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It is important to understand the tools we have to have at our disposal in a world becoming more and more cashless. There are a large number of money exchange apps on the market and lots of them are now accepting cryptocurrency. Which one is the best, though?
We wanted to take a look at Venmo vs Cash App and talk about what brings each to our attention and why we should be delving into one over the other. So join us as we go over the pros and cons of each, and make a decision of which is best for you.
Venmo: A Summary
Venmo launched onto the world’s stage in 2009, targeting friends who wish to split bills for meals or entertainment. Their unique selling point is their publishing of every peer-to-peer transaction. This is a feature that many love for sharing their exploits with their friends, but others consider it a strong privacy risk.
Venmo has been through a few owners, but its latest is PayPal. The money company purchased Venmo in 2013 for eight hundred million dollars, where it has been a feather in PayPal’s cap since.
Venmo requires an American phone number. As such, most of its users are currently in the United States, although rumours suggest they have been looking overseas for expansion.
In October 2020, they finally stated they were going to start accepting cryptocurrencies. As such, while they may not deal in traditional currency worldwide, they may start to accept Bitcoin globally.
Cash App: A Summary
Cash App started with the name Square Cash in March 2015. They intended the application for use by small businesses instead of needing their physical “Square reader.” This would allow people to send payments using a “$cashtag” which would be individual to a user.
Cash App also offers a VISA debit card, which is usable with the Cash App account. This lets users buy and sell using the account instead of needing a physical bank.
Long before Venmo's update, in January 2018, Cash App started allowing the buying and sale of Bitcoin. So they have a long history of resolving a lot of common issues before anyone else. This has helped them secure a firm place in the market, even against PayPal’s marketing clout.
Neither Venmo nor Cash App offers fees for transferring funds between different accounts. This allows for the easy buying of items or bill-splitting without needing to worry about extra costs.
The process for each is hassle-free. In Venmo, you can scan another individual’s QR code, which some cheeky street vendors have been using to accept payments. Whereas in Cash App, you need only know another individual’s account ID, or $cashtag, which lets you send money without question.
One area where Venmo pulls ahead is bill-splitting. If you make a purchase using Venmo, you can split it between yourself and multiple others, who will all transfer you a part of what you paid. This can solve many ongoing feuds at a dinner table or ticket stand, where people will promise to “pay you later.”
Winner: Venmo (1 - 0 to Venmo)
Paying Into The Account
When first setting up your account, you may find it prudent to put an initial balance into your wallet. Both apps allow you to link to a bank account and to transfer money in and out at will.
Also, they are both compatible with credit and debit cards. This allows much more freedom in your methods of keeping control of your accounts.
Cash App, however, has compatibility with even more ways to pay. They now allow you to use either Google or Apple Pay direct from your phone. This extra support helps them cut ahead of Venmo in features, letting them be the more useful of the two.
Winner: Cash App (1 - 1 Draw)
Peer-to-peer payments have gone through a great many iterations over the years in terms of protecting their users. Both Venmo and Cash App have been at the forefront of those issues.
Despite some early issues with privacy, each service has put the security of its users first. Instead, these days the weakest point of security tends to be the people using the application (i.e., You)
To help this, both applications offer the ability to require manual login each time you open the app. Not only that, but they allow for multi-factor authentication in each.
While both companies often share advice on how to stay safe, there is plenty more of such information around. Consumer Reports recently gave out advice on how to keep your peer-to-peer payments safe, which these companies mirror. They include:
Only send money to people you know to avoid exploitation or scams
Double-check you have gotten the recipient’s details correct
Do not use the apps for business purposes
Keep the app updated with the latest security measures
Know where to go if something goes wrong
Winner: Tie (1 - 1 Draw)
In terms of the amounts you can send, Venmo is the application that clearly comes out on top.
Cash App allows unverified users to send up to $250. Venmo, on the other hand, has decided to increase that further. They permit up to $299.99 for any user who has not verified their account.
When a user verifies their identity, the spread becomes even more pronounced. Where Cash App allows up to $2,500 in a single transfer for a verified account, Venmo permits sending of up to $4,999.99 at once.
This huge difference is a massive boon for Venmo in the eyes of those who will regularly be transferring that amount at any time. However, the kind of users with that much bank are few and far between.
