How to Cancel a Venmo Payment

Venmo the wrong person or the wrong amount? This is how you fix it

Woman using Venmo on her phone at a cafe

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It's happened to many Venmo users...you get a payment sent, only to realize something was a little bit off...

  • You added an extra digit on the end and sent WAY more money than you intended to send

  • You clicked on the wrong friend accidentally and sent money to the wrong person

  • Worse yet, the user name you searched had a typo and you just sent money to a stranger

At that point, you're asking one question: how do I take it back? The good news is that it's usually possible. Here's how to get things straightened out.

Canceling Payment to a New User

A New User designation in Venmo means you've searched for an email address or phone number that does not have a registered Venmo account. If you do this for a friend then they have the option to create an account and claim the money. If they don't create an account your money is left out in limbo. You can reclaim it with these steps:

  1. Click on the icon in the upper left corner of the app

  2. Tap "Incomplete"

  3. View the "Payments" tab

  4. For the payment you want to cancel select “Take Back”

    Three iOS screens showing Venmo Menu icon, Incomplete button and Take back button

Your funds will be returned to the source you chose to send them, whether that's your Venmo balance, bank account, debit or credit card. Depending on what method you used it may take 3-7 business days for the money to come back.

Cancel a Venmo Payment

If you've made a Venmo payment to a registered user, then those funds are instantly in their Venmo balance for their use. You can't actually cancel a payment that you've sent in Venmo, so you're left with a few options.

Your first (and best) option is to simply ask the recipient to send the payment back to you. This is one of the main reasons that it's generally recommended to use Venmo with people you know, so that if you send $700 instead of $7 by accident you can just ask your friend to send it back...and that's a true story.

If you sent a payment to the wrong person entirely the first thing you should do is send them a message and request they send it back. This is much faster than going through Venmo's system to have them mediate the transaction. You can contact Venmo if the recipient is unresponsive, sending the user and payment information, but there are no guarantees that they'll be able to straighten it out.

The last option is available only if the funds are still in the recipient's Venmo account and haven't been used or transferred to their bank. If that's the case then you can request for Venmo to reverse the transaction, however the recipient still has to give their permission for this to happen.

Avoid Cancelling Venmo Payments

The best thing is to avoid this process in general. Check the user photo before you pay someone and make sure that it's correct, and when you're putting in the amount make sure you're typing carefully and confirm the amount (watch the decimal point) before you finalize the transaction.

Double check everything, making sure that you haven't made an accidental error.

Venmo recommends that you only use it with people you know, which will minimize the headache from trying to recover from one of these simple mistakes.