Venmo vs. PayPal

How these peer-to-peer payment apps stack up

With wildly popular peer-to-peer payments apps like Venmo and PayPal, you don't have to wait until the next time you see your friends again to pay them back. With just a few taps on your phone, your friend (or you) can get paid in no time. Here's a look at the Venmo vs. PayPal to see what they have to offer, what they lack, and how they compare against each other.

Though Venmo and PayPal are two different peer-to-peer payment app services and will be discussed and compared as such in this guide, Venmo is actually owned by PayPal.

Venmo vs. PayPal: Overall Findings

PayPal
  • Available on Android and iOS.

  • No transfer limit for verified users, but possible flexible limits for other users.

  • Fees apply when using debit or credit card for payments.

  • Services expanded beyond just sending and receiving money.

Venmo
  • Available on Android and iOS.

  • Preset transfer limits for verified vs. unverified users.

  • Fees apply when using credit card for payments.

  • Services pretty much limited to sending and receiving money from peers.

Both Venmo and PayPal are available on Android, iOS, and can be accessed via their respective websites. Venmo is limited in the services that it offers, as it's mostly just an app where you can send and receive money.

PayPal is a more fully featured payment app. You can withdraw cash, donate money to charities, set up money pools, and more.

There aren't many fees to worry about with either Venmo or PayPal, unless you plan on using your debit or credit cards to make your payments. Both services have transfer limits, but PayPal seems to be a more flexible about theirs while Venmo has preset limits depending on if you're a verified member or not.

PayPal or Venmo: Fees and Transfer Limits

PayPal
  • No fees for online or in-store purchases.

  • No fees for sending money using PayPal balance or bank account.

  • Fee for using debit or credit card for payment.

  • No transfer limit for Verified users, but limits based on account balance for others.

Venmo
  • No monthly or annual fees.

  • No fees for sending or receiving money using Venmo balance or bank account.

  • No fees for online purchases.

  • Fee for sending money using credit card.

  • If verified user, $5,000 rolling weekly transfer limit; not verified: $300.00 weekly limit.

Neither PayPal or Venmo charge a fee for opening accounts with them. PayPal also does not charge fees for online or in-store purchases, or for sending money using your PayPal balance or bank account. However, there is a fee for using a debit or credit to make a payment or transfer, which amounts to 1% of the transfer amount, with a maximum fee of $10.00.

Venmo doesn't charge monthly or annual fees, fees for sending or receiving money using Venmo balance or your bank account, or fees for online purchases. Venmo does charge a 3% percent fee for sending money by using a credit card.

Transfer Limit

For PayPal, there is no transfer limit for "verified users," but there are limits for those who aren't verified and these limits seem to be based on your balance amount. PayPal transfer limits can be adjusted ("lifted") though.

Venmo has stricter guidelines for transfer limits. Verified users have a $5,000 rolling weekly limit and unverified users have $300.00 rolling weekly limit.

Payment Services Offered By PayPal and Venmo

PayPal
  • Send and request money from friends and family.

  • Donate to charity.

  • Withdraw cash from your PayPal balance at Walmart.

  • Set up money pool with friends.

Venmo
  • Make payments or request payments.

  • Make purchases in mobile apps.

  • Transfer money from Venmo account to bank account.

Simply put: You can do more with PayPal than you can with Venmo. PayPal lets you do things like donate to specific charities, withdraw cash from your PayPal balance in an actual Walmart store, and set up money pools with your friends. And that's all in addition to just sending and receiving money from loved ones.

Series of three screenshots of mobile PayPal app on an Android smartphone.

By comparison, Venmo offers a limited service that basically just allows you to send and receive money from your friends and make online and mobile purchases.

Final Verdict: PayPal vs. Venmo is Determined By Your Needs

Both PayPal and Venmo will allow you to send and request money from your friends and family. PayPal offers more in the way of actual service, so if you're looking for a full service payment and banking app which allows you to do extra things like set your own transfer limits (within reason), donate to charity, withdraw money from your PayPal balance at Walmart, and pay (or get paid) by scanning QR codes, then the PayPal payment app is the right one for you.

If you're just looking for a quick and easy way to pay your friends and family back, and not much else, then Venmo is the best option.