Venmo Adds a Slew of New Features #TouchID #Tagging #EasyAccountLinkage

Venmo has gained some prominent popularity over the past year. By simply loading the app onto a smartphone, a user can connect to bank and credit-card accounts and link up with friends to send money on the go. It makes scenarios like splitting restaurant checks and paying rent quite seamless. The rising use of peer-to-peer applications is improving prospects for apps like Venmo. The growth of Venmo can be attributed to PayPal which owns Venmo. PayPal has already made further forays into mobile payment innovation through the acquisition of Braintree.

The P2P payments app has added three new features along with providing extra layers of security:

Linking bank accounts in a new way

Venmo now offers simple steps to link your bank account if you are a customer of Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America or Citibank. One can now use the username and password, used for logging into the bank’s website, to link your bank account with Venmo. Venmo assures that the banking login credentials are not stored on their servers.

Before this feature, users had to manually link the app with their bank routing and account information. This would require using checkbooks for reference and punching in long routing numbers.

Touch ID integration

Venmo already employs the use of PIN to password protect the app. It is now leveraging the use of Touch ID for iOS users. Apple device users can now use Touch ID to gain access to the app instead of PIN. This feature would be specifically available for iPhone 5S, 6 and 6 Plus users. Here is a snapshot of the feature:

Venmo Mentions

Venom has added a social feature making use of the monetary transactions as a medium. You can mention your peers at the same time while making payments. It would be like tagging others in comments on the payments page. The tagging can be done in Twitter-style by simply mentioning your friend’s twitter handles. This feature could help Venmo portray itself as a social money-sharing platform and further differentiate itself from competitors like Square Cash, Google Wallet and Dwolla. Here is a snapshot of the feature:

Venmo processed around $700 million last quarter, a 50% increase from Q2. The transaction volume reached 468 million in the second quarter this year. This shows a 347% YoY (year-on-year) increase with an annual run rate of around $1.9 billion. The app is serving as a way to extend the reach of PayPal and shows the power of mobile payments. The current focus of PayPal is to increase Venmo’s user base and the current figures show that PayPal’s efforts are indeed giving returns.

In U.S. alone, individuals exchange about $1 trillion. Mobile and electronic peer-to-peer payment applications are really making a dent in the market. The highest growth in the use of such apps has been among millennials. As per research by BCG, millennials spend $1.3 trillion annually as consumers and 55% of those use digital services for payments.