I had used the Venmo app for months to send and receive funds from other accounts and merely faced any bank connection errors. It was then problem of Venmo declining my payment arose that I had to learn how to verify my identity on Venmo. A piece of cake so let me show you how it is done, how long it will take and how you can ensure there are no issues along the way!
Why Is It Important To Verify Identity On Venmo?
Venmo account verification is part of government regulation of money transfer apps. The procedure varies from one platform to another. For example, you can verify Cash App or continue to use it without doing so. The only difference would be that your spending limits are restricted. Also you may not be able to access features like Cash App borrow money.
When it comes to Venmo, things work a bit differently. Venmo is bound by federal law to have each account verified. This is done so to reduce risks of crimes and frauds. Users are also motivated to have their accounts verified by providing them with a few extra perks open identification.
1. Account Limits
Venmo grants an increase in spending limits once you verify your account. Unverified users are only allowed to spend $299.99 in a week or rolling 7 days. This cap is changes to $4.999 weekly rolling limit after you are verified. Quite much, right?
Please note that this is a combined limit for what you spend in transfer of funds, authorized payments to merchants or payments carried out using Venmo Mastercard.
There is a breakdown for this total that you can spend in a specific category. For example, Verified Venmo users are allowed to send and receive funds up to $2,999.99 rolling weekly limit. They can use $2,000 in authorized merchant purchases and carry out only 30 transactions per day.
As for the Venmo Mastercard payments, cardholders can spend a maximum of $3,000 per purchase and withdraw $400 per day through the card.
The limits set for specific categories are not interchangeable. This means you can not save on sending funds and use that limit to make authorized merchant purchases instead.
The increase in limits you get after verification is all. You can not request further increase to raise your limits. Venmo does not have any such policy available for any user.
2. Verified Email ID
You can also use the Venmo account with more confidence and security once your email ID is verified.
Initially, Venmo users are only required to submit screenshots of their ID documents along with current address, full name, number, date of birth etc. The company will look into the details and verify your account within 3 business days.
There may also be issues with verification procedures such as when Venmo is not able to match certain documents. It will then request you to verify via email. You have to click and open an attached link and then paste it in the address bar of the web browser. Wait for the procedure to finish.
You will soon be redirected to a page that says “your email address is now verified”.
3. Verified Bank Account
Only verified users can link bank accounts using instant verification option in the app. This will then allow you to sign in bank account and use it for Venmo transactions. You would also be able to check balance through Venmo on regular basis. Remember, all this is only possible if you have verified your Venmo account.
Bank verification can be completed through micro-transfer method. This takes about a week to complete but is the safest method to do so.
In micro-transactions, users have to make 2 small transfers to the linked bank account. These can be as low as $2. They are performed to ensure that payments are going through and that you have correctly linked the bank account with Venmo. You can similarly make two small withdrawals to confirm as well.
You will be able to see two small deposits and withdrawals in your bank statement if all goes well. Some say that the procedure winds up here but I have noticed that you need to visit www.venmo.com/verifybank to answer a couple of questions related to deposits and withdrawals before the account is verified.
The questions may be about how much you deposited, how long it took to transfer the money or the serial numbers that were next to the transactions.
4. Link Credit Card or Bank Account
Like I mentioned before, you can not unlock Venmo’s full potential until you verify its account. Take credit card or bank account use, for example. I personally find it very convenient to transfer money using an issued card on my mobile device or a linked bank account. This is, however, only possible with verified Venmo accounts.
You just have to provide sufficient card details to link it with Venmo and that would remove temporary account restrictions.
5. Security Against Frauds
This most solid advantage of verifying your Venmo account is that it protects you against crimes and online scams.
Money transfer apps are now widely available. Customers are now also using them for day to day purchases and minor transactions to hundreds of other accounts. This creates a risk related to security of their operations.
In order to build a safe environments for its users, Venmo collects and stores data of all verified accountholders. You can confirm your identity and rest assured that Venmo will then guard you against identity thefts and other types of privacy breaches.
What Happens If I Don’t Verify My Identity On Venmo?
It is not compulsary to verify your Venmo account. If you are okay with not being able to use Venmo balance for payments, unverified account would do. There will obviously be other restrictions like a cap on spending limits, etc.
Some changes are also applied after you have been notified to verify identity on Venmo. For example, let’s say you added balance to Venmo account. You continued to use it for payments as well as money transfers. One day, you woke up and realized Venmo was requesting you to verify your accounts till a specified date.
Now if you fail to do so, not only will you not be able to make payments using the balance in the future, but also the remaining balance will become inaccessible.
What Customer Identification Documents Are Required To Verify Venmo Account?
