How to Use Venmo

Send and receive money with the touch of a button

Illustration of cash flying from one smartphone to another

Getty Images 

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

Your account will include a photo, which is critical since it enables people to quickly verify that you're the one they want to be paying

How to Use Venmo Make Account

You'll also choose a user name, which is required to be unique and allows other users to search for you to request or send money. The app will ask if you want to link to Facebook (if you didn't already register through the Facebook) and then ask if you'd like to sync your phone contacts to locate Venmo users you already know.

Adjusting Venmo Security Settings

After you create your profile Venmo will walk 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 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 will be publicly visible unless you update your settings.

Accessing settings in Venmo

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

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 be ready to use Venmo you'll 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 will incur a 3% fee.

Adding payment options to Venmo

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.

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 will 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 you can Search For People to find your friend for the transaction. 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 and then either Pay or Request.

Pay or Request Venmo funds

The default option will be to use 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 are 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.