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Venmo keeps users engaged when they're not paying

By NexChange


Split your brunch bill. Send $20 to your friend for last night’s bar tab. Pay your brother for your portion of the parents’ Christmas present. And check out what your friends are spending money on.

The beauty, and appeal, of payments app Venmo is that it allows users to complete their transactions and then check their social feed to see what friends are doing. The social feed is Venmo’s “secret sauce,” says PayPal CEO Dan Schulman in Business Insider. PayPal bought Venmo’s parent company Braintree in 2013.

“Venmo users open the app four or five times a week. But they only do transactions a couple of times a week,” he said. “It’s because everyone is looking at the feed to see, ‘What did you buy?’ ‘What icons did you put on your feed?’ ‘Why did you go and buy that?’ The secret sauce on Venmo is one, the ease of use, but two, that it’s tied into your social network. So that payments becomes a sharing experience.”

The social feed is also just plain fun. For young people, the payment description is often more about emojis or sexual innuendos than an actual subject line. Who doesn’t want to hear about a friend’s roommate’s tantalizing, cheese covered bedside pizza delivery?

Photo: dennis crowley

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