If you’ve been using your personal Venmo account to receive payments for your goods or services, you’ve been violating the apps policies. That’ll soon change, though: Venmo will soon allow personal accounts to do business… for a fee.
The Wall Street Journal reports that on July 20, 2021, the PayPal-owned Venmo will begin allowing business transactions on personal accounts.
If you’re a photographer who has been receiving payments for your services through your personal Venmo, you previously risked getting your account suspended or transactions reversed if Venmo suspected rule-breaking activity. After July 20th, won’t need to worry about account termination — you’ll simply be charged the same 1.9% plus 10-cent fee that business account holders currently pay for business-related transactions.
It will be the responsibility of your customer to label a payment as being for a good or service.
This change was shared with users in a letter about updates to Venmo’s terms of service, and the news is also found on the Venmo help page for the question, “Can I use Venmo to buy or sell merchandise, goods, or services?”
“Venmo will soon give buyers the option to identify a payment as being for a good or service,” the company writes. “This means that it’ll automatically be covered by Venmo’s Purchase Protection Program and the seller will be charged a small fee of 1.9%+$0.10 of the transaction.
“These fees will only be charged to personal profile recipients when the buyer identifies the payment as being for a good or service. Payments to your friends on Venmo that are not identified by the sender as payments for goods or services will not incur a seller transaction fee.”
Venmo was originally launched back in 2009 as a easy way for friends and family to send each other small payments, but in the decade-plus since, the payment app has slowly been expanding to cover business dealings as well.
For now, Venmo’s website continues to warn users against using the app to pay for goods or services.
“Venmo may NOT otherwise be used to receive business, commercial or merchant transactions, meaning you CANNOT use Venmo to accept payment from (or send payment to) another user for a good or service, unless explicitly authorized by Venmo,” the website states. “Unless directly given the option by Venmo, DO NOT USE VENMO TO TRANSACT WITH PEOPLE YOU DON’T PERSONALLY KNOW, ESPECIALLY IF THE TRANSACTION INVOLVES THE PURCHASE OR SALE OF A GOOD OR SERVICE (for example, concert tickets, electronic equipment, sneakers, a watch, or other merchandise).
“If you accept a Venmo payment from someone for a good or service via your personal profile (instead of a business profile) and we later review the payment, we may reverse the payment, meaning you could lose both the payment and the item sold,” Venmo continues. “This review process may not occur until after you attempt to transfer the funds out of Venmo.”
Image credits: Photos licensed from Depositphotos