Digital Payments

Venmo Launches Debit Cards

Venmo is getting into cards.

The peer-to-peer payment app owned by PayPal said Monday (June 25) that it has launched a Mastercard-branded debit card. The aim, according to the company, is to enable consumers who use Venmo to spend their balances in more places.

Any merchant that accepts Mastercard payments will accept the Venmo cards.

“Low Venmo balance? We’ll use your linked funding source to reload your Venmo balance so you can make that card purchase,” Venmo said in a statement. “Plus, Venmo card is ATM-friendly in the U.S. for when you have to try that cash-only ramen spot.”

Consumers can keep track of Venmo purchases via their general Venmo transaction history, “so you can split with Venmo friends or share what you bought on the feed,” the statement read. “For those with Venmo notifications enabled, you’ll be notified on your phone with each swipe.”

Consumers who lose their card can go into the Venmo app and disable the debit device.

The card comes in six colors, based on feedback from consumers who took part in the Venmo debit card beta test.

The card launch comes amid other changes for the PayPal-owned service. For instance, earlier this month Venmo announced that it was going to discontinue web support for its payment service. The company previously provided its service via its mobile app and its website. Currently, the website lets users sign in and view transactions, charge friends and submit payments. The website also offers a functionality to send payment reminders, add friends, comment on transactions and edit user profiles.

The debit card launch also comes as Venmo tries to fend off more competition, including from Zelle, which is forecasted to reach 27.4 million users this year. That compares to Venmo’s current 22.9 million users.

But Venmo still has a price advantage going forward. PayPal, for instance, charges 2.9 percent, plus a $0.30 fixed fee on payments from credit and debit cards in the U.S., while Venmo charges 3 percent for credit card payments and doesn’t charge anything for debit card payments.

And Venmo also has forged at least one significant partnership recently. This spring, Grubhub said it was adding Venmo to its platform, with the new functionality making it easier for consumers to share the cost of a delivery order with friends.

Grubhub is an online and mobile food-ordering marketplace with a network of more than 80,000 restaurant partners in over 1,600 U.S. cities and London. The Grubhub portfolio of brands includes Grubhub, Seamless, Eat24, Allmenus and MenuPages.

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