Venmo vs PayPal: Key differences, advantages, and disadvantages

When it comes to digital wallets and simple money transfers, Venmo and PayPal are some of the biggest names on the market. Both are widely accepted and trustworthy, but the two have many key differences in their ideal use cases.
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So who wins in the battle between Venmo vs PayPal? It’s more complicated than you might think, so read on to learn everything you need to know.

Is Venmo owned by PayPal?
Venmo vs PayPal: Similarities
Venmo vs PayPal: Differences
Can you transfer between Venmo and PayPal?
Which is right for you?

Is Venmo owned by PayPal?

Let’s just address the elephant in the room right away. Yes, Venmo is owned by PayPal, and has been since December of 2013. This means that technically all money transfers on both services are handled by PayPal Inc. behind the scenes.
Even so, there are many differences between Venmo and PayPal when it comes to target markets, services offered, and customer experience, which we’ll get to in a moment.
Venmo vs PayPal: Similarities
When considering whether to use Venmo or PayPal, you should be aware that in most situations they will essentially perform the same. Both are capable digital wallets that can transfer funds to other users or to bank accounts, often for little or no fee.
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Accounts are also free to create on both services, and can be linked to bank accounts free of charge. They also offer physical cards, with PayPal offering credit, debit, and prepaid cards, and Venmo offering a linked Mastercard debit card. Android and iOS devices are also fully supported.
In the United States, both services are supported by millions of retailers, so you can use your funds to buy a wide variety of goods in-store and online. Security shouldn’t be a concern for either service, as both encrypt your data, although just PayPal offers fraud protection for reasons we’ll get to in a moment.
