PayPal has officially announced that starting this week, more than two million retailers in the United States will accept payments through its peer-to-peer mobile platform Venmo. PayPal has owned Venmo since 2013 and the mobile payments app has been widely popular among youngsters. The extended support should significantly boost Venmo's reach and popularity, as it will now be accepted nearly everywhere that PayPal is accepted. PayPal started to gradually introduce the option to pay with Venmo last year, and this move marks a notable milestone. With this expanded support, Venmo users will be able to make payments on retailer apps such as Lululemon, Forever 21, and more, as Venmo will be introduced in the app's checkout process. The option will look similar to other checkout options such as PayPal.
According to PayPal, Venmo users will be able to use their linked cards, bank accounts, or Venmo app balance to pay for items on the mobile platforms of nearly all merchants that support PayPal. Merchants will have to pay fees to have payments processed through Venmo. PayPal highlights that this option is appealing to merchants because Venmo allows them to reach a new audience, including millennial shoppers. Many Venmo users engage with the peer-to-peer payment app several times a day, and the Venmo social feed makes merchants more visible to others. Just like with PayPal, shoppers who make payments through Venmo are also entitled to purchase protection, which means that they can request a full refund if something ends up being wrong with their purchase.
PayPal Chief Operating Officer (COO) Bill Ready says that this new Venmo checkout option aims to turn the Venmo app into a real digital wallet, not just a peer-to-peer payment solution for friends to send money to each other. At the same time, PayPal is also getting ready to roll out another update announced a few months ago, which will enable users to transfer their Venmo app balance to their bank account instantly, for a $0.25 fee. At the time, Venmo users can transfer their app balance to their bank accounts for free, but the transfer can take up to a day.