Peer-to-peer payments app Venmo begins phasing out website function to differentiate from PayPal.
There are a handful of brand-name terms that have become such a part of our lives as to actually infiltrate our language. It’s not just limited to older words like “kleenex” or “coke,” either. Most of us have probably come to incorporate “Google” as a verb, as in, “Don’t worry, I’ll just Google it,” to find the answer. “Some guy just tweeted about the new movie trailer” is a common way to learn about film industry news, too.
Even our money and currency have been altered by startups, such as “PayPaling” someone the fee.
Another website and app, Venmo, is in the same startup-to-verb category, as in, “I’ll Venmo you some money for the movie tickets.” Artists and musicians have taken to telling consumers to Venmo them the funds to purchase a photo online or download their music. But at least part of that is about to change.
Venmo was purchased first by Braintree in 2012, which was bought by PayPal in 2013, making Venmo and PayPal very similar platforms in terms of their purpose.
What’s the difference between Venmo and PayPal?
Where they differ is in the transaction fees for handing over some funds to your buddy via the app and website. There’s really no need for PayPal to own, operate, and staff two separate websites that do essentially the same thing–seamlessly swap money from one account holder to the other–but as a social media-esque app, Venmo looks nothing like PayPal’s mobile platform.
So Venmo is slowly phasing out some of its features on the web while retaining those in mobile. Over the course of the next few months, the website will stop allowing users to bill people or make payments, and other changes will follow.
So is this newsworthy? Sure, if you want to avoid having your entire account drained by a scammer.
This is the time (really, any time a company makes any sort of major change to its platform) when criminals start plying the public with “verify your account within the next 24 hours,” or “your account has been suspended” phishing emails.
Venmo’s changes were dramatic enough that they had to update their user agreement, meaning there may be a lot of “login to verify your account and accept the terms” scams. Doing so will hand your account access to a scammer, who is still able to drain any funds from your connected accounts via the as-of-yet operational website.