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Venmo or PayPal? Here is What to Know About Each Service

Traditional banking is so 2015. For several years now, peer-to-peer payment services like Venmo and PayPal have dominated the cash exchange landscape, whether you’re sending cash to a friend or paying for international purchase. While both services are free to use, there are a few differences to keep in mind when using each service. Here’s a breakdown of the differences between Venmo and PayPal.


• Security Features: Venmo offers bank-grade security and encryption and requires that users register before they can use the service – something PayPal doesn’t require. However, if you accidentally send your cash to the wrong person, Venmo requires explicit permission from the recipient before they can reverse any transactions.
• How to Use It: Peer-to-peer payments are the name of Venmo’s game. While PayPal can technically accomplish the same thing, Venmo is more popular with people sending cash to friends or others they know on a personal level. While you can donate to nonprofits and pay for certain things using Venmo, these transactions aren’t as common.
• Transfer Limits: The limit for payments sent across Venmo is $5,000.00 per week.
• Withdrawals and Fees: No fees are leveraged against your transaction as long as you pay with your Venmo balance, linked bank account, debit, or prepaid card. You’ll pay a 3 percent fee for transferring funds from a credit card, and a 1 percent fee for immediate transfers.


• Security Features: Like Venmo, PayPal offers high-quality security and encryption backing its service. PayPal also sends emails with all account-related activity, whereas Venmo relies primarily on smartphone notifications. They also regularly scan to be sure you’re using the most up-to-date encryption technology on your browser.
• How to Use It: Want to buy something on eBay or from an international seller? Use PayPal, which was created so that users could enjoy seamless transactions with businesses. (Only later did they add peer-to-peer capabilities.) PayPal is generally well-suited for small businesses, and their security features lend more confidence to larger purchases.
• Transfer Limits: The limit for payments sent across PayPal is $60,000.00 for a single transaction.
• Withdrawals and Fees: PayPal assesses a 3 percent fee plus an extra 30 cents for any transactions made with a credit or debit card. Instant transfer fees are 1 percent.

The Takeaway

PayPal and Venmo are both very reliable and safe to use. However, PayPal lends itself better to business transactions, international transfers, and online purchases. Venmo is better suited for casual exchanges between friends and others who know each other well and are unlikely to pose any security issues.

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