With consumers showing greater interest in contactless checkout and flexible payment options, retailers have been exploring new solutions through which to sell their product and keep shoppers happy. The announcement of a new Venmo Credit Card could push more retailers towards Venmo for Business, in order to capitalize on the platform’s community of 60 million users.
Venmo is most commonly known as a peer-to-peer consumer payments app, that allows users to sync their bank account and then pay or charge others instantly. The company, a subsidiary of PayPal, previously released a debit card function that attached to the user’s Venmo account; now it has launched a Visa-backed credit card with an emphasis on personalized rewards.
While targeted at consumers, this could have considerable impact on retailers who are enrolled in the Venmo for Business program – or even encourage more to sign up. Since many retailers have had to adjust their usual store protocols and introduce new means of checking out, contactless options have proven popular due to their hygiene-friendly approach. The increase in mobile commerce has also pushed for smartphone-friendly solutions – like Venmo.
Venmo’s QR-enabled system ensures a no-touch process: Users use their phone to scan the code of a business (or friend) and their profile is immediately pulled up, for easy payment from either their existing app balance or their bank account. These transactions are then recorded in the business’ personal newsfeed, which can be viewed by its community; users can adjust their privacy settings and determine whether their transactions can be shared publicly, with private contacts only or with no one.
“Venmo recently launched a limited pilot for Business Profiles, a new tool that allows casual sellers, users with a side hustle, and sole proprietors to create an additional Venmo profile linked to their existing account to accept payments for goods and services,” said a spokesperson for Venmo. “Business Profiles helps sellers to better market their business, connect with customers, and grow their business, and allows for safe, touchless payments, especially as we continue to navigate through the pandemic. “
With the launch of its new credit card, Venmo is hoping to expand consumer engagement, which in turn would benefit the retailers who use the platform. Available with no fees, the main benefit is the personalized rewards program which offers users cash back of up to 3% for their three highest-spend categories. By tailoring the rewards to where individual shoppers spend most, Venmo is aiming to “put the control in the customer’s hands.”
Although part of a smartphone app, the Venmo credit card also includes a physical card component that is available in five designs. Other card features include the ability to track spending within the Venmo app; the option to pay for items via the app, online or in-store; and access to the split-purchase function for credit card purchases, which lets users split costs between their contacts in the app as with the debit card.
The community newsfeed will also be able to include Venmo Credit Card transactions, if enabled by the user. This could prove valuable for retailers in the form of free marketing. By including these commercial purchases within a feed of peer-to-peer purchases, businesses can situate themselves more deeply within the community that they serve and achieve more organic visibility amongst both existing and prospective customers.
“Venmo is first and foremost an app that allows our community to power payments and share experiences with friends,” said the Venmo spokesperson. “We’re always looking for new and interesting ways to connect retailers with our Venmo community. Our vision is to not only be the go-to app for payments between friends, but also a ubiquitous digital wallet that helps our community of more than 60 million customers spend wherever and however they want.”