PayPal vs Venmo: Which is right for you?

When it comes to mobile payment solutions, there seem to be an endless number of options. Contactless transactions — both person-to-person and person-to-merchant — are more popular and accessible than ever. Nearly all digital payment services — at least the most popular ones — are user-friendly, free, safe, and secure, and they’re available on iOS, Android, and the web.

However, few digital payment services are as popular as Venmo and PayPal. PayPal owns Venmo, and they offer some similar services — including free transfers to bank accounts — to provide the same convenient methods for paying friends as well as merchants.

Still, the two services offer different benefits. Choosing the one that’s right for you depends on what you’re looking for.

So, if you’re on the fence about which payment app is best for you, let’s check out some similarities and differences between PayPal vs Venmo.

PayPal overview

Compared to Venmo, PayPal is used more in online commerce, as opposed to peer-to-peer transactions. You can hold a personal account with PayPal and be able to shop online; buy now and pay later; and send, receive, and manage personal transactions. But it’s PayPal’s business account features that really shine.

Whether your business is a small startup, medium-sized organization, or large enterprise, PayPal lets you make and accept payments, streamline operations, and manage risk — all from one powerful platform.

With PayPal, you can also spend cryptocurrency, make touchless payments (including through QR codes), send money with creative messages and GIFs, and support crowdfunding campaigns. What’s more, in eligible states — and for purchases of $1,500 and less — PayPal also offers users the ability to pay for items in four installments.

Venmo overview

People predominantly use Venmo to split bills with family and friends — on rent or concert tickets, for example — and to shop online quickly and conveniently (anywhere PayPal is accepted in the United States). You can create an account in minutes by either downloading the app or registering on the Venmo website with your bank account, debit card, or credit card information.

You can also sign up for a Venmo business profile (provided you have a personal account with Venmo first) to allow customers to pay you with the app, just like they would friends and family. A business profile requires no setup or monthly fees but includes a low seller transaction fee of 1.9 percent plus 10 cents of every payment you receive that’s $1 or more. It also helps you get noticed by the Venmo community, which can help you grow your business quickly.

PayPal vs Venmo

One of the biggest differences when it comes to PayPal vs Venmo is where they’re available — Venmo is only accessible to users in the United States, whereas PayPal is available internationally in 200 countries and regions and supports 25 currencies. So, if you have plans to expand your business globally, Venmo wouldn’t work for you (at least not right now).

Additionally, while both charge about 3 percent on payments from a credit card, the fees for using a debit card are different. Debit card transactions are free with Venmo but are 2.9 percent plus 30 cents per transaction with PayPal.

Here are other differences to consider when you’re comparing PayPal vs Venmo.

  • Withdrawal timeframes: Both services usually take one to three business days to transfer money from your account to your debit card or bank account for free.
  • Business transfer limits: Though PayPal has no limits on how much money you can send from business accounts, Venmo has a cap of $24,999.99 per week for person-to-person transfers, once you’ve verified your account.
  • Personal transfer limits: Once your PayPal account is verified, you can send up to $60,000 at a time, while verified Venmo users can only send $6,999.99 per week (a combination of person-to-person, authorized merchant, and Venmo Mastercard debit card transactions).
  • Seller transaction fees: While both services’ fees are relatively inexpensive — especially when you consider the capabilities of their personal and business accounts — their seller transaction fees could be significant for some. Being an authorized seller on PayPal will set you back 2.59 percent plus 49 cents for credit and debit card transactions in the United States; Venmo charges 1.9 percent of the transaction plus 10 cents.
  • User limits: PayPal allows multiple users on business accounts, while Venmo allows only one.

PayPal vs Venmo: The bottom line

Though PayPal may have more pros than cons compared to Venmo, many reviewers believe it’s more complicated to navigate. PayPal also charges users a fee for debit card purchases, while Venmo doesn’t.

Still, whether you need a reliable digital wallet service for personal or business use — or a mix of both — you can trust you’ll be in good hands with either PayPal or Venmo. They’re convenient, fast, and accessible. And most importantly, they keep both your data and funds safe and secure.

Whichever service you ultimately choose, you can use online form builder Jotform to leverage both services’ powerful features and incorporate them into online payment or donation forms on your website. Jotform is a code-free, easy-to-use, and fully customizable tool that helps users create stunning forms — like order and event registration forms — from scratch or with templates. And when you use Jotform’s integrations with PayPal and Venmo, you can collect payments from customers quickly and efficiently.

This article is originally published on Jun 14, 2022, and updated on Jun 27, 2022.

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