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Is Venmo available in Canada?
Currently Venmo is not available in Canada.
To be eligible to use the app, you must be located in the USA, have a US cell phone number and be 18+.
What Is Venmo?
You’ve probably heard about Venmo through social media or friends but what exactly does the app do?
To put things in perspective for our Canadian readers, the phrase “Just Venmo me” is synonymous with “Just E-transfer me.”
Venmo is an American based mobile payments platform that was founded in 2009 by two freshman from UPenn.
Initially, the app was created to easily pay and request money from friends without having to handle cash – think splitting dinner and drinks or sending your roommate money for rent.
As the app grew in popularity it was acquired by another payment service provider in 2012 called “Braintree” for $26 million.
Shortly after, Braintree was acquired by PayPal in late 2013 for $800 million.
In addition to seamlessly transferring money to friends and family, Venmo can connect to your bank account, credit card, and debit card to be used as a payment method with authorized partners.
Recently, in 2018, Venmo launched a physical debit card that can be utilized at stores across the USA wherever MasterCard is accepted.
Earlier this year PayPal announced that it will begin accepting cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin with plans to expand support to Venmo in the first half of 2021.
What’s so good about Venmo?
Aside from all the great features mentioned above, Venmo is very popular amongst millennials because it’s a “social payments” platform at its core.
The app has a social feed that displays your transactions (without the dollar figure) plus any messages and emojis you decide to add to all your friends.
This has two benefits:
- Sending your buddy a quirky request for “Tix to see Fun Guy🦖🏀 ” or “Drinks @ ___” is a lot less awkward than nagging them for the money in person
- Since transactions are public, no one wants to be known as the “moocher” in a group, so they’ll likely be encouraged to pay back their friends quickly.
Will Venmo be coming to Canada?
Venmo will likely not be coming to Canada for two main reasons:
- Canadians don’t have a need for apps like Venmo, Zelle, and Cashapp because we already have a service called Interac e-Transfer which easily allows individuals to transfer funds to one another for free or a small fee depending on who you bank with.The Interac Association was founded in 1984 by some of Canada’s most prominent banks such as the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Scotiabank, and TD Canada Trust.
In comparison, the US has many more banks than Canada which use different methods to transfer funds for their clients, thus creating the demand for a third-party app like Venmo.
- Canadian banking policies and regulations are strict which could make it difficult for a company like Venmo to enter the local payment transfer space that is already dominated by Canada’s largest banks.
Venmo Alternatives for Canadians
As mentioned earlier, e-transfer has been around forever, and it is probably the easiest and cheapest way to send money to someone in Canada.
The only downfall is that you can’t use it to send money outside of Canada