Venmo, a money transferring app, is providing Spring Hill College students a social way to pay back friends when they owe them money and don't want to deal with cash.
Junior Randi Evans uses Venmo as a way to pay back and forth between friends. “If someone forgot cash or if we don’t want to take the time to split a bill, we just transfer the money. It’s super convenient,” Evans said. However, Venmo is not just for sharing money between friends. Tou can also use the app to pay for services at certain businesses such as Forever 21, J. Crew, Ulta Beauty, Lululemon, Foot Locker, Eastbay and Poshmark, to name a few. Senior Tee Nash says she hasn’t used Venmo at businesses yet, but she does use it for “puppy support, splitting bills and hiding money from myself.” Even students on other campuses have taken advantage of this new app. Camille Buaas, a sophomore at The University of Alabama at Birmingham said, “all of my friends use it to pay each other back, also some sororities use it for philanthropy donations and things like that.”
Organizations at Spring Hill College have also taken advantage of this new app for their events. Sigma Chi Fraternity used venmo as a way to fundraise for their philanthropy during Derby Days this year. The Derby Days teams would just “Venmo” their coaches money for the various competitions throughout the week.
According to their website, Venmo was founded in 2009 by two former college roommates who wanted a better way to pay each other back. What started off as a simple SMS messaging platform to send and receive money has evolved into a social payments app allowing people to split bills and make purchases. Venmo is currently rated at 4.9 stars on iTunes with over 599,000 reviews. Although Apple will not show how many times the app has been downloaded, Fox Business reported that the app is steadily growing with millennials. “Campus culture is littered with examples of Venmo's popularity where the app's nomenclature is increasingly being used as a verb as in, ‘I'll venmo you the money when I get back to my dorm,’” the website stated.
With Venmo being on the rise in the college community, security should be a number one priority. Venmo does use data encryption to protect your personal or financial information and guard against unauthorized transactions. However, with technological innovation comes the growing penetration of security networks, which means nothing connected to the Internet is completely safe. According to Investopidia.com, in 2015, Venmo became the target of criticism due to security breaches of user accounts. While Venmo’s security and liabilities insurance protects against a majority of theft, users should still be aware that theft can happen.