Venmo introduces a debit card, so you can spend your balance even faster

By Katharine Schwab

June 25, 2018

By helping you and your friends split the cost of pizza and beer, fintech company Venmo, a part of PayPal, has changed the way millennials send each other money. The service has made inroads everywhere across the transaction landscape since its 2009 launch. From paying for dog walkers, medical visits, and guitar lessons, to instantly buying that cool mirror at a flea market near you, the company handled $12 billion in transactions in the first quarter of 2018 alone.

In response to Venmo’s rise, last year a conglomerate of 30 big banks launched a service called Zelle to compete in the online, instant-transfer financial space. The banks are using their ubiquity to overtake Venmo as the largest instant transfer service in the U.S., as measured by users. Which may be why Venmo is taking aim at a piece of technology that banks have owned for years: debit cards.

As of today, Venmo isn’t just an app on your phone; it can have a physical spot in your wallet as well, perhaps knocking some users’ bank cards out of the way.

Interested users can sign up to get a Venmo debit card that syncs with their account balance, allowing them to spend their virtual Venmo money everywhere. The cards, on the Mastercard network, have one major design difference: they’re vertical, kind of like your phone screen.

Venmo’s debit cards are available for pre-order in the U.S. through the app.