Cash is a great system that helps many people control their spending, but for those who have taken hold of their budget there is a great benefit of cashless systems like online banking. The newest method of exchanging money that may lead the way in the next decade is paying over your mobile phone via text message. One of the best young companies to offer the service is Venmo.
How Do I Pay With Text
Paying via text is very similar to paying via email and online with PayPal. You essentially tell Venmo who you want to pay and how much and Venmo will arrange the transaction. This requires an account to be set up with Venmo prior to or following the transaction so that you can move the money into your normal checking account.
The format for sending money with texts is fairly intuitive.
Pay <number or username> <amount> for <memo line>
For example, if you need to send me $10 for dinner you would text the following to Venmo (646-863-9557)
Pay ryank 10 for dinner last night
Benefits and Concerns of Paying With Text
Paying with a text message offers a number of great benefits.
- Quick - Payback friends or businesses instantly without carrying cash.
- Free - Unlike PayPal, transactions are free when using the Venmo network.
- Easy - Request money from people who owe you (Venmo has a “Trust” feature to instantly charge friends in your network for money)
There are also some concerns with paying via text, but hopefully these will get cleared up as the concept becomes more mainstream.
- Security - Is it safe? Venmo helps by letting users cancel transactions within 24 hours online and recommends that users use a PIN to lock their phone. Other competitors require a PIN for each transaction to help add a level of security.
- Simplicity - Not everyone wants to set up another account online to manage money, but Venmo helps make this easy by allowing users to sync bank accounts straight from the phone
- Ubiquity - Until the service gets popular it may be hard to explain to your friends why they should pay with text. The concept has gained more familiarity, though, with the “Text to Haiti” campaign which helped raise over $50M.
Try It Out
Venmo is available via private invitations only right now, but has provided me with 25 invitations for my readers. Use the invite code “obsessed-25” to try it out. After signing up, let me know what you think or send the following text message to Venmo (646-863-9557) to donate $1 to the blog.
Pay ryank 1 for cool blog
Other Reviews Online
Venmo review on AllThingsD
Venmo review at Thrillist
Venmo – The Future of Payments
Venmo’s Simple Loaded Premise – Pay Your Friends from Your Phone
Venmo Possibly Abolishing Friendly IOU
Venmo – SMS Based Payments