For those that know, the PayPal-owned and operated Venmo app is likely one of their favourite payment methods. For that that don’t know, they should. In the fact of Apple Pay, Square Cash, and other competitors, there is one name who is dominating the payment app space and that is Venmo.
In three short years, Venmo has gone from quarterly volumes of $1.3 billion in person-to-person payment processing in the first quarter of 2015 to $9.0 billion in the third quarter of 2017. There is no other payment app that has been able to demonstrate this level of growth, including Apple. As one of the first in the marketplace and one of its biggest names currently, Venmo may in fact win the race against Apple to become the first widespread payment app in the world.
Let’s make no mistake, the competition is pretty fierce. Apple Pay has the licensing in place and the technology integration behind it to reach a wide range of consumers. For example, earlier this month, Apple introduced its Apple Pay Cash feature into iMessage. This feature allows any user to send money to family and friends easily through their messenger app. Though PayPal provides this same service, it does not quite have the integration that Apple Pay has.
That said, as much as a challenge that this may be, this also creates opportunity because Apple Pay Cash is restricted to users on compatible iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches in the United States only right now. That means that there are large segments of the marketplace left not serviced, that could be attended to by Venmo. For example, if Venmo launched partnerships to integrate into the Android platform, non-Apple applications, and presented themselves to equally powerful brands such as Amazon, it may be able to completely dominate the non-Apple section of the marketplace.
Though the potential for growth with Venmo is still strong and excepted to continue, how Apple Pay Cash will affect growth is unknown. Currently, any Apple Pay users had to use services such as Venmo to make the type of transfers that Apple Pay Cash now does. As consumers have reacted so favorably to Venmo and its feature of being able to send money freely to anyone through the touch of the finger, Apple adapted that model to their mobile payment system in the same manner other brands have and will.
There are some experts who believe that Apple Pay Cash could put an end to the rise of Venmo while others are doubtful that Apple will be able to overtake the popular payment app marketplace. At the end of 2017, total dollars in transactions on Venmo is expected to have doubled since the year before. Yes, Apple has direct integration – but, for all intents and purposes, Venmo is ahead of their competitors in this space and it’s going to take a lot to curb. Since 2009, Venmo has demonstrated consistent progression and with a big name like PayPal behind it, this is one competitor that Apple is not going to be able to defeat so easy.