PayPal announced today they are rapidly expanding the reach of Venmo to include over 2 million retailers and with further expansion through Braintree.
Founded in 2009 and then sold to Braintree which was later acquired by PayPal, Venmo pushed the envelope early on social payment. It caught on with younger users that wanted to split restaurants bills, nights out, etc. in a secure peer to peer system.
Of course, PayPal now offers similar services, but Venmo continues to grow under the PayPal ownership, so the next step was to integrate Venmo into business transactions.
This expansion is the real first step in the monetization of Venmo in 8 years. Up to now, most transactions were free between users, so the payment platform needed a boost to justify its existence.
While PayPal and others have been incorporating P2P on their platforms that are accepted by millions of merchants, Venmo maintained a growing P2P digital wallet with no such merchant support.
Last year PayPal did start to roll out Venmo to businesses on a tiny scale testing the platform in the real world. This test did lead to more retailers wanting PayPal to incorporate Venmo quicker, and some even began new processing relationships with PayPal specifically to show support for Venmo.
What About eCommerce?
The news from PayPal was a bit vague about general implementation into PayPal eCommerce sites. It appears standard PayPal business accounts will not yet be able to process Venmo payments. Hopefully this will change over time.
However, the company did state they are working to expand Venmo on Braintree, so eCommerce merchants that use Braintree to process PayPal payments will see Venmo added as a new check out method. The Braintree integration will only work on mobile or mobile apps, not on desktop checkout.
The company also is working on improving the visuals for Venmo on Braintree with a dynamically painted payment button which will display Venmo customers a dual-branded button for selecting between PayPal or Venmo Payment options.
Good News For Consumers and Retailers
In conclusion, this is excellent news for Venmo users. They will not be able to use their Venmo digital wallet to pay for items at over 2 million retailers and many Braintree powered eCommerce stores.
For small businesses that are selling online through their website, this is an excellent way to gain access to millions of new customers that have money available to spend in their Venmo digital wallet.
If you are using Braintree to accept PayPal payments, we love to hear your thoughts on this? If you are not a Braintree user, would you change payment processors to gain Venmo consumers? Let us know in the comment section below.