Venmo Drops First-Ever Word on its Mobile Payments Business

April 26, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

Venmo is one of the leading figures in peer-to-peer (P2P) mobile payments, and to hear some tell it, was pretty much the impetus for getting P2P built into Apple Pay and for the entire Zelle program’s construction. With PayPal recently announcing its first quarter 2019 earnings, we got some insight into just how deep the Venmo rabbit hole goes for the first time thanks to word from our friends at PayPal. The numbers themselves, meanwhile, tell a downright dazzling story.

First, the gorilla in the room: Venmo’s active monthly user count. That number recently cleared a hefty 40 million, which gives Venmo one serious user base. By way of comparison, Amazon Fire TV had about 30 million active users as of January 10, so there’s no doubt that Venmo is a viable property that’s delivering the goods on some front.

The rest of the numbers also spelled out some serious gains. First quarter payment volume was up 73 percent as compare to the first quarter of 2018, hitting a hefty $21 billion. In fact, if things continue to go as expected, Venmo looks to approach $100 billion in total payment volume before the ball drops on 2020.

Venmo’s P2P volume, its true bread and butter, was likewise up, gaining 41 percent to hit $42 billion by itself. This actually represents a little over one in four dollars spent—26 percent—across the entire PayPal ecosystem, including not just Venmo but also Xoom and even PayPal itself. PayPal’s report also noted that P2P apps have the “most utility” when groups of friends are all using the same service.

Venmo’s sheer range is likely to be extremely helpful going forward; having that kind of depth and market should give Venmo a real leg up in terms of surviving economic downturns. There’s a lot to be said for diversification in investments, and the chances of all 40 million of Venmo’s users losing their jobs at the exact same time is pretty minimal. If something like that were to happen, then Venmo would probably have a lot bigger problems than no one using its services on its plate.

Still, we know Venmo has some serious competition out there, and if it can put some further growth into those numbers, it will likely only help.