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At the start of the pandemic, among the many shifts in normal life experienced by most Americans was the overall dissuasion from using cash. Stores tried to get consumers to use debit cards or contactless payments to promote safe practices, while noting the government's near-shutdown led to a shortage in coins in circulation, which meant making change was much harder. Even with things shifting back to normal, more consumers are carrying less cash in their wallets or purses, with many using apps or services not offered by traditional banks to pay for things
Using Venmo or similar companies to pay for things without cash (like food trucks) or send money to others has become popular for many consumers who rely heavily on their smartphones. Accounts can be loaded and unloaded with traditional bank accounts, giving some flexibility. However, TikTok user @ecommjess has a warning for those who use Venmo as a primary home for their money.
This is a pretty important finding by this poster regarding the terms of service for Venmo. It can be easy to ignore these disclaimers and fine print when initially presented on a small smartphone screen, but they still matter. I find it difficult to believe that any financial service, based online or with retail locations, can operate without any FDIC assurances for consumers and their accounts.
Commenters showed some concern in their responses. Melanie Ortega mentioned "Starbucks does this as well through their app." "I just assumed that was the case, since it’s a free app. And I can send my friends money for free. Also, I immediately withdraw any funds I have," noted Joy Bell.