Imagine a group of friends are out for dinner. One forgot his wallet, and now the rest of the group is murmuring in dismay as they now have to cover for someone — a rather awkward situation.
Venmo, a smartphone application, allows people to send and receive money from their bank account, debit card or credit card with almost no fee.
“I would definitely use something like that,” said Blake Burns, sophomore graphic design and digital media major. “Especially for me, because I never have cash on me.”
For the most part, Venmo remains free. There is, however, a 3 percent fee for sending money from a credit card.
Allison Hatloe, junior Graphic Design major shares her opinion about Venmo.
“It would make it super easy to do… Especially for college students who buy stuff from each other like books.” Hatloe said.
In an interview with Mashable Inc., Venmo co-founder Andrew Kortina explained why Venmo was created.
“Why aren’t we using PayPal or some other app to pay each other back?” Kortina said he asked his co-founder over lunch. “But when we looked around all of the options we found were clunky and awkward for using with friends. So we designed Venmo, and made it fun, conversational and social, just like all the other apps we saw our friends using.”
Venmo is seeking to go beyond making payments among friends a much easier task by developing tools to change the way things are paid for on-the-go and making it feasible for businesses to leverage the service.
“What I would bet on is that we won’t be swiping plastic cards in five years,” Kortina said in the interview. “We’ll be using mobile devices. As for businesses, we have not yet really had a product we think works really well for them. But we are developing tools that are designed specifically to make Venmo work better for businesses.”
Wherever the future of payments leads, one thing is certain: Phones are not leaving people’s pockets, and companies like Venmo are allowing people to do much more with them.