More than two million U.S. retailers will accept Venmo payments online starting this week. Shoppers will be able to use Venmo, the mobile app that makes person-to-person payments, to pay for purchases made on participating retailers' mobile websites. The funds can be deducted from either their existing app balance or linked bank accounts and credit cards.
PayPal Holdings, Inc., which acquired Venmo in 2013, is hoping the move will capitalize on the app's younger demographic, enticing retailers with the chance to get to know shoppers over the embedded social feed where users may share information about their transactions.
PayPal wants retailers to see Venmo as an "entirely new way for merchants to increase awareness and open new purchase opportunities," the company said in a statement. "Merchants can reach a new audience of shoppers, many of whom skew millennial and engage with Venmo multiple times throughout the day."
Any mobile site that accepts PayPal is now open for business through Venmo, meaning that retailers from Lululemon Athletica to Foot Locker to Forever 21 can now be paid with the typically emoji-laden transactions.
Venmo processed $8 billion in payments in the second quarter of 2017, and the company thinks its app's ease-of-use has the potential to boost sales for retailers. Venmo will be charging merchants fees for processing its payments, and CNBC reports retail purchases will be covered by PayPal's purchase protection scheme, allowing users to receive refunds in case of any mistakes in an order.