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Table of Contents
- Venmo Alternatives
- Will Venmo come to Canada?
- Venmo Benefits
- What is Venmo?
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+.
Venmo Alternatives for Canadians
Although the popular American options are not available in Canada, there are some great equivalent options.
1. Wealthsimple Cash App
Best For: Canada to Canada
The newly released Wealthsimple Cash App is the Canadian equivalent of Venmo and exactly what we’ve been waiting for. (Current Promo: $5 Bonus Cash)
Download the app and send money to other Wealthsimple Cash App users with just their unique Dollar $ign (username on the app) after you’ve added funds.
No fees, instant transfers and only available in Canada.
Best For: Canada to US or Canada to International
If you are looking to send money to someone in the US or Internationally from Canada, Transferwise is a great, simple to use option.
Their easy to use interface clearly shows you what exchange rate you’re being offered as well as what your transfer fees.
Fund your transfer through your bank account, a debit card or a credit card (may be considered a cash advance).
Everything is completed seamlessly online and they are FINTRAC.
Will Venmo come to Canada?
Venmo will likely not be coming to Canada for two main reasons:
- Canada has the Interac e-Transfer service 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 RBC, Scotia and TD and they essentially control the ‘payment transfer space’ in Canada.
- Canadian banking policies and regulations are strict which make it difficult for company’s like Venmo enter the local payment transfer space.
What’s so good about Venmo?
Aside from all the great features mentioned below, 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.
What is Venmo and How Does it Work?
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 or debit card to be used as a payment method with authorized partners.
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.