Venmo’s Instant Cashout Option to Create Revenue for PayPal in 2019

PayPal finally anticipates monetizing Venmo in 2019, nearly six years after acquiring the P2P service.

Venmo’s revenue run-rate is over $200 million for 2019, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said in the earnings call Wednesday after market close.

In an effort to monetize Venmo, PayPal in February last year added an instant transfer to the service, charging users a $0.25 flat fee, but then only months later changed the fee to be 1% of the total transfer amount. While Schulman didn’t reveal how much Venmo made from the instant cashout option, Schulman highlighted the feature as a key revenue driver for Venmo in 2019.

“…[Venmo’s] revenues [are] being equally split between instant cash out and other monetizable services… I couldn’t be more pleased with our revenue trends and the numerous incremental growth opportunities we see for Venmo,” Schulman said in the call.

Also See: Venmo Hikes Instant Transfer Fee to Cash in on Realtime

Another key strategy to monetize Venmo was getting users to pay merchants with Venmo instead of just sending each other money. In order to achieve this, PayPal added the Visa-backed Venmo card in June and, most recently, added Venmo as a payment option for car-ride service, Uber.

“I think the perception was that most of the monetization happening there was around Instant Cash Out,” Bill Ready, chief operating officer at PayPal, said in the call. “And one of the things that we feel really great about that $200 million-plus annual revenue run rate that we exited the year out is that it actually split about evenly between Instant Cash Out and the commerce-related items and other items where we monetize, be they Venmo card, Pay with Venmo and the related services around that.”

In addition to the Uber partnership, which is growing “really, really nicely,” according to Ready, Venmo users have been paying for TV-streaming company Hulu and food ordering services like Grubhub and Uber Eats with Venmo.

“These are – many of these are daily, high-frequency type transactions,” Ready said. “We see the same with the card – really getting into everyday spend. So we really feel great about the broad base set of monetization initiatives across Venmo. It is far more than just Instant Cash Out.”

In terms of Venmo transaction volume, Venmo reported $19 billion in payment volume for the fourth quarter of last year, a YOY increase of 80%. For the full year of 2018, Venmo’s volume increased 79% with $62 billion in payment volume process.

It’s no secret that since PayPal acquired Venmo through its $800 million purchase of Braintree in 2013, it has not been a moneymaker. But in 2019, things are expected to change thanks to these new initiatives. According to the financial report, 29% of Venmo users have made a monetizable transaction in the fourth quarter.

As for PayPal, it added 39 million net new actives in 2018, surpassing its goal of adding 30 new accounts by yearend. For 2019, Schulman said the goal is to add 300 million active accounts (consumers and merchants combined) to the platform. For 2018, PayPal reported $15.45 billion in total revenue, up 18% from $13.09 billion in the year before. PayPal has a market cap of $103 billion.


To learn more about payments, join us for Bank Innovation Ignite 2019 on March 11-12 at the Hyatt Olive 8, Seattle. Early registration ends this Friday, February 1st at midnight. Register here to secure the lowest possible rate!

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