Venmo is finally venturing into the physical payments space with its own line of debit cards after experimenting with a physical Visa card for months.
For the official release, however, it seems Venmo has opted to go with Mastercard instead. PayPal, which owns Venmo, declined to offer an explanation on the sudden switch, but says that it "continues to have valuable partnerships with both companies."
Venmo Launches Physical Debit Card
The new physical card will come in a variety of colors and will be accepted in all U.S. stores that support Mastercard. The card features a much simpler design than the card used during the Visa tests, which had a picture of a bread for some reason. Perhaps it was supposed to represent "dough." In any case, the dough is now gone, and the card is now in a vertical orientation. It looks rather plain but simple and clean. All cards come with an EMV chip for security, and there's an icon beside it that indicates compatibility with contactless payments.
Of course, what the card looks like doesn't really matter — it's what it does that's important. Having a physical Venmo card makes splitting the bill between friends easier. Instead of having to embarrassingly remind friends their individual balances, purchases made from the Venmo card will show up in the user's account with the option to split with friends.
Users can disable the card from the Venmo app remotely, a good feature to have in the event the card gets stolen. That's typical fare for debit cards these days, but at least it's there.
How To Get A Venmo Mastercard
For now, the card is still in "limited release," though Venmo says it's working quickly to process applications. To apply, open the app and "get in line." Beta customers will be invited to sign up. The rest will have to fill out a form to reserve their spot. There's no sign-up fee. Just note that the card is only available in the United States for now.
Regular purchases won't require any fees, but international purchases simply won't work. Also, those who want to withdraw money from their Venmo account using an ATM must pay a $2.50 transaction fee. If a signature is needed to get cash back from a bank, users will have to pay a $3 Over the Counter Domestic Withdrawal Fee, says Venmo.