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Venmo has revamped its “send money” page and added in-app charitable donations

Venmo, which is owned by PayPal, is launching two updates to its peer-to-peer payments app today, including the capacity to make charitable contributions via Venmo as well as a reworked money-sending interface. The latter aims to improve both the ability to pay or request multiple payments at once and to make it simpler to see how much you’re sending and who you’re sending it to.

According to the company, all Venmo users will be able to access the updates starting today on both iOS and Android devices. Over time, however, new features will be added to the donations feature.

In the beginning, Venmo users will have the option of browsing through verified charities in their neighborhood or by categories of charities, such as those that support education, animals and pets, or disaster relief. Users have the option of donating to their preferred charity with funds from their linked bank account, debit or credit card, or Venmo balance. In the coming weeks, Venmo users will also have the option to encourage their friends to give by sharing a donation they made.

In its own app, PayPal, the parent company of Venmo, has provided a comparable charitable giving feature since 2016 that links users to the tens of thousands of verified charities that are accessible through the PayPal Giving Fund. On behalf of users, the fund collects donations, issues receipts to donors, and then transfers the money right to the PayPal accounts of the charities. Venmo, on the other hand, has primarily focused on peer-to-peer payments but has recently added the ability for users to pay businesses and other small sellers.

However, in October, PayPal revealed that through an upcoming in-app feature, charities would be able to set up a profile on Venmo and reach out to an additional 90 million users, expanding their reach beyond the PayPal community. The company reported at the time that word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family are how 61% of donors are most likely to learn about causes, so the more social Venmo app would make sense.

Users of Venmo can select the new “Make a donation” option by tapping on the search bar at the top of the app. They can then browse the “Find a Charity” page to pick a charity that has been verified by PayPal and discover more about the cause. If they are prepared to give, they will tap the “Donate” button, enter a donation amount, and add a note. They will be able to share the donation later to motivate friends.

The current Venmo transaction fees for charity profiles are 1.9% + $0.10 and do not include any other setup or ongoing monthly fees.

The other Venmo improvement involves a redesigned user interface rather than a new feature per se. Users of Venmo will now see a new “send money” interface with profile photographs that have been added and a larger font size for the dollar amount. When visiting a friend’s page in the past, users could view their profile photo, but the “Pay or Request” screen just displayed their name and a little area to enter the payment information.

Customers will also be able to go through a list and add more beneficiaries to the same transaction by tapping the plus “+” button next to the initial recipient’s profile image, according to Venmo. The amount for each transaction as well as the overall amount being sent are shown here by Venmo. This offers a quick and easy way to send money to several people, which could be a useful way to give friends or family money over the holiday season.

All Venmo mobile users should have received both updates by now.

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