How to Use Venmo

Send and receive money with the touch of a button

So, you know all about Venmo and are ready to start using it? Great, we've got the steps and tips to get you started.

Venmo Signup and Login

First thing, you need to download the app for either iOS or Android (Windows devices don't support Venmo). In the app, you choose a way to create an account through Facebook or using an email address. You need to validate a cell phone number by entering the code they text to you, then you're ready to set up an account.

Your account includes a photo, which is critical since it enables people to quickly verify that you're the one they want to pay.

You also choose a unique user name that allows other users to search for you to request or send money. The app asks if you want to link to Facebook (if you didn't already register through the social media platform) and then it asks if you want to sync your phone contacts to locate Venmo users you already know.

Adjusting Venmo Security Settings

After you create your profile Venmo walks you through security options. The default setting on the app is Public, meaning that anyone using the app can see your activities. You can change that by going to Profile > Settings > Privacy if you'd rather not have your split tab broadcasted into cyberspace and commented on by other users. The payment amount itself won't be shown, but the To/From information and any comments are publicly visible unless you update your settings.

Your other security options are Friends, where only people you and the sender know on the app see your transactions, or Private, which shows only the payer/payee. If you and a friend have different privacy settings then Venmo defaults to the setting that's more restricted between the two people involved in the transaction.

A Venmo user accesses the app's privacy settings

For additional security you can use Settings to require Touch ID or a pass code to open Venmo.

Adding a Payment Option to Venmo

To use Venmo you need to add a payment option by linking to a bank account or adding a credit or debit card. Paying with your Venmo balance through your bank account or using a debit card is free; using a credit card incurs a 3% fee.

If you opt to link your bank account you can either verify instantly by providing your bank login and password to the secure Venmo system. If you'd rather not enter your bank login then you can wait a few days for Venmo to do micro-transfers to validate your account.

A Venmo user adds a bank account

Venmo Limits

Before you verify your identity with Venmo by adding the last four digits of your SSN, your zip code, and your birthdate to your Venmo account, you have a weekly rolling limit of $299. After your identity is verified, the following limits apply: 

  • All transactions combined (sending funds, Authorized Merchant Payments, and Venmo Mastercard purchases combined): $4,999.99 weekly rolling limit.
  • Sending funds (payments to and accepted requests from other Venmo users): $2,999.99 weekly rolling limit.
  • Authorized Merchant Payments (payments for goods or services via mobile websites or apps of merchants approved by Venmo): $2,000 per purchase, 30 transactions per day.

The Venmo Mastercard has specific limits of $3,000 per purchase, a $500 weekly rolling limit for reloads, and a $400 daily limit for ATM, over-the-counter withdrawals, and cash back with purchase transactions.

All limits are subject to periodic review and may be changed by Venmo.

Sending or Requesting a Venmo Payment

When you're ready to send or request money, go to your social feed and select Pay or Request. You can choose someone from your friends list or you can search for a person. The search function works for user names (starting with @) or for first and last names.

When you find the right person you can enter a description of the transaction, an amount, and then either Pay or Request.

A Venmo user sends a payment

The default option uses any balance that you have in your Venmo account first. If you don't have sufficient Venmo funds then you can choose whether to use your bank account or a card.

If you're going to give Venmo a try, make sure to check out our posts on canceling a Venmo payment and adding money to your Venmo account.

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