I hate checks. I hate carrying cash. But most of all, I really hate PayPal. Yet, when it comes to paying friends, I was stuck using one of them.
That is, until I was introduced to the P2P payment app, Venmo.
Available for iOS and Android, Venmo lets you transfer funds between your friends and family in less time than it takes to share your #cheatday meal from Shake Shack on Instagram.
The service is free if you link your ATM card or bank account. You can use your credit card to send money, too, but you’ll get dinged a 3 percent service charge.
My fiancee and I started using Venmo for transferring funds for rent and utilities, or balancing our budgets when one of us covered a large check or purchase. It’s faster and easier than either of our banks’ P2P payment services. Plus, despite the fee, it’s nice to know using a credit card is always an option.
When setting up your account, Venmo is similar to PayPal in that you need a bank account, ATM or credit card. Fortunately, that’s where the similarities end: using Venmo to send and receive money is light years ahead of my experience with PayPal and Google Wallet.
When you make a payment, funds are transferred instantly into your recipients’ Venmo balance. You can cashout a Venmo balance at anytime and the funds will be deposited in your bank account in one business day.
It takes under 5 minutes (4 minutes 52 seconds, in my test) to download, sign up, and wire your friends some money. So the next time your buddy tries shirking his share of the tab, yell Venmo, and keep the balance even. Try it out!