How To Make Better Use of Venmo And Other Payment Apps – People choose to pay family and friends with cash apps, according to a survey of 1,000 Americans conducted by SMS marketing platform SimpleTexting. Six out of ten people choose to pay with apps over cash, compared to just 8% who select money. Checks, as well as bank and wire transfers, were much less popular options.
Some of the most common payment apps available today include PayPal, Venmo, and Google Play. Whatever option you select, keep these 11 tips in mind to keep your money safe, prevent fraud, and reduce fees.
- Use a strong password.
- Set up two-factor authentication.
- Understand payment dispute policies.
- Link a credit, not a debit card.
- Minimize your account balance.
- Keep your payments private.
- Limit personal information in the app.
- Reduce your payment fees.
- Pay online retailers confidently.
- Avoid payment app scams.
- Review privacy policies.
Use a Strong Password
Like every other digital account, cash app passwords should be strong and include a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid easy-to-guess words, and make sure each account has its password. It should also go without saying that you should never share your passwords.
Set Up Two-Factor Authentication
If two-factor authentication is available, allow it in your account settings. Until logging in or sending money, you will receive an email or text message with a code that you must enter. “It makes it a little more difficult for perpetrators to reach your account,” says Marcell King, chief innovation officer for Payveris, a digital payments platform.
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People should be aware that not all payment apps are created equal, and they should understand whether and how an app can benefit them if there is a problem with a payment or if a vendor fails to deliver a transaction on time.
PayPal has excellent dispute settlement procedures, according to Louis Hoch, CEO of Usio, a payment processing company. Venmo and Zelle, on the other hand, are built to be used only by your closest friends and do not provide the same degree of protection. “Once you press a button on Zelle and send the money, there is no way to get the money back,” Hoch says.
Link a Credit Card
Cash apps enable users to transfer money and make payments by connecting bank accounts, credit cards, and debit cards. If you must register a card, King recommends registering a credit card rather than a debit card.
Your bank account may be exhausted as the transactions are investigated if someone gains access to your account and uses a debit card to make payments. You are protected from this form of the situation by using a credit card.
Minimize Your Account Balance
Cash apps may help you keep track of your balance, but they aren’t necessary. Hoch says, “It’s not going to benefit you at all.” “You aren’t bringing in any money.” If you need to keep a balance for budgeting or other purposes, keep it to a bare minimum, so you don’t lose a large amount if anyone gains unauthorized access to your account?
Keep Your Payments Private
Venmo is a social media platform that allows users to make their purchases public. Even if you think you’ve just exchanged your payment details with coworkers, it’s possible that more people have access to it than you think.
“Friends of friends will see your exchanges even though your account is set to ‘only,'” says Rachel Vrabec, founder of the digital privacy service The Kanary. Instead, she suggests maintaining a private account. “Payment information can seem harmless, but it never hurts to have an extra layer of privacy about who you’re sending money to and receiving money from.”
Limit Personal Information in the App
People should not provide payment apps with any personal information that isn’t necessary. Many cash applications, for example, make a photo and a phone number optional. If you want to use Venmo’s “friends” feature, Vrabec suggests giving your name an alias.
“Consider creating an alias email address (to register your account) that forwards information to your primary email,” Vrabec suggests, “because PayPal is a common target for hackers and has been hacked in the past.” Fraudsters would not be able to enter your primary email address, which is connected to other websites and services if your account was compromised.
Reduce Your Payment Fees
It is relatively simple to avoid fees on many websites. Sending money to another person using an account balance, a bank transfer, or a debit card is normally free.
Using a credit card to move money, on the other hand, can incur a fee. Not only does the app charge a fee, but the credit card company may classify the transaction as a cash advance. The lender will then charge its fee and a higher interest rate for these transactions.
Both PayPal and Venmo will try to convince you to pay them so you can get your money faster, according to Vrabec. If you don’t need an immediate transfer, transferring money to and from your bank account is typically free.
Pay Online Retailers Confidently
PayPal started to move money from one person to another, but it is now accepted on several websites as payment. “Aside from a one-time (use) wallet, it’s probably one of the best mechanisms for making internet transactions,” Hoch says.
Using a credit card to make a merchant payment through PayPal is free, and there is a bonus. According to King, this reduces the number of locations where your card information is stored.
Avoid Payment App Scams
Scammers target payment apps like PayPal and Venmo using many methods. They could send phishing emails posing as bank emails, claiming that an account has been locked or that a significant transaction has occurred. Open the app on your phone or type the website address into a new tab to log in and check the message’s validity if you’re concerned about your account’s status. King warns against opening random emails.
People sending Venmo payments at random using stolen credit card numbers is another common scam. They then tell the person who requested the payment that it was sent in error and that it should be returned. Hoch suggests contacting Venmo first to double-check the authenticity of the original transaction.
“Block someone you don’t know if they ask for money repeatedly,” Vrabec suggests.
Review Privacy Policies
Before you use a payment app or service, read the company’s privacy policies. Examine the permissions required by the service’s app, as well as the data it collects and shares. If you’re unhappy with one company’s policies or permissions, you may be better off using a different cash app.