Venmo Grows Up Into Merchant Payments

by Raymond Pucci 0

It’s not just for P2P anymore. Venmo is spreading its wings and can now be accepted for e-commerce merchant payments. As the following article explains, Venmo can be used on mobile platforms only, and in most online sites where PayPal can be used.

PayPal this morning announced its mobile payments service Venmo is now available at over 2 million online U.S retailers, allowing Venmo users to shop on the mobile web at almost everywhere PayPal is accepted today. This includes popular retailers like Lululemon, Forever21 and Foot Locker via the mobile web, the company says.

As with PayPal, eligible purchases bought using Venmo online will qualify for purchase protection, too. For example, consumers can request a full refund if they don’t receive an item or if it’s significantly different than described.

The move to make Venmo an online checkout option will give merchants a better way to attract millennial shoppers, PayPal explains, as the customer base for the social payments app skews millennial and its users are heavily engaged.

“Offering a way to pay at millions of retailers is a major step in the evolution of Venmo,” said Bill Ready, Chief Operating Officer of PayPal, in a statement. “Our vision for Venmo is to not only be the go-to app for payments between friends, but also a ubiquitous digital wallet that helps consumers spend wherever and however they want to pay, regardless of device,” he added.

As a plus, retailers will appreciate the exposure that the Venmo feed provides. The app’s users are less shy about sharing what they’re spending money on – like splitting the bill while eating out with friends, grabbing drinks at a bar, buying concert tickets, etc. Now, retailers are hoping their transactions will be shared on this social platform, too, giving them more exposure than a PayPal purchase would.

The addition of Venmo to the merchant’s website doesn’t require extra integration work on the retailers’ websites, PayPal says. Instead, the company is leveraging its platform architecture to enable Venmo as a payment method, much like it did with the launch of One Touch – PayPal’s login-free checkout method.

PayPal continues to build merchant penetration by adding more online shopping venues to its payment acceptance base. Additionally, PayPal positions Venmo quite nicely given that each service has very little overlap among their customer markets. So payments at online merchants via Venmo will be gravy for PayPal. Meanwhile the list of payment channels available for e-commerce merchants just keeps growing—where it stops, nobody knows.

Overview by Raymond Pucci, Associate Director, Research Services at Mercator Advisory Group

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