For Millennials, Venmo Mobile Payments Now Beats ATM Cash Withdrawals

October 2, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

The millennial generation is constantly yielding up strange new developments that, increasingly, look like they may be wholly unique to the millennial generation. Their preference for mobile and online, for example, is just the start. A new report from Rubiix, meanwhile, found that Venmo is now preferred over ATM cash withdrawals by millennials.

Rubiix analyzed the data from 10 million transactions featuring debit and credit cards, and discovered that the notion of pulling out cash from an ATM using a credit or debit card actually fell behind use of Venmo. That’s a telling point, noted Rubiix’s Ronnie Hershman, founding partner and investor, who noted that this was a sign that “traditional” ways of getting access to money were being supplanted by new methods more in line with the preferences of millennials.

This was a point assented by Rubiix’s cofounder and COE Oren Berdichevsky, who noted “It’s not surprising that Venmo is now outpacing ATMs in terms of volume of transactions, because cash is certainly less convenient. But the fact that the average Venmo payment was almost exactly on par with the average ATM withdrawal was fascinating.”

Indeed, we know that millennials are eschewing cash, especially in favor of mobile payments. With millennials holding the disposable income whip hand, we’re seeing a lot more places accept mobile payments just so they can keep up with the largest source of potential revenue. We’re seeing banks themselves get more involved with mobile payments, again to keep the customer in the fold. So seeing millennial customers move away from cash isn’t so outlandish. In turn, seeing them move into Venmo isn’t outlandish either; not many mobile payments systems support peer-to-peer, and there’s always a certain amount of peer-to-peer that’s involved in just about every life. Whether it’s a few bucks to pay off a bar bet or a share of the rent, peer-to-peer is vital in one way or another.

Venmo is just stepping in to fill the gap. It may not be the only such tool, and more companies may be looking into it—no one can rule out Zelle just yet—but it’s still got the first-mover advantage. For right now, that may just be enough to keep it near or at the top of the market.