Normal users are far more likely to want to transfer money between accounts globally. This is where things go the other way. Where Venmo does not allow interaction with foreign accounts, Cash App has for a while now.
If you are seeking an app to use with foreign clients or friends, definitely pick up Cash App in the short term.
Winner: Venmo, unless you need to transfer to another country, where Cash App works and Venmo simply does not. (2 - 1 to Venmo)
As far as the two methods go, both are equal in this tier. Transferring funds is so fast it may as well be equal for both applications.
Sending money to a bank account, however, depends purely on that bank account. Due to their online nature, the two apps have obviously focused on making the process as hassle-free as possible.
The only place they trip up is how fast they are at withdrawing money from banks. Both applications advertise this could take up to three days each for free withdrawal.
We think this is just an extreme case, however. When we tried, it was very rare that it took over just a few minutes at most for money to appear in our accounts.
If you are having difficulties with the transfer speeds in your account, you should have discussions with your bank. These days, it is rare that an internet-only service would be the bottleneck causing you issues due to their focus on low-latency trading.
Winner: Tie (2 - 1 to Venmo)
When it comes to using apps to send money, fees are not a thing people need to worry about. They both allow money transfers for absolutely free. Fees for their other features, however, are where Cash App and Venmo make their money.
When it comes to instantly withdrawing funds, rather than waiting up to three days, they both charge a small amount of money. The difference is only .5%, with Venmo at 1% and Cash App at 1.5%. These are both small percentages, meaning it depends just how much that .5% is to you both in real terms and psychologically.
Winner: Venmo (3 - 1 to Venmo)
As both apps offer debit cards, it is perhaps important to discuss the fees there. Neither can yet handle crypto exchanges directly via a card. The debit cards on offer from both companies, however, differ in various ways.
The Venmo card requires a $2.50 withdrawal fee when pulling money from most ATMs, or $3 when withdrawing via signature at a bank. This is not even including the fees the ATM owner may charge.
The Cash App card only requires a $2 fee. If you receive over $300 in deposits to your account, however, they will reverse the charges for up to three of those every 31 days. In our eyes, this means Cash App beats Venmo out cleanly in this regard.
Winner: Cash App (3 - 2 to Venmo)
Neither money transfer app requires that you have an existing bank account to create a money store. This is especially useful if you are only using the app as a cryptocurrency wallet. If you do this, you can keep it entirely separate from your other finances.
Both apps, however, will begin to need a social security number if you start to use them a lot.
Venmo requires this information should you send and receive more than $299.99 per week. It also demands your name, physical address, and date of birth. It then compares these to a national database.
Cash App instead requires your date of birth, name, and only the last four digits of your social security number. It also only does this if you send more than £250 in a week OR if you receive more than $1,000 in a single week.
Who the winner is here depends on your point of view. If you want a more secure app with the assurance it is more secure against fraudsters having fake verified accounts, Venmo is the one for you. If, however, you wish for security against needing to give out too much identifying information, Cash App is a shoo-in for that kind of reassurance.
As for us, we like Cash App’s methods here. While we are ok giving out that information, them being a little more forgiving is always good.
Winner: Cash App (3 - 3 Draw)
Both of these apps are available on any iOS or Android device. This allows you to send and receive currency or cryptocurrency anywhere you want. The only difference between the two is that Venmo does not currently offer a browser solution.
This means that you will be in a bind if you are ever stuck without a device or run out of battery and have to use a computer. You will need to wait before you can access your account’s information again.
As stated above, one of the other hindrances of both of these applications is their limitation to their country of origin. One can only use Venmo in the USA, while Cash App is available in the USA or the United Kingdom alone. You cannot even send money between the UK or USA version of the Cash App.
Despite the global nature of Bitcoin and the like, neither app can transfer from outside of their respective countries. This is fairly short-sighted of both applications. Many other cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase and Binance, therefore, refuse to buy or sell from Venmo or Cash App for this reason.
Paypal, however, has announced that Venmo will start letting users buy and use cryptocurrency globally sometime in 2021
Winner: Cash App, although when Venmo starts allowing international payments, this will switch. (4 - 3 to Cash App for now)
While it would be wonderful to have a dedicated phone line for these companies, this is not always the case in 2020.
