Venmo's Social Feed

(Simon B) #1

For those who don’t know, Venmo is a popular fintech app in the US. Owned by PayPal, it’s P2P payments, bill splitting, etc. Essentially it’s a digital wallet built on top of PayPal, but here’s the bit I find really interesting - their social payments feed.

Basically, when paying someone, everyone in your Venmo social group sees it. The actual numerical value is hidden, but people see that Person A paid Person B for Reason XYZ. To a large group of people this would be absolute anathema, but it’s become a hugely popular feature according to my friends in the US - turning payments into a far more social activity.

We’ve seen this to some degree on our Beta as well, with the notes feature and people almost using it as a messaging service by sending regular 1p payments with notes attached that then turned into a conversation!

What do you guys think about this kind of thing? Do you see payments becoming a far more social activity?

What's going to happen in the future?
(Peter Roberts) #2

I can’t say I ever did that more than once and the recipient didn’t reply :stuck_out_tongue:

Hmm, I’m not sure I see the utility of it right now. This could be a very interesting topic and I’m eager to see some contrasting views!

(Kevyn) #3

I remember a colleague at work last year mentioned that when she and her partner was applying for a mortgage, her partner had to justify lots of rude comments on tiny payments into their bank account, on the statement. Obviously it didn’t stop the mortgage, but she thought it was funny so I can see how this is happening without it being very noticeable to everyone else.


That sounds awful! (the social feed, not p2p payments obviously)

I’m one of those people using 1p to have conversations though, it was mainly to annoy my girlfriend though I definitely found people text you back quicker when you’ve sent them some money :roll_eyes:


Kids do dumb things. Give them the option to share the payments if that’s what’s trending. What would be totally cool and unique would be real gamification like 5 friends could each put £2 in a Monzo pot and play a game of pac man or Tetris in the Monzo app, and the highest scorer gets to have the contents of the pot transferred to their CA. That would probably need a gambling license (or via partner like but would be so sick and win fintech hands down. Alternatively, take out the wagers and just let me challenge my mates to a game within Monzo.

I’ve played the 1p payment game and it was fun for about 5 mins. I thought I was being classy by upping the stakes to £1 payment, then my mate still replied with 1p and pretended he didnt know what I was talking about.

Edit: whoops was meant to reply to @simonb

( surohpotsirhC) #6

That’s the sort of thing I do with friends. Life’s no fun unless you’re making a mortgage application even more uncomfortable because they have to explain why someone sent them £100 for A**LJOY.

(Hugh) #7

That would make a cool Easter Egg :wink:


100% opt out. I don’t want to share payments to other people with anyone.


Are you speaking monzonese already? :smile: I never really understood what Tom was referring to with Easter eggs. Does it mean hidden little features which surprise and delight the user?


@matt please put open banking on the back burner and ship this pac man idea ASAP. Thanks in advance :heart_eyes:

(Hugh) #11

(Caspar Aremi) #12

It sounds dumb, but myself and my friends do this a LOT. Sometimes just to cheer someone up, or to say happy birthday in a way that’s not lost on a Facebook feed, or just to be silly. I wouldn’t mind having an opt-in to a public feed being visible. Some of the messages are definitely NSFW themed though :joy:

(Caspar Aremi) #13

It would definitely need to be something you opted in for, for each individual payment. Too much potential for awkward situations if you had the ability to turn it on by default and forgot to turn it off for a payment that should have been private.

(Change Works) #14

Have these people never heard of WhatsApp? :thinking:

(Caspar Aremi) #15

(Allie) #16

I find that a bit… creepy. And PayPal, really? I want to avoid that gosh-awful company as much as humanly possible.

Probably have heard of but never used, remember WhatsApp is incredibly unpopular in America.

(Change Works) #17

I wasn’t aware of that. Any idea why? It seems to me be pretty similar to iMessage with the added advantage of being cross-platform (that was the attraction for me, anyway).

(Allie) #18

No idea why, it just isn’t very popular there.

(Caspar Aremi) #19

I wouldn’t say it’s unpopular - just had less penetration than the rest of the world. In the US, SMS were charged differently to other countries so people used that a lot more - WhatsApp became huge because you could send messages instantly and for free. Facebook bought it because it gave them a foothold in countries where Messenger wasn’t hugely popular.

(rusty) #20

:us: American chiming in here :slight_smile:

WhatsApp isn’t big in the US since we never needed it. I always had unlimited texts included in my mobile plan when I lived there so it was never an issue. I only downloaded it to chat with friends internationally, before iMessage.

Venmo was seen as the easy/simple way for P2P payments and the social feed was just another part of that. Definitely lost a bunch of it’s “cool” factor when it was bought by PayPal (though most people don’t realise it is owned by PayPal, they kept it a separate service, at least for now).