Venmo is bound under US Patriot Act to carry out customer identification for each new account that it opens. This is known as CIP or Customer Identification Program that changes from region to region but is mostly used to collect customer’s data in order to minimize frauds and online scams involving money transfer apps.
Venmo verification does not directly ask you for document submission. At first, it collects and verifies your data from the national database.
Generally speaking, Venmo would look into your legal name, confirm date of birth, social security number, individual tax identification number, etc. Sometimes, however, it happens that certain piece of information is unavailable or has changed so it does not match with the database.
If the company isn’t able to verify your personal information in this manner, it will get in touch with you and request submission of supporting documents. These would include driver’s license, ID card issued by the government, tribal ID card, DHS card, US passport, etc.
Please make sure that you are not submitting any expired documents at the time of verification. Also, when asked for a picture, provide a clear, non-blur photo.
Sometimes the authorities may ask for additional supporting documents for your social security number. In this case, provision of SSN card, SSN assignment letter, ITIN assignment letter, W2 or paystub from the last year. or IRS letter received within the last year should work.
Similarly, you may also have to submit additional proof for your contact address. some of the clear and legible documents you can use for this purpose include:
- Utility bills such as those from gas, cable, phone, or internet companies.
- Bank accounts details or credit card information.
- 401K/brokerage statement from within last year.
- Lease for residence dated in the past year.
- W2 or paystub from the last year.
- IRS dated in the last year.
You can also submit unexpired driver license or unexpired US government issued ID card if they were issued to you within the last year.
How To Verify My Identity On Venmo?
So far I have talked about why you should verify your Venmo account and also about the documentation and information that you need in order to do so.
When you come down to verification process itself, it is actually quite easy. In this straightforward procedure all you need to do is:
- Open your Venmo account.
- Then click on the menu icon given on the main screen.
- Move on to tap the Settings on Venmo.
- Then choose Identity Verification option.
- Click Next on the security check page that opens.
- Then provide your full name, date of birth and last four digits of Social Security Number.
- After that, enter your permanent contact address.
- Continue clicking on Next and following the on-screen instructions until the process is complete.
When you get to the part where SSN is needed, there’s also an option that states “I don’t have SSN”. Click on it and the app will guide you on how to proceed without the social security number.
You can also scroll down and read my two cents on “can I complete Venmo verification without SSN and ITIN?
How Long Will It Take To Verify My Venmo Account?
I mentioned above that Venmo performs automated verification by matching your information with that available in the National Database. If this is the case, and everything proceeds smoothly, the identification should not take longer than a couple of minutes.
There can, however, be complications, if the data is not an exact match. Then Venmo would reach out to you and request re-submission of certain documents. This process can take 2 to 3 days to complete.
What Are Other Ways To Stay Safe On Venmo?
The reason I learned how to verify my identity on Venmo was because it guaranteed a safer experience. Verification would protect Venmo account against scams, hacks, and identity thefts. However, you need much more than that to ensure your Venmo use is always safe. Some of the things that you should consider are:
- Always choose a strong password to protect your account. According to ITRC suggestions, the passcode should at least be 12 characters long. Moreover, do not share the password with anyone, not even your close friends.
- Venmo hosts multiple security features like screen lock and biometric. So, ensure that you have enabled all these to stop anyone accessing your account without authorization.
- ‘Protecting your device is as crucial as safeguarding Venmo account. Therefore, set multifactor authentication on apps and phone as well.
- There is an interesting feature of “Lock and Find my Phone” that most devices host now. Enable it on your smartphone as it makes it difficult for hackers to steal your information or misuse the Venmo balance.
- Keep an eye out for anything suspicious when handling Venmo payments. If you think there is payment notification that you didn’t make, immediately report to Venmo authorities.
- Always avoid interacting with fishy email IDs or providing any information over emails or phone calls.
- It is also strongly suggested that you do not open any links given in such emails or tap on attachments from users you don’t personally know.
Venmo has always allowed users to choose the status of their account privacy. You can select Public, Private, or Friends settings for your list. You can also opt out from being seen as user added on friend list of other Venmo accounts.
Is It Safe To Verify My Identity On Venmo?
Some believe that there is a risk in providing sensitive information to the company for identity verification. What if you end up giving it to a fraudster instead?
Such concerns are common especially when you are giving out details like social security number and contact address. The details can be used to hack important account or expose your information to third-parties without permission.
Although the possibilities are limitless, Venmo promises that the verification process is generally safe as long as you are not careless about it yourself.
You may get notified via email or app that your account needs to be verified. Now what you need to watch out for is how to share the information to minimize chances of getting scammed. First of all, only provide the data in app and verify through Venmo mobile app as well.
Venmo is a safe payment platform owned by PayPal and is trusted by millions of users in the US. It is a rising name in financial technology sector. The company is doing its best to provide you with a safe experience! However, it is also your responsibility to be cautious of email messages, shady attachments, unreliable links, etc.
