10 Surprising Facts About Peer-To-Peer Payment Apps Like Venmo and Square Cash

peer to peer apps

As mobile technology continues to become more and more advanced, it wouldn’t be surprising if the need for cash someday disappeared — especially when it comes to lending people money.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps allow customers to easily transfer money to one another with their smartphones and mobile devices. While apps such as Venmo, Square Cash and Google Wallet certainly haven’t yet rendered cash irrelevant, their popularity suggests that the arrival of some type of cash-killing technology isn’t far away. Even social media sites Facebook and Snapchat have entered the P2P market with Snapcash and Facebook Messenger’s new payment option.

The P2P trend doesn’t show any signs of slowing down, and you might be shocked by how much some of these apps have grown and how much money is being transferred through them. Below are 10 surprising facts, figures and statistics about Venmo, other P2P apps and the P2P industry, in general:

1. The volume of global P2P payments is more than $1 trillion.

A Business Insider (BI) Intelligence report found that just a tiny fraction of those global transactions are conducted through mobile phones. In the U.S., only $5 billion of the payments are via mobile phones.

2. Mobile payments in the U.S. are predicted to reach at least $86 billion.

According to the BI Intelligence report, P2P mobile transactions could reach $86 billion in the U.S. alone by 2018. But the National Retail Federation predicted in 2013 that U.S. mobile payments will actually reach $90 billion in 2017.

3. PayPal acquired Venmo through Braintree.

Two college roommates created Venmo and sold it five months later in 2012 to Braintree for $26.2 million. PayPal, which is owned by eBay, bought Braintree in 2013 for $800 million. When news about the acquisition came out, TechCrunch reported that Venmo’s P2P payment capability is what attracted PayPal to Braintree.

4. Venmo is handling more than $1 billion in P2P payments a year.

In May 2014, Braintree CEO Bill Ready wrote that the app is growing at a quarter-over-quarter rate of 62 percent.

Read: 5 Perks of Peer-to-Peer Lending

5. Venmo’s transaction volume is tied with Starbucks’ volume.

In the fourth quarter of 2012, Venmo’s transaction volume totaled $59 million, which is less than half of Starbucks’ volume during that time. By the first quarter of 2014, the two were equal at $314 million, reports The Financial Brand, which sourced BI Intelligence.

6. “Venmo” is becoming an accepted verb.

Although not yet in the dictionary, people are using “Venmo” as a verb — not just a noun. For example, app users will say, “Venmo me later” instead of, “Pay me back later.” Jordan McKee, a senior analyst at Yankee Group, told Bloomberg Business, “Any time your brand becomes a verb, you’ve made a pretty profound impact.”

7. Millennials account for about 55 percent of all P2P transactions.

A 2014 Nielsen report found that 18-to-34 year olds account for more than 50 percent of those who use payment apps. And, according to Fortune, Venmo is “the payments app millennials swear by.” Meanwhile, only 35 percent of users are between 35 and 54 years old.

8. Almost half of P2P payment app users utilize the apps for dining purposes.

The Nielsen report also found that 49 percent of P2P payment app users report using the apps while dining. Other purposes for the apps include gifts (44 percent), entertainment (43 percent), merchandise (39 percent), household bills (36 percent), transportation (36 percent) and rent (19 percent). Fifteen percent of users have reported using the apps to transfer money to family members and friends overseas, as well.

9. Africa’s mobile payment market is booming.

According to a Gallup analysis, sub-Sahara Africa is the fastest growing mobile technology market. A Pew Research Center survey found that 61 percent of mobile owners in Kenya use their cell phones to transfer money — but according to the BI Intelligence report, 92 percent of Kenyans have said they used mobile P2P payments.

10. You can send up to $10,000 a day with Google Wallet.

P2P payment apps have limits on how much money can be transferred in a certain amount of time. While Google Wallet allows up to $10,000 per day (with a total limit of $50,000 per five-day period) for transfers in and out of Wallet balances, Venmo has a $2,999.99 rolling weekly limit. With Square Cash, there’s an initial weekly spending limit of $250 for personal use Cash accounts, but it can be increased to $2,500 in most states.