Venmo App Adds Charitable Giving Interface

Although Thanksgiving and retail holidays such as Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday may be on the minds of many people, a popular peer-to-peer payment app is looking ahead to Giving Tuesday. This week, Venmo announced the rollout of a new interface that will make it easier for users to discover and donate to various charities. The feature is now live in the latest version of the Venmo app.

Venmo users can find this new interface by tapping the “People and Businesses” search bar and selecting the “Make a donation” option. From there, users can search for specific charities by name or browse organizations by category. For example, currently featured causes include Environment, Housing and Hunger, and Animals and Pets — with additional categories listed below.

By selecting a charity and tapping its icon, users can learn more about the organization, including links to their website, socials, and more. Finally, tapping the “Donate” button will populate the payment interface, enabling users to complete their donation just as they would any other Venmo payment.

At this time, customers can make donations using their Venmo balance, a linked bank account, a debit card, or a credit card. Additionally, Venmo says that it plans to add a feature that will allow users to share their donations, hopefully inspiring friends and family to consider giving as well.

As for the non-profits themselves, they can create a Venmo Charity Profile thanks to a feature introduced last month. By heading to Venmo’s set-up site, charities can create their own pages and have their organizations verified by PayPal/Venmo, giving potential donators greater confidence. Charity profiles are assessed a transaction fee of 1.9% + $0.10 — which matches the Venmo for Business rate.

Venmo is among a number of FinTechs that have aimed to make charitable giving a more streamlined process as well as boost discoverability among non-profits. In particular, the startup Spiral launched a banking account that allowed customers to set up automated donations to the charities of their choice. Unfortunately, Spiral has announced plans to sunset its platform by the year’s end, although they have revealed plans to partner with existing institutions to offer similar tools to their customers in the future.

With Giving Tuesday and the rest of the holiday season now right around the corner, this new feature from Venmo seems like a great addition. Not only does it give customers an easy way to find and donate to non-profits but it also provides some peace of mind for donators as these organizations have been vetted. Surely, this new platform will inspire greater giving this holiday season and beyond.

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Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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