The Smartphone's Paypal
It's 2014 and we are still awkwardly fumbling for cash when splitting checks or paying back friends; sometimes it's too tiring to remember a debt after ten separate excuses of, “I haven't been to the bank yet.” In an age when we're doing everything on our phones, isn't it about time to dust our hands of IOU's as well? Now, there's an app that seeks to remedy the hassle of cheques and cash in a social setting. That app is Venmo, and it allows easy transactions via your smartphone with people in your social circles.
Venmo is free to download and use if you link your bank account or a debit card. Credit cards carry a 3% fee if your are making a payment, but you are never charged when you are receiving money. The data is sent over a 256-bit encrypted connection and protected by the FDIC (that's a lot of protection)! Transactions via Venmo are fun, easy and fast with users offered the option to hold money in their Venmo account or “cash out” to their synced banking account.
But there is a catch, Venmo can only be used with other Venmo users, thus you must convince enough friends to download the app to actually use it. It’s akin to adding friends on Facebook; interaction only works if both of you have one. That being said, Venmo is a quintessential app for OTIS students: twenty-something year olds scrounging for cash underneath couches and trying to avoid a life as a hermit in the hills. Venmo your utility bills, that food you stole/borrowed from your roommate, and countless other things!
- Sara Ji -