Venmo Steps Up its QR Code Use to Find Friends

August 10, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

Venmo has come a long way from its early days as a peer-to-peer (P2P) mobile payments app with security better suited to a poorly-hung screen door. Now, it’s a P2P mobile payments powerhouse with ramped up security and a whole lot of very happy users. Said users will now have one more reason to be happy with Venmo’s new “Scan Code” option.

Using the Scan Code option—now available on the Android and iOS versions—allows users to launch a new interface that lets users turn to the phone’s camera to scan a code, or view the user’s own code for reuse later. With the code scanned, the app recognizes the account to which the code is connected and allows for easy sharing of cash.

Plus, the code can be used elsewhere; a sharing feature included in the setup allows the code to be sent to and used in other messaging applications from iMessage to email to even as an image in a phone’s photo gallery to be used later.

Venmo isn’t the first to go this way, of course; QR codes are increasingly popular in apps, and even groups like EMVCo have recently been spotted augmenting positions in QR development. Back in 2015, Snapchat was one of the big drivers of the QR code boom with its “Snapcodes” release, and the growth of the Chinese mobile payment infrastructure has also prompted growth in QR codes.

Granted, it’s not the biggest addition to the system that could have been had here, but it’s useful for several reasons, especially if you’ve got a friend with a name like John Smith. There are plenty of those out there, and finding the right one at a glance can be tough. Regardless, it’s likely to be a welcome addition to a lot of blogs, social media pages, and similar issues to make quick Venmo transactions a breeze.

Venmo seems to be focusing rather intently on ease of use, and that’s good news for its users. Venmo’s push to become the fast and easy way to pass cash back and forth among users is being well received, and every move it makes toward being faster and easier helps ensure the current market stays in place and newcomers follow to take up the slack.