US consumers looking to take advantage of mobile payments when they make a purchase online will have a new option to choose from for many retailers, after PayPal revealed it has agreed to bring Venmo payments to around two million merchants throughout the country.
The company announced earlier this month that merchants that already accept PayPal – including the likes of Foot Locker, Lululemon and Forever 21 – will be able to use their Venmo balance or a linked credit or debit card to complete a purchase.
Customers will receive a notification from their Venmo app at launch notifying them when they’re able to shop using this method, and eligible purchases made via the app qualify for purchase protection. This may provide a full refund if customers don’t receive an item or it’s significantly different to the description.
Bill Ready, chief operating officer at PayPal, said bringing these merchants into the ecosystem is a “major step in the evolution” of Venmo, which was introduced primarily as a peer-to-peer payments system, whose major selling points include features to make it easier for friends to split bills.
He added: “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.”
Other features that Venmo says will be available soon include the ability to instantly transfer money from Venmo to their bank accounts via eligible debit cards, with funds typically available in the customer’s bank account in a matter of seconds – though rising to as much as 30 minutes for some banks. This feature is expected to be rolled out to all users in the coming months.
Mr Ready stated that through this year and beyond, the aim for Venmo is to make the platform “a cultural staple” and continue evolving the mobile payments landscape to help people “split, share and pay in new ways”.