Think about it: in the last 10 years we’ve seen a lot of advancements when it comes to financial technology (fintech): person-to-person payments, installment payment services, apps that sync with your bank accounts. There are so many apps to love, it’s hard to pick just one.
But if you held me to it, I would choose Venmo. Purely for the fascination of it alone.
Here are all the things I’ve learned about people through Venmo:
- I learned my brother was seeing a new girl (his now fiancee) because he suddenly began venmoing a special someone every weeknight for dinner 🙂
- That some of the meanest mother f*ckers are the best tippers
- Who is sleeping with who based on emoji usage
- Who pays their rent on time
And in a day and age when even mobile deposit feels like “one extra step” Venmo makes it easy to receive money, too.
Why (in my opinion) Venmo is the most important money invention of the last 10 years.
No more hurt feelings (about money anyways…)
It isn’t about the ease-of-use or the widespread adoption. I believe Venmo takes the crown simply because of how many awkward money conversations no longer have to take place. I’m probably showing my age a bit here, but does anyone remember what life was like BEFORE Venmo? I do.
And I was living in New York City, which is a place notorious for only taking cash or making large parties pay with one card. I can’t tell you how many times people had to swap cash when paying at a restaurant…or worse…bring cash the next time you saw someone out.
It was terribly inconvenient, and sometimes led to a lot of hurt feelings if people didn’t pay in a timely fashion.
And now – POOF. People can go to dinner, or borrow cash for the valet or a nail salon tip and pay the other person instantly. Younger millennial children, you do not know what a luxury that is!
And now I’ve found another use for Venmo – facilitating no-contact pick up for when I sell additional items around the house on Facebook marketplace. I leave the stuff on my porch, people Venmo me at pickup, and we all live safely and happily ever after without risking exposure to COVID-19.
No more checks
Another reason I write this ode to the mobile app: It’s made my life easier. It now takes me years to go through a book of checks. Before, I still had to keep the odd check for our house cleaners, but now we pay everyone with Venmo: our house cleaners, the babysitter, the lawn care service.
I don’t have to write checks anymore and it is FABULOUS. Let’s move into the 21st century, shall we?
This essay is just my personal opinion, but if you can come up with three compelling reasons another piece of recent financial technology should be the “winner” (most important over last 10 years) well then we can have a serious conversation about it. Feel free to leave me a comment in the section below.