Venmo is useful for transferring money to friends or business partners. The app has an easy-to-use interface and a low fee structure, making it ideal for most people. However, a strict age requirement applies to Venmo users. You must be 18 years old to use the app.
Besides age, you must also be a US citizen to be eligible for Venmo. These restrictions protect minors from getting scammed or losing their personal information in the wrong hands. However, many parents think this limitation prevents their children from making simple payments.
Luckily, minors have many alternatives for receiving and sending money online. Below we explain the age requirement on Venmo and see what options we have besides this platform.
The Age Requirement on Venmo
You must be at least 18 to create a Venmo account. While the app is available for eligible individuals, it restricts minors, mainly for their protection. We will discuss these reasons in detail later in this article.
If you already have a Venmo account, you may have gone through the age requirement on Venmo when signing up. The user and policy agreement sets this out, along with other requirements. They include
- You must reside in the US, as Venmo doesn’t work elsewhere.
- You must have a US mobile phone with an active number to exchange texts from shortcodes. Remember, you can only make one Venmo account with one phone number.
- You must be 18 years old minimum.
- Your app should be version 7.38.2 or above.
You must abide by all these requirements to successfully make an account on Venmo.
Why Does Venmo Have an Age Requirement?
If you’ve teenage children, you might wonder why Venmo doesn’t allow them to make transactions. In this modern era, even an adolescent knows how to make an account and manage it. The same applies to teenagers.
Teenagers in high schools and colleges typically need to make online transactions, and this restriction makes things difficult for them. So, why is Venmo so strict about age? Below are some reasons for the age requirement on Venmo:
The most significant reason behind Venmo’s age restriction is legal issues. The federal and state governments have stricter laws for online financial services than other industries. So, Venmo has to comply with all such requirements to operate without getting into legal waters.
During the signup process, Venmo asks users for consent to abide by every law mentioned in the agreement. Upon agreeing, you enter into a legal contract with Venmo. Since minors are not legally eligible to enter financial arrangements, Venmo doesn’t do business with them.
If the platform finds any minor creating an account with false information, it immediately freezes them. This means the user will also lose all the money in their account.
Thus, it all narrows down to the risks of dealing with minors. Venmo wants to work with teens, but it’s the legal requirements that are holding it back.
Frauds and Scams
The legal restrictions aren’t the only reason. Scams and frauds are quite common on the platform. Venmo has greatly reduced such dangers, but they still exist and deprive people of their precious money.
Once a transaction is made, you can’t get it back, even after you prove that it was a scam. That’s a bummer. While Venmo is a part of PayPal, it still doesn’t have efficient buyer-protection services like its parent.
Venmo scams are quite different from receiving fraudulent orders. Simply put, there is no way you can get a refund on Venmo. That’s why the platform restricts teenagers and minors from using it, as they’re more vulnerable to financial fraud.
Lack of Financial Knowledge
Because of their age, teenagers make poor financial choices. Having 24/7 access to a convenient credit card payment service can result in poor spending habits. Not all, but most minors buy necessary things. The situation can worsen if they have a personal account on Venmo.
Some spend more online as they do not see the card or hand cash during the transaction. So, they feel like they have not spent much. Not to mention, many teenagers also do impulsive shopping. Because they do not have a steady income, they can face financial crises due to their poor choices. The consequences are only worse in such situations.
Dealing with physical cash can help people rethink their buying decisions practically. On Venmo, your money is displayed as numbers on the screen. You can imagine how easy it will be for minors to spend money! So, as a parent, consider the age requirement on Venmo as a sigh of relief.
How To Create a Parent-Child Account on Venmo?
You cannot use Venmo with incorrect information about your age. The platform has a strong mechanism that instantly identifies false details. However, some minors do succeed in making a Venmo account. But little do they know the account will be suspended in a few days since Venmo asks the user to add their social security number and bank details for verification.
If it is crucial for your minor to be on Venmo, you can create a parent-child account. This means you’ll have to make an account on Venmo with your details and link it to your child’s debit card. Then, discuss the limitations with your teen and try to promote financial responsibility in their nature.
By making a parent-child Venmo account, you will supervise your child’s transactions and teach them the value of money from a young age. That’s a win-win for both of you!
Are There Any Alternatives To Venmo for Those Under 18?
While making a parent-child Venmo account is a good solution, it doesn’t work for everyone. That’s why it is essential to know some fantastic alternatives for Venmo designed to help teenagers send, receive, and transfer money quickly. Of course, these apps won’t work as smoothly as Venmo, but they still do the job.
Before moving on to these alternatives, you should learn about other apps with the age requirement. Here are the most popular financial platforms that don’t allow minors to sign up:
So, you shouldn’t waste time downloading or signing up for them. Here are a few best alternatives for Venmo for people under 18:
Step is the most reliable alternative to Venmo for teens. The platform offers a secured credit card, allowing users to spend money preloaded into their accounts. Take this card as a typical credit card. Your teenager can also start building their credit history from a very young age to benefit from it in the future.
However, under 18 need a guardian to “sponsor” their financial account on Step. That person will stay linked with the account and even manage it, but the teen can use the debit card independently.
Remember that you can only receive or send money to someone with a Step account. This may be a downside, but it’s for your protection.
Greenlight Card also allows teenagers to be financially independent. But like other apps, teens must enter their parent’s or guardians’ information to make an account. Greenlight Card also sends real-time alerts for every transaction and offers flexible parental controls.
As a parent, you can select the stores your child can spend money in. The best part? Greenlight Card also provides custodial accounts for parents to help them teach their teenagers about investments at an early age.
Zelle’s age requirement is a little complicated. To put it in the simplest words, transferring money directly from the Zelle app to a Zelle account requires a minimum age limit of 18 years. However, you can easily find many bank accounts with built-in Zelle integrations. In such cases, the bank decides the age rules, not the app itself.
Most banks have a minimum age requirement of 18 years to open an account. But some banks allow teenagers aged at least 13 years to hold funds. These include Chase HS Checking, Wells Fargo Clear Access, and Capital One Money accounts.
So, if you’re under 18 and have an account in these banks, you can quickly transfer money via Zelle.
Age Requirement on Venmo: What Do Parents Have To Worry About?
When giving your child access to any digital financial service, it’s good to inform them about the potential scams and preventive measures. First, they should know how to make private transactions, which only reveal personal information to the sender and receiver. Then, explain what they can do on such apps.
One vital thing to remember is that Venmo is typically linked to the user’s Facebook account. If you have enabled Facebook on Venmo, your friends can automatically access your information, even if you don’t want to share it. It can also happen via email addresses.
So, you must enlighten your child about all these risks and their consequences. It will keep them safe from potential scams. Not only that, but it will also make them more responsible and financially independent as they grow toward adulthood.
You must be at least 18 years old to create a Venmo account. The platform doesn’t allow minors to transact, with legal restrictions being the most prominent factor. Some other reasons for the age requirement on Venmo include prevalent fraudulent activities and poor financial choices of teenagers.
This age group needs experienced supervision to learn how to use digital financial services like Venmo. You can create a parent-child account on Venmo and similar apps, including Step, Greenlight Card, and Zelle. These apps inform you about all your teen’s transactions to ensure their safety.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Piotr Swat/Shutterstock.com.