How to Use Venmo: A Beginner’s Guide

Venmo is one of the top money transfer apps in the US, and chances are you’re here because friends, family, or a business you’re shopping from already use it. If that’s the case, here’s how to get started.

How to use Venmo

Create a profile

First and foremost, you need to download the Venmo app for Android or iPhone and create an account. Note that the service is only available in the US and requires a US bank account.

When you open the app for the first time, you will be prompted to choose a sign-in method and create a password. For the purposes of this guide, we’re creating a personal account, not a business one.

Passwords must be between 8 and 20 characters long and contain at least one number or symbol. Be careful to choose a login that is difficult or impossible to guess – if someone hacks into your Venmo account, they could cause serious financial damage.

Next, as part of security measures, you will be asked to verify your phone number and email address. You will receive a confirmation text for the former and an email with a confirmation link for the latter. If you don’t see the email in your inbox within a minute or two, you may need to check your spam or trash folder.

Lastly, you need to add and verify a bank account. There are two options: instant verification or microtransfers.

Instant verification requires providing your online banking portal username and password, which you may not be comfortable with. Even if you are, not every bank supports this option. However, it is the only way to start making transfers right away.

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Microtransfers take place when you manually enter your routing and account numbers. Within 1 to 3 business days, you’ll see two withdrawals and two deposits of less than $1 each on your bank statement. Once these appear, you can go to to complete the process. If they don’t appear, you may have entered the wrong information.

Send/request money and add friends

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

In general, you shouldn’t bother adding money to your Venmo balance. The only way to do this is with a Venmo Mastercard debit card, and Venmo can automatically withdraw funds from the bank account, credit card, or debit card you select during a transfer. If possible, avoid using a credit card as there is a 3% fee.

Add cards to your Venmo account by going to Me > Wallet > Add Bank or Card on the mobile app. You can enter all of your card’s details manually or use your phone’s camera to scan most of them automatically.

To send or request money from someone, open the Venmo app and tap Pay/Request. If you weren’t prompted during setup, you’ll be prompted to allow the app access to your phone contacts. It’s advisable to do this because the app can automatically add Venmo users you know as friends.

Whether someone is in your friends list or not, the next step is to search for a user and add them to the broadcast. Enter a dollar amount and an optional note, then tap Pay or Request.

You can do multiple transfers at once by going to someone’s profile, tapping the plus icon, and repeating the process until everyone is included. Tap Next, then enter a dollar amount and a note before selecting Pay or Claim. As you may have noticed, you can only select a single dollar value for a group transaction – you must use separate transfers if people are sending or giving different amounts.

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When you interact face-to-face with a person or business, you can also connect with them using their Venmo Me QR code. Open the code scanner in the Venmo app, then point it at their code, usually one displayed in their own app. In some cases, people may send you a QR code directly. If so, you can open a link and jump straight to their profile page.

How long do Venmo transfers take?

Standard transfers take 1 to 3 business days, with each day ending at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Weekends and holidays get in the way – for example, if you request money at 10pm on a Friday, don’t expect anything in your bank account by Tuesday.

Users can alternatively choose instant transfers, but these come with a 1.75% fee, subject to a $0.25 minimum fee and a $25 maximum fee. The good news is that the instant option is available 24/7, all year round, so you’re never stuck when someone needs cash.

How to transfer money from Venmo to your bank

In the app, select the “Me” tab and under “Wallet” tap “Add” or “Transfer”. Choose the amount you want to transfer, then Instant or 1-3 Biz Days. Keep in mind that Instant comes with a fee.

Once you’ve selected a target bank account or debit card, click Transfer and you’re good to go.