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Published: Jun 23, 2021 4 min read
Venmo logo with dollar bill overlay, and price tag attached.
Lixia Guo / Money; Getty Images

Beware: The next time you're at brunch with friends, settling the bill via Venmo might go a little differently.

The peer-to-peer payment app announced several changes this week in an email to its 70 million users, updating its privacy settings, small business policy and — perhaps most notably — instant transfer fee.

Starting Aug. 2, Venmo's instant transfer fee will be 1.5% of the amount you're trying to cash out, with a maximum of $15. This is an increase from its current fee schedule, which charges 1% and a maximum of $10 to quickly move money from your Venmo account to a linked bank account or debit card. The minimum instant transfer fee will stay the same, at $0.25.

For the uninitiated (or those still using — barf — cash), Venmo offers two ways to transfer money out of the app and into your real-life accounts.

The first is, and will remain, free. It doesn't cost anything to choose a standard electronic withdrawal, but there is a waiting period. Venmo says funds transferred this way usually take one to three business days to show up. You just have to be patient.

The other option is instant transfer, which, after the fee increase, will be on par with what Venmo competitor Cash App charges — 1.5% for instant deposits. (Standard deposits, which arrive within three business days, are free.) Apple Cash takes a 1% cut from each instant transfer.

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What else is Venmo changing?

Venmo's moves don't only affect the casual user.

Starting July 20, according to the email, "users who receive payments that are identified by senders as for goods and services will be charged a seller transaction fee of 1.9% + $0.10."

Venmo offers official business profiles — which already carry a transaction fee — but in the past, the app has expressly forbidden personal accounts from conducting commercial transactions in its terms of service. Still, it's become common for owners of smaller, informal businesses to accept personal Venmo payments for things like eyebrow waxing, laundry and dog-walking services.

It's unclear how this apparent crackdown will play out. Some users, already accustomed to Venmo's clever-caption culture, have pointed out that they can avoid seller transaction fees simply by lying in their descriptions.

Finally, Venmo is rolling out changes to its social feed. Over the years, Venmo has become infamous for the public nature of some payments, leading to broken hearts, spoiled Bachelor seasons and a potential security risk for President Joe Biden.

Now, though, Venmo says you can "select a public, friends, or private setting for your friends list, and opt out of being seen on the friends lists of other Venmo users." Do this by navigating to app settings and clicking 'Privacy.'

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