Does Venmo Request For Verification Via Email?
Yes. Venmo does send out mails to its users notifying them to verify their accounts. However, it does not encourage you to respond to any such email with sensitive data.
Phishing email scams are getting quite common. There are multiple ways to confirm that you are, in fact, getting the email from official company. However, if your aim is to have the Venmo account verified, responding to the email would not work anyways.
You have to verify your Venmo in-app. This would simplify handling identity verification and confirm that the request was really legit.
Let’s say you have received an email asking you to verify your Venmo identity. The best course of action would be, at first, to see if your account is actually unverified. If it is, then simply perform identification using the app by the date specific in the email. The bottom line is to not share requested data over email to avoid getting scammed.
If the email was legit and you don’t act on it, soon you will not be able to store money on the app.
I have also come across Venmo users who were a bit suspicious about Venmo verification request as they had received it quite after some time of creating the account. The doubts are understandable but the truth is that it is a random process, especially, notifying via email. It may be sent to users in batches and your account could have been left it in the start.
It is also a possibility that you have you just tried to perform a task on Venmo that requires verification. Upon realizing that your account is unverified, the company will send the notice requesting you to do so.
Venmo may ask you to verify identity in case you attempt to send more than $300 in a week, transfer more than $1,000 in one week, receive payments for goods or services in your personal or business account or be added as a manager in one of the Venmo group accounts.
Can I Complete Venmo Verification Without SSN or ITIN?
Your social security number (SSN) and Individual Taxpayer identification number (ITIN) is compulsary to submit at the time of Venmo account verification. There is simply no work-around for this.
I can only advise you to continue using Venmo without verification if you don’t currently have your SSN or ITIN. Meanwhile, do apply for ITIN to simplify things.
Without verification, you would still be able to receive payments on Venmo, send funds to other accounts or carry out transfers using linked sources like debit cards, credit cards or bank accounts. However, you would not be able to use your Venmo balance to make purchases or payments.
How Can I Fix Errors Made During Verification on Venmo?
Faulty verification requests are often not processed and the Venmo support team will reach out to you via app to sort out the matter. If you have submitted invalid or outdated documents, you may be asked to update the information or begin the procedure from step 1.
The most common mistake that Venmo users make is to type in a wrong name or provide wrong contact information. If the given data does not match with the one you provided when you registered with Venmo, you will not be able to verify your identity.
Again, the only way to fix this is to contact Venmo for assisstance. The team will ask you to show documentation with current legal name and address. After this, hopefully, it would be able to update the information as per your request.
Is Process For Venmo Personal Account Verification Different From Group Account?
The truth is, there is no verification procedure for Venmo group account. As an owner or manager of a group account on Venmo, you still need to verify your identity via personal account.
Please note that you can no longer create new group accounts on Venmo as the company has permanently closed down this feature.
Managers and owners of group accounts that were previously created are urged by Venmo authorities to verify their personal account till the specific date in the email. If you are the owner and you fail to do so, both your personal account as well as group account will be unable to use Venmo balance. On the other hand, if you are the manager for a Venmo group account, your position will be dismissed.
It is important to note here that unverified account can not use Venmo balance to make payments. They will, however, still be able to receive funds, transfer money to bank account or use linked credit cards, debit card, or account for transactions.
Why Isn’t My Venmo Working Even With Verified Account?
Issues with Venmo after verification often have something to do with glitches in the app or connectivity errors. There are a couple of things you can do to sort them out.
First of all, ensure that you are always using the latest version of the app. Updating to the latest will not affect Venmo balance or transactions. Therefore, if that was holding you back, I would suggest you click on the update button right now.
It is also helpful to delete the Venmo app and re-install it. You can download the app again from Google Play Store.
You may have to perform the identity verification procedure again once he download is complete. The protocol remains the same.
Before You Go!
I chose to verify my Venmo identity so I could use the app at its maximum potential. It would be wrong of me to say that at that time I wasn’t aware of the risks that verification would put on. Venmo is an honest platform but giving it the permission to store sensitive data meant any future vendors or a company that may purchase Venmo would also have access to it.
Nonetheless, no such events are expected and you can always delete Venmo history or account if need be or if having someone peek into your personal information makes you feel uncomfortable. When you are done with verification, don’t forget to read about how to add money on Venmo or how to use Venmo on eBay!
Miriam Caldwell is a dedicated & expert freelance writer to educate people about personal finance management and budgeting. She shared her knowledge and published the articles at TheBalance.com, GOBankingRates, and BlissfullyDomestic.com. Many financial institutes pick Caldwell as the brilliant source for educational personal finance content.