Venmo Announces It Will Remove Payment Functionality from Website

Social payments platform Venmo is phasing out certain functionality on its website, venmo.com, including allowing people to make payments there. Wait, what?

“Over time you may see less functionality on the website – this is just the start….venmo.com website may be limited,” Venmo notified some of its customers through email today.

The change might seem like a natural progression. It’s hard to imagine that a lot of people use the website to make or request payments — that’s what the Venmo mobile app is for, right? But there are occasions when using the website for these features comes in handy, for instance when the app has problems — say when a user is traveling or in case of a technological glitch. 

It remains to be seen what Venmo intends to do with its website. Will it be used purely for marketing? Or does Venmo intend to use the site to blog, following in the footsteps of other fintech companies such as Acorns, Betterment or even its parent company PayPal, which uses its blogs to provide customers financial advice and educational information on subjects like savings and spending.

Oddly Venmo, which caters primarily to a younger mobile-savvy audience, is not an active blogger. The last blog it posted on the site was back in January.

Unlike many other fintech companies, instead of using its blog to inform users of any changes to its service or features, the payment app has historically relied on notifying customers through a Terms & Conditions update email, without making any note about it on its site. Back in February, when Venmo decided to add a flat fee of $0.25 for an “instant transfer,” it used the same method of communication.

Bank Innovation is awaiting comment from Venmo.

Back in 2013, PayPal acquired Braintree, which owned Venmo, for $800 million. Although Venmo instantly became a popular tool with its target audience, its popularity did not translate into a big revenue bump for PayPal. Nevertheless, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman expects that to change. In PayPals’s Q1’18 results, he noted that Venmo processed $12.3 billion in payment volume, up 80% versus the same quarter last year.

On Venmo, Schulman, said, during the Q1 call in April:

We’re making strong progress in monetizing Venmo. Pay with Venmo has deployed [to] more than 2 million merchants across the US with major brands such as GrubHub, Seamless and Williams-Sonoma, installing dedicated Pay with Venmo button[s]. We expect the deployment of a distinct Venmo button with our leading brands will accelerate throughout the year, as well the deployment of dynamic buttons.

There are no announced changes to the functionality of the Venmo mobile app.

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