Venmo is a popular mobile app that allows you to quickly send and request money from friends. It doesn’t matter what bank they use or what credit cards they have; Venmo makes things fast (with an added dash of social networking fun). Unsurprisingly, Venmo is become an integral part of many romantic relationships.
Venmo For Couples
If you’re in a romantic relationship, Venmo makes it easy to pay your partner back for expenses. If you’re cohabitating or married, Venmo makes it a snap to manage household utilities and bills.
Frankly, using Venmo is a lot easier than putting together Excel or Google Docs spreadsheets or keeping manual IOU lists on paper. Although the constant emojis can get annoying, let’s face it: Venmo works.
But writing in Refinery29, Heather Sundell said there’s a hidden downside to Venmo: Sometimes, without notice, Venmo can wipe out your records. Because Venmo is designed as a payment mechanism, not as a full-fledged recordkeeping service like Mint or Quickbooks, records can sometimes disappear from the service.
Sundell and her boyfriend made a major no-no: They used Venmo to keep a list of IOUs for a week or more, rather than just taking care of transactions right away. Because that’s not what Venmo is designed for, they got in trouble.
But for instantaneous payments (or sending payments a day or two later), Venmo is largely helpful. However, using Venmo to keep running tabs for your partner to pay weeks or months later will lead to serious recordkeeping headaches. For real.
Venmo, Dating, And Social Media
Because Venmo’s designed as a news feed-y product (You’re encouraged to share your activity with friends, and cute emojis are everywhere), many Venmo users tend to use the money transfer app as a way of keeping their friends appraised on what they’re up to.
But if you’re not careful about privacy settings, this can lead to public voyeurism of your finances, which is almost never a good thing. Writer Chiara Atik noted on Medium that “But public displays of, if not affection, then at least economic interaction, have their potential drawbacks. If you’re wondering whether your ex has a new girlfriend, a Venmo transaction for concert tickets might be a better indicator than a Foursquare check-in. If you’re paying attention, a mundane charge for “ConEd” may say more about couple’s stability than a relfie (ugh) posted on Instagram and Facebook for public consumption and posterity.”
Those can be good or bad things.
But Is Venmo Worth It?
If you’re in a romantic relationship or otherwise sharing expenses with someone else, there’s no way around it: Venmo is awesome.
Other money transfer services, such as PayPal (Which, incidentally, is Venmo’s corporate parent) can be difficult to use for household purposes. Bank-based transfer services like Chase’s Quickpay and Capital One 360’s Person2Person are great, but only useful if both parties use the same bank.
In the meantime, Venmo offers the best ease of use for quick money transfers. Just remember: It’s not built to be the foundation of your budget; use it to send and receive money… and not to keep tabs on money.