College students tend to lack a fine-tuned memory sometimes. We often lose track of cash and have a nasty habit of forgetting our credit card at home. When these unfortunate event occurs, hopefully you have a friend to rely on to spot you some cash. Then the question arises: how do you pay your friend back? Luckily, an app called Venmo makes repaying your friends easy. Venmo is a service that lets people transfer money to and from one another. Venmo does all it can to keep its’ users safe from scams but it is ultimately up to the users themselves to keep their account secure.
Read on to see how to keep your Venmo account scam free and secure.
Venmo, an application on smart phones, allows users to transfer and request money quickly and easily. Venmo’s competitors, including apps like Zelle, also provide users a way to transfer and request money with the touch of a button, but they fail to appears as reliable. “Venmo is just like any other platform Zelle, but the difference is that, when it comes to banks, they are more secure. Venmo is just general where you can send money without any verification,” Temple University sophomore Cailyn Dudek said. The funds sent from your friends get stored on your Venmo account, which holds the virtual money until you send it to someone else. You can also choose to not keep any money in the application and send the total funds to your bank account for a low fee. Venmo serves as the middle man between bank accounts and users.
Founded in 2009, Venmo began as a payment system through text message and soon integrated into social network by 2012. Due to its mounting success, Venmo has gained many users, but with their rising popularity came safety concerns for regular users. In the past, people have been scammed through Venmo. For instance, people may receive requests for money from a user they aren’t sure they know. Then assuming they know the user, they send the money to the wrong people, ultimately getting scammed. Following basic safety precautions can keep your account and money safe.
How to Keep your Money Safe
Most Venmo users feel that the platform secures their money. “Venmo is good for small transactions. Even though it is proven safe for legit money transfers, you always do risk any identity theft with anything you do,” Pace University sophomore Jon Singleton said. “But I use Venmo daily and it’s a very good platform to use.”
The main users of Venmo are millennials, such as college students like ourselves. To make these transfers even easier, Venmo has multiple safety measures to keep accounts safe and sound. Tools like automatic flags, Venmo codes and profile images increase user safety.
Venmo implements the automatic flag feature when they have a reason to believe someone has been transferring money to the wrong user. It ultimately protects users from potential scams. Venmo personally reaches out to users with flags, warning them that a possible scam occurred. Information such as whether or not the sender and recipient have previously transacted, or if they have mutual friends, provide Venmo with enough information to tell users if they think they are being flagged or not.
Venmo stresses the importance of verifying final payments to users. Before completing payments with someone you have never interacted with before, a message appears to ensure your payments get sent to the right person. “Always make sure to stop and read who the final payment is going to before tapping the button,” Venmo representative Erin Mackey said. “The final verification button for sending money actually says the person’s name such as, ‘pay John Smith $10.00’.”
Venmo intends payment transfers to happen between people who know each other to avoid payments to strangers and possible scam. Viewing the profile image or the user’s personal QR code help to make sure you pay the right people. Each account has a unique QR to distinguish them from other users. “We introduced Venmo codes, so you can easily find the Venmo profile of the person you’re trying to pay,” Mackey said. “Simply open the Venmo app, pull up your own code, and let your friends scan it. You can also email, text or AirDrop your code to a friend.” This feature guarantees you never interacting with the wrong user.
Venmo Credit Card
Along with these safety precautions, Venmo has other benefits that users might not be familiar with. These include a Venmo credit card and Venmo accounts for groups, such as people who often transfer money to and from one another or people who are in business together. Venmo credit cards provide users a way to spend their Venmo balance without transferring the money back to their bank account. Group Venmo, primarily used by businesses who need a quick and easy way to transfer money back and forth between members of the business and with other institutions, serves as another way that Venmo makes money transfers fast and easy.
Platforms like Venmo come with many benefits. It makes paying friends back for drinks and late night food easier. And you can request money for groceries money from Mom with the touch of a button. Through the safety measures in place, Venmo works hard to ensure safe transactions when using the platform.