Venmo vs Square Cash App – Send money to friends for free. What is the difference?

Venmo app vs. Square Cash app

Send money to friends for free


Venmo App Icon - Venmo vs CashVenmo, the mobile payment app, has gained significant traction and is becoming mainstream. It is wildly popular among college students.

The service Venmo provides is very similar to another app I featured called Square Cash. Both apps allow you to:

  • Send money to friends for free – ex: Pay for groceries, dinners, rent, utilities, etc.
  • Easily receive money from people who owe you.
  • Send a request for payment.

Venmo was purchase by PayPal in 2013 and is being integrated as a one-touch checkout in many apps. Cash app is by Square, a company that makes popular credit card readers for iPads, iPhones and other tablets.  Venmo vs Square Cash

Both of these apps make paying friends and family for taxis, meals, vacation expenses, etc. a simple task, however, each app approaches the process differently. Here are key differences.

Venmo vs Square Cash


Venmo vs Square Cash App Venmo vs Cash app Review and Demo Pay Friends and Family for Free

Account Balance – When you sign up for Venmo, a “Venmo account” is created to use for receiving and making payments – similar to a PayPal account, except on mobile smartphones. If you don’t have money in your Venmo account you can connect your bank account or debit card for transaction payments – like splitting the cost of lunch with a friend. You can also associate your credit card but you will incur a 3% transaction fee. Venmo vs Square Cash

Cashing out – When you receive payments from friends through Venmo your Venmo account balance increases. If you want to “cash out” the account, you can have the Venmo balance transferred to your bank account within one business day.

Social Media Integration – Venmo heavily incorporates social media into its process, which is interesting. Each time you make a Venmo transaction, your name, the recipients name and the transaction note is displayed in a public feed! If you connect your Venmo account to Facebook and Contacts, as prompted to do so when creating an account, you can see and comment on your friends’ transactions.

While the transaction banking numbers are encrypted, the notation of receiving and making payments is not private with Venmo. This does not appear to bother college students or the millions of people using the app, but I am not sure I want my personal business shared with everyone.

Privacy Preferences – While the default setting is to make all of your transactions public, you can choose to make your Venmo transactions private. From the Venmo main screen, tap the left menu icon to display options. Tap Settings > Privacy > Participants Only (sender and recipient only see it). Under “Past Transactions” tap, Make All Private.

Venmo app is like a mobile PayPal with Facebook like social media features.

Square Cash App (as compared to Venmo) Ve

Venmo vs Square Cash App Send money to friends for freenmo vs Square Cash

Square Cash App Icon Venmo vs Square CashWhile neither app is difficult to use or understand, Cash App has a simpler user design and it is quicker to get started – less than a minute if you have your debit card number handy.  Simply create an account and associate your debit card at the prompt.

To send a payment to someone, enter an amount and a recipients email address or mobile number. Type a payment note in the subject and tap “Pay”.

If your friend does not have a Cash account he/she is invited to join when he receives the email or text message. Once he enters his debit account, and taps “accept payment” it is received for immediate bank deposit.

Key differences: Venmo vs Square Cash App

No Account Balance – Unlike Venmo, you do not have a separate Cash App account for holding money or funds that need to be transferred back to a bank account. There is no extra account to manage.

There is never a need to “Cash out”.

Direct Payment & Bank Receipts – In Cash app, simply associate your debit card to your Cash account at setup. Each time you make a payment, it is withdrawn from your bank account. Each time you receive a payment it goes directly to your bank account.  There is no “middle” account

No Social Media / More Privacy – While your contacts can be linked for quick payment access, there is no public listing (viewing or commenting) of your transaction or anyone else’s. Your transactions are private unlike Venmo.

A private history of transactions is one tap away.

No Credit Cards – Unlike Venmo, Cash App only associates debit cards.

Cash app is simple – it transfers a payment from your bank account to a friends’ via the mobile app. It is free for personal payments but there is an option for a business account for a fee.  See the Square Cash App Review and Demo featured on ABC WLOS News.


Most people I talk with are concerned about associating banking information with a mobile app.  Both of these app companies are run by financial organizations – PayPal and Square.  If you use any of their services on the web you should be comfortable using their mobile apps as they use the same encryption technology for transactions.  These apps make life easier for all involved.

Direct Download Links

Venmo App

Cash App

Related Financial App Articles


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