Cash App retains a telephone number to call in case of problems. You can talk directly to a representative who can discuss your issue in detail and to a high degree of clarity.
Normal phone wait times apply, of course, especially during peak times, but that is something we expect with popular companies. Cash App also offers an email exchange.
This stands in direct contrast with Venmo. As a subsidiary of Paypal, they are part of an extremely large company that seems to have forgone the ability to phone. Instead, they now only offer email or live chat options.
This is very disappointing, as email and live chat often lose a lot of their nuance, and we have all had times when live chat has turned out to be a robot instead.
We understand the difficulties of starting up a new business and being unable to talk to everyone who may have a problem. Venmo, however, is part of a larger company. Paypal offers live phone support, so Venmo should too.
Winner: Cash App (5 - 3 to Cash App)
What is Unique to Venmo?
Venmo publishes every transaction which goes through its system. They intended to provide a visible level of social interaction between its users and allow people to see the honesty of people paying off debts. It also lets people brag about what they may or may not have spent on something, which draws in a specific brand of the user.
When looking to split the bill the day after a wild night, you can also include joke messages filled with emojis or various insinuations. The intent is it would impress or embarrass one another. This made Venmo very popular to start with.
This still draws criticism from many corners of the Internet due to privacy violations. The example often given is allowing ex-partners to see their prior paramours’ purchases. Venmo has since had multiple meetings with the FTC about these issues and has resolved many of them over a period of time.
Still, they share transactions publicly by default. This is not something a lot of users are aware of when they first start using the application.
What is Unique to Cash App?
For a long time, the ability to transfer cryptocurrency was unique to Cash App when discussing it in comparison with Venmo. In the past few months, Venmo has succeeded in progressing to a point where it can do the same. Cryptocurrency is becoming more and more ubiquitous. Therefore expect this to be a common sight when dealing with online currency apps.
One of Cash App’s unique selling points is now the VISA debit card. Instead of having a signature strip on the back of the card (which always fades over time), Cash App decided to allow people to sign the card via the mobile app. This lets them laser-etch the signature on the card itself.
This has led to a very unique card design. It also means a lot of individuals got more and more creative with how they represent themselves. These people, however, may run into some problems when trying to use their cards at the checkout.
Another niche Cash App features is a stock trading option. Via an investing tab on the app’s home screen, you can search, buy, and trade in stocks from the comfort of your phone. The stock features link directly into an app that acts as a form of currency wallet, so the stocks can be bought and sold directly to and from the wallet.
This keeps the money you use for stock trading separate from your other accounts. It is also nice to do both from within the same location without having to jump between apps.
They even offer a simple, friendly introduction to how stocks work and the bigger picture behind trading in them.
Cash App and Your Budget
One final feature Cash App offers, which may be a game-changer, is the ability to deposit paychecks directly into the app. Using your account number and routing number from Cash App, you can get your work to send your paycheck directly to the account on your device.
Finally, Cash App also allows the paying of many bills via the application. This shows they are seriously on their way to suggesting you may never need a physical bank again. Many digital banks have been offering these services for quite some time, so it is interesting to see Cash App slide into that same space.
Venmo vs Cash App: Which is Best
While Cash App squeaks past Venmo in the above scoring, Venmo is looking to become more of an international app. This is due to the introduction of supporting foreign cryptocurrency transactions. When this happens, the two applications will be broadly balanced in their feature sets.
What you should do is read the above and decide for yourself what kind of thing you want your application to do. Do you want it to just trade some cash easily with a few friends, do you want it for business, or do you want it for stocks and large trading purchases?
The apps are different enough that we cannot make this call for you, as it entirely depends on your point of view.
However, looking around our office, we would be lying if we said we did not have Cash App installed and ready to go on most of our devices. For many of us, it was simply the ability to pay our bills and receive paychecks that pushed us over the edge. That, and their long history with cryptocurrency.
In the Venmo vs Cash App fight, we do not feel like we can make the call. There are, however, many other apps out there. Many of these trade in traditional currency as well as for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Etherium.
We have reviews and comparisons for each one, so check out our reviews for more information. Using them, you might be able to work out what source of cryptocurrency trading is right for you.