Mobile Payment Services
By: Omer Sharf

Mobile phones and the applications that are developed for us to use have changed our life in a substantial way. In the twenty-first century, you now have the option of splitting the food bill or the taxi fare with your friend through platforms known as mobile payment services. It is no longer a must to go to an ATM machine to withdraw cash or ask them to transfer the money from their bank account to your bank account because an apps called Venmo and Zelle have been developed. Venmo, after several years of being one of the few mobile payment services has new competition by major banking corporations in the United States who have decided to team up and create their own mobile payment service.

Venmo is a third-party payment app owned by PayPal which allows you to pay and request money from your friends (What Is Venmo?). It is one of the most popular apps among teens and college students who need to transfer money to each other. Venmo started in 2009, and had processed $17.6 billion in transactions in 2016 (Steverman). The mobile payment service, allows its users to connect their bank account information and transfer money to another user within minutes. However, the money does not go directly to the users bank account, but it is available on the app to be used for a later time. PayPal, the parent company of Venmo, has been working on making partnership deals with companies such as MasterCard and Visa to help make transfers to bank accounts easier for its users (Steverman). However, this woke up the major banking corporations in America to create and App of their own.

Major banks such as Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and fifteen other banks, have teamed up to start Zelle (Lomas). Zelle is a web site and an app which will allow its users to send and request money much like what Venmo does. However, this app is different from Venmo because the money that is transferred between two users shows up directly into the users bank account rather than their Venmo account. This may be more helpful for users who want their money transferred directly to their bank account rather than waiting a few days for it to transfer from the Venmo account. However, it is important to also look at the bigger picture, rather than just whether Zelle would be better than Venmo for college students.

Zelle would be much more different in terms of security and ease to transfer money between two people. Venmo has always had a spotlight on it because many tech enthusiasts believed that it does not have the proper security when transferring money (Wolff-Mann). However, Lou Anne Alexander, Early Warning's group president for payments mentioned that users should feel more comfortable using it for larger transactions and for a broader array of uses, from paying a contractor to collecting money for a school dance team (Steverman). However, another difference between the very similar apps, is that Venmo is also a social app.

Overall, it is obvious that the major banking corporations want to dip their hands into the mobile payment services. It will be easier for customers of the nineteen banks to transfer money to each other. Also, the use of mobile banking apps is growing exponentially, creating many more opportunities for people of all ages to send and request money (Steverman).


  • "What Is Venmo?" Venmo. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2017.
  • Steverman, Ben. "Banks Are Finally Taking on Venmo - and Have a Money-transfer App of Their Own." Mashable. Mashable, 22 Feb. 2017. Web. 28 Feb. 2017. 17#iDvtXG9hJ5qw.
  • Lomas, Natasha. "Zelle P2p Payments Push to Compete with Venmo Now Has 19 US FI backers."TechCrunch. TechCrunch, 24 Oct. 2016. Web. 28 Feb. 2017.
  • Wolff-Mann, Ethan. "Venmo Is More Like a Check than Cash, Which Helps Scammers | Money." Time. Time, 21 Sept. 2015. Web. 28 Feb. 2017.