The popular payment app Venmo is a super convenient way to transfer and request funds between friends, coworkers, neighbors, and whomever. It claims to send those payments instantly, which makes it great for splitting checks or paying rent-but it’s not as instant as the app makes you believe.
Indeed, Venmo is more like an electronic check, where the promise to pay is there, but that’s all it is until it’s been cleared by your or the other party’s bank. That means it could take up until the next business day for the funds to be transferred. Venmo doesn’t make this important detail clear in its transactions because it typically sends a verification text message that someone has paid you, and vice versa. A business day or two is no big deal between friends, but it’s worth keeping in mind if you’re sending money via Venmo on a tight deadline, or that business day is just too long to wait.
As Time notes, as with any service, there are scams, and in this case people use Venmo to pay for the purchase of goods, get them immediately, and then cancel. That leaves the unsuspecting person, maybe a Craigslist seller, for example, high and dry, without payment, without goods, and none the wiser until the money never arrives. So if you use Venmo, do it with someone you trust. For all other transactions, stick to cash or Paypal.
The Scary Thing You Don’t Understand About Venmo | TIME Money
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