I was fascinated to read today that over $1 billion (USD) in payments were made on Venmo in January 2016. What is Venmo, you might ask? Essentially it is a mobile app (on both iOS and Android) that provides an easy payment system, in many ways like a "digital wallet" where you can securely reach in and pull out some cash to give to someone… along with a "social" component, of course. A Venmo help page gives a sense of what it can do — and also notes that using the service for payments is free for users for payments using bank accounts.
Owned by PayPal, I found this November 2014 article in BusinessWeek a good summary of how the service originated and what it offered at that time. Buzzfeed reports that $7.5 billion USD was transferred using Venmo in all of 2015.
The mobile payments space is a busy place these days, with Facebook entering the game as well as Square Cash, Apple Pay, M-Pesa and many others. I am intrigued by services such as these that the Internet's infrastructure has enabled… it will be curious to see where this all goes. Regardless, $1 billion USD in transactions during a single month is a remarkable milestone. Congrats to the Venmo team and all the users!
What do you think? Do you use Venmo? Other mobile payment apps and systems? Where do you see this space going?
By Dan York, Author and Speaker on Internet technologies - and on staff of Internet Society. Dan is employed as a Senior Content Strategist with the Internet Society but opinions posted on CircleID are entirely his own. Visit the blog maintained by Dan York here.
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