The convenience of an app that allows account holders to transfer and receive money between users has almost completely wiped out the need for cash for college students. Venmo is revolutionizing the way people pay for things. Students at Point Loma have now relied on an app of their main source of payment.
Point Loma students, Holland Keller and Brennan Ernst, said they heard about Venmo from a friend at Point Loma. Keller, a freshman graphic design major, says she uses Venmo “2–3 times a week to pay people back. I use it to pay them back for Uber’s, food and school events. People also send me money to pay me back.”
In order for users to transfer and receive money, they must connect their bank account to their app.
“I was skeptical of it connecting to my bank account directly,” Keller says. “I quickly found that it was very efficient and used by a lot of people. The app has a great reputation so now I trust it.”
Now that the app has built up its credibility level, people have begun trusting the app, allowing it to connect to their bank accounts.
“Venmo has processed $17.6 billion in mobile payments last year and is increasing that number,” according to Tech Crunch, an online publication that focuses on the tech industry.
Venmo’s convenience is what draws Point Loma students to this app. Being able to quickly pay people without having to carry around cash is the major appeal to this generation.
“This generation has blind trust and Venmo is a great example of that,” Ernst, freshman literature major, says.
The term blind trust relates to Venmo and how easily students trust companies with their information and don’t fear the consequences as much.
“At first I was scared to connect my card to an application on my phone,” Ernst says. “But the reviews seemed trustworthy so I went ahead and did it.”
Venmo protects its users against unauthorized transactions by using data encryption and the company stores its users’ information on servers in secure locations according to Investopedia, a site that focuses on investing, education and analysis. In addition, they also offer a feature to let users set up a PIN code for mobile application use for additional security. Although these security measures may seem sufficient at first glance, they still cannot guarantee protection from hackers or scammers. If a user got their phone stolen, their Venmo account can be easily opened and can send money to whomever they want to. Which is very dangerous and can result in not being able to get the money back.
The convenience of Venmo does come with some consequences, but that is not stopping students at Point Loma. Just based on the direction Venmo is heading in, the app will continue to grow in popularity. But will security issues begin to grow as well? That is the risk Venmo users are willing to take.
Claire Jackson is a freshman graphic design and marketing major.