Wondering if Venmo’s safe? Here’s what you should know

Adam Rozsa

In this guide, we’ll focus on the Venmo money transfer app. Is Venmo secure, is it safe to add your bank account to Venmo, and how can you best protect your account? We’ll answer these questions and more below.

We’ll even throw in a handy tip for a safe alternative for transferring money - Wise. It’s used by 8 million customers worldwide, and is regulated by 11 international financial authorities.

Wise sign up

But for now, let’s get back to Venmo.

Is Venmo safe to use?

Venmo is a PayPal service¹, a licensed provider of money transfer services and a trusted name within the online payments' industry.

Venmo itself follows a number of practices² to ensure that it’s compliant with the relevant security and privacy standards.

Firstly, under no circumstances will Venmo support agents contact a user to request for their password or verification code to their account.

Secondly, Venmo uses encryption to protect user account information, and they also track account activity to spot any unauthorized transactions. You can always contact Venmo through their support email if you suspect that there’s been unauthorized activity regarding your account.

The Venmo website uses the HTTPs protocol and stores encrypted account details on servers in secure locations.

Lastly, there’s the option to disable a device and stop it from accessing your Venmo account, without you having to delete your account altogether. For example, if your phone has been lost or stolen. All you have to do is:

  1. Go to the Venmo website
  2. Access your Settings
  3. Select ‘Security’
  4. Remove the session associated with that device. This automatically signs you out of the account on that device.

Is it safe to link my bank account to Venmo?

There are a few measures in place to help ensure that Venmo is safe to use with your bank account.

First of all, the platform allows you to choose a mode of verification for your bank account - either instant or manual. This ensures that the bank account is available for sending money back and forth before you start any transfers. The verification step also helps you confirm that you’ve used the right bank credentials to avoid failed or lost transfers.

It’s also possible to add extra layers of security to your Venmo account, in order to protect your linked bank account. We’ll look at how to make your Venmo account more secure next.


Need to send or receive money? Meet Wise

If you want to safely transfer money both within and outside the US, you should consider alternatives like Wise. Wise is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and therefore meets some of the highest standards for protecting consumers against fraud, internet scams and other unfair business practices.

Plus, Wise uses high-level security technology including 2-factor authentication, biometric recognition approvals and 3D secure online payments. There’s even a dedicated anti-fraud team working round the clock. So, it’s safe to say that sending money with Wise is pretty secure.

Though all these measures are in place, it’s always a good idea to follow the tips shared above and to avoid falling victim to badly intended people!

Besides being a safe option, Wise allows you to send money in a quick, easy and cheap way. As there are no intermediaries and conversion fees.

Get a Wise Account today

Tips on how can you make your Venmo safer

If you’re worried about security when using money-related apps, it’s good to know that there are things you can do to beef up security.

Venmo offers the option to add more layers of protection to your account. Here are some Venmo safety tips to try:

  • Set up multi-factor authentication to log in to your Venmo account³ - when you sign in, the app may send you an SMS code to the phone number registered to your account. This ensures that it’s really you when signing in.
  • Add a PIN code or enable Face/Fingerprint ID login when signing in to the Venmo app on your device⁴.

Also, the safest way to use Venmo is only to send money to friends, family and people you know. It’s best to avoid using it for paying for goods or services, or sending money to people you don’t know.

What happens if you get scammed on Venmo?

Even with the highest level of security in place, it’s unfortunately still possible that scams can happen on an app like Venmo.

Venmo advises you to watch out for commonly tried scams such as:

  • Fake prizes or cash rewards
  • Calls claiming to be from Venmo or Tech Support
  • Fake payment confirmations
  • Requests for pre-payment for goods and services
  • Strangers posing as a friend or family member
  • Offers to make money fast
  • Romance-related scams.

You’ll find full information on these scenarios here. If you have any problems at all using Venmo, you should contact the platform’s customer services team right away.

Should you use Venmo?

It’s completely up to you whether you feel comfortable using Venmo. Its security credentials are bolstered by the fact that it’s run by a major payments specialist like PayPal, known for taking security seriously.

So, if you’ve read through all the security measures, and you’ve taken all the recommended steps to secure your account, you should fine to start using Venmo.

But don’t forget that there are alternatives out there. Open a Wise Account, and you can make secure, convenient payments all over the world, for low fees⁵ and the mid-market exchange rate. Also, the Wise money transfer app is available on both the App Store and Google Play.

Learn more about Wise

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it better to add a bank or card on Venmo?

Venmo’s security applies to both linked bank accounts and cards, so it’s up to you to choose which you want to use to add money on Venmo.

Can someone steal your bank info from Venmo?

With all payment apps and even online banking sites, there’s always a risk that your financial information can be stolen. It’s unlikely (although possible) that someone could hack into your Venmo account and steal your bank info. It’s more likely that they use a scam to trick you into handing it over, which is why it’s important to stay vigilant when using platforms like Venmo.

What is the downside to Venmo?

Like most money transfer services, Venmo does charge some fees for its services. It also has some transaction limits, and your privacy may be compromised unless you adjust the privacy settings for your account.

Can Venmo be trusted?

Venmo is a service run by PayPal, which is a major and trusted global company with policies and security measures in place to protect customers.

Is it safer to use PayPal or Venmo?

Both PayPal and Venmo use encryption and other high level security measures to protect you and your money. However, PayPal arguably has the edge when it comes to safety for business users, as it has a more robust set of security measures in place.

Sources used for this article:

  1. Venmo Legal - US Licenses
  2. Venmo - Security
  3. Venmo - Login Security
  4. Venmo - PIN & Touch ID
  5. Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing: Only Pay for What You Use for the most up-to-date pricing and fee information.

Sources checked on 24-Oct-2022.

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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