, so users can see what their friends are up to. They can also toggle to a worldwide view of all Venmo activity, or to a personal view of only their own activity. To make or request a payment, the user simply taps the icon in the top right of the screen. A list of top people is populated so user’s can select from frequent contacts, or they can search by username, Venmo handle, phone or email address. An overview of account information and balance is viewable via a hamburger menu in the top left of the screen.
Venmo radicalized the way people pay each other back. At least for younger audiences, this simple, powerful app has become indispensable.
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