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Grow Your Business Finances

Venmo for Business: Everything You Should Know

Venmo for Business: Everything You Should Know
Credit: Piotr Swat/Shutterstock

Venmo is a widely used app for paying friends or others digitally on a mobile device. You link up your bank account and can then transfer money to and from the app and your bank, and to and from other individuals with the app.

For instance, if you go out for breakfast with a friend and they pick up the check, you can send money from the app directly to them rather than going to the bank and withdrawing cash. Simply put, it's a convenient method of peer-to-peer payment.

Venmo is great for social outings and fantasy football, but can it benefit your business? Some of the best-known brands, like Uber and Grubhub, use Venmo for their business. Here's what you should know.

To use Venmo as a peer-to-merchant payment service, you can integrate with Braintree or accept Venmo through PayPal. However, before investing in this idea, you must ensure your business is compatible. According to Braintree, these use cases are not supported:

  • Selling goods or services in person
  • Receiving payment for goods or services through the Venmo app
  • Facilitating peer-to-peer transactions between two Venmo users

To be accepted as a business model, you also must process transactions using a U.S. business entity and use Braintree's iOS v4 SDK, Android v2 SDK or JavaScript v3 SD.

There are always risks associated with digital applications directly linked to bank accounts. However, Venmo, as the "social media of finance," has received many customer service complaints about unanswered emails or unresolved issues.

Many faults are due to consumer error, and it's important to be aware of this when involving your business. To do your part, you should check your account every day to ensure there were no fraudulent purchases or hack attempts, so you can alert Venmo (or your bank, which you will be your source of reimbursement) sooner rather than later.

Implementing Venmo in your checkout process also allows anyone who is friends with your Venmo-using customers to access the amount transferred to you. While this can be deactivated, it's the default setting when submitting transactions, said Francis Dinha, CEO and co-founder of OpenVPN.

"Most people, when using Venmo, aren't paying attention to their privacy settings, and that's a problem," said Dinha. "Venmo has had issues with security breaches of user accounts in the past – although they use bank-level security and data encryption to protect against attacks, there are still security holes, one of which is consumer error."

While the broadcasting of purchases might be risky, it does have a plus side: free marketing. Anytime a consumer buys something from you, it'll show up on your and their feed, unless their settings are private. That way, all their followers and friends will know that they like and support your business, making them feel encouraged to do the same.

Your customers' purchases will be visible to their friend networks, making potential ambassadors for your brand. Credit: Venmo.com

Consumers are all about convenience today, and Venmo embodies that. Buyers won't even have to take out their wallet to make an online purchase with your brand; all they'll have to do is enter their Venmo information to complete the transaction.

The world as we know it is increasingly digital, and every generation is growing more expectant of tech adoption than the last. Before you know it, millions of brands will likely be using Venmo. Venmo might seem like a mere trend, but it is becoming an anticipated means of paying.

Sammi Caramela

Sammi Caramela has always loved words. When she isn't working as a Business News Daily and Business.com staff writer, she's writing (and furiously editing) her first novel, reading a YA book with a third cup of coffee, or attending local pop-punk concerts. The only time Sammi doesn't play it safe is when she's writing. Reach her by email, or check out her blog at sammisays.org.