More than 60 million people use Venmo to send and receive money and split bills with friends. Sending someone cash is as simple as opening the app on your phone, entering an amount and recipient, and tapping “Pay.” But is Venmo safe? Take a deep dive into how Venmo handles your data and privacy to decide whether you can trust Venmo.
What Is Venmo?
Venmo is a peer-to-peer payment platform that lets people send money back and forth. It’s one of a few cash apps available. Venmo differs from its parent company, PayPal, in that it provides a more casual way to send funds. It also has a social aspect to it — the app is designed to send money only to people you know.
Sending, receiving and withdrawing money is free unless you want to send funds instantly or withdraw cash from an out-of-network ATM.
Is Venmo Safer Than PayPal?
Based on the fact that it’s designed to move money to and from people you know and trust, Venmo could be safer than Paypal. If you’re wondering whether you can get scammed on Venmo, that all depends on how well you know the person you’re sending or receiving money from.
How Secure Is Venmo?
To understand whether Venmo is secure, it’s a good idea to look at how it works and protects your personal information. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Linked Bank Account
Many people ask, “Is Venmo safe to use with a bank account?” One reason you can rest easy is because Venmo sends money using your linked bank account or credit card, but it keeps your external account information anonymous.
All the recipient will see is a payment labeled as Venmo. As for the money you receive, it sits in Venmo until you spend it, send it to someone or choose to transfer it to your linked bank account.
You’re limited to spending $299.99 per week with Venmo until you verify your identity. This reduces the chances of someone doing some serious damage to your account balances.
Account Monitoring and Encryption
Venmo monitors your account transactions to flag any suspicious activity. In addition, all data is encrypted for a high level of security and privacy. All information is stored on servers housed in secure locations.
If Venmo doesn’t recognize a device, it will send a code to the phone number you registered the account with. You can add the device to the permissions list to avoid having to authenticate it each time you access the app and remove the device from your safe list at any time.
Remote Security Management
If your phone is lost or stolen, you can access your account from the Venmo website to remove phone access. Go to Venmo.com, navigate to “Settings,” click on “Security” and delete the session associated with your missing phone. Doing so will sign out the Venmo app on your smartphone.
How To Protect Yourself on Venmo
Although Venmo protects your account in several ways, there are things you can do to further secure your money and personal information. Here’s a look at five ways to protect yourself.
1. Add a PIN
A PIN will be required every time the app is opened for an extra layer of security. It’s easy to add a PIN:
- Go to “Settings.”
- Choose “Security.”
- On iPhone, turn on “Touch ID & PIN” and set your PIN.
- On Android, enable the PIN code and set your PIN.
2. Choose a Good Password
A good password that isn’t easy to figure out is critical to your account’s security. Use a password that’s a combination of letters, numbers and characters for the highest level of security.
3. Multifactor Authentication
Venmo uses multifactor authentication to keep your account safe. If an unrecognized device attempts to log in to your Venmo account, Venmo will send your phone number an authentication code. You can choose to authenticate every login for extra security or add devices to your recognized device list to avoid multifactor authentication.
4. Use a Credit Card
You can send money using a bank account, debit or credit card. Although linking a credit card can protect your banking information, it isn’t as convenient because you won’t be able to send your Venmo balance to the linked credit card. In addition, the fees can add up.
Each time your credit card is used to cover your Venmo payments, Venmo will charge you a 3% fee. Your credit card company might also charge you a cash advance fee.
5. Send and Receive Cash Only From People You Know
The answer to the question “How safe is Venmo?” depends on the people you send and receive money to and from. The best way to ensure that Venmo is secure is by sending and receiving cash only to and from people you know and trust.
What To Do If You Get Scammed on Venmo
Getting scammed on Venmo is rare. The P2P cash app has plenty of safety measures built in. Plus, Venmo is meant for exchanging money between friends and family. But if you discover unauthorized transactions or believe you’ve been scammed, the first step is to contact Venmo right away.
You can talk to Venmo support using the chat option in the app, or you can reach out by using the contact form or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact customer support straight from the mobile app:
- Open the app on your smartphone.
- Tap on the three bars on the upper left corner.
- Tap on “Get Help.”
- Tap on “Contact Us.”
- Choose whether you want to email, call or chat with Venmo support.
Note that customer support is open 24/7 for Venmo card-related phone calls. Live chat is available weekdays from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. EST and weekends from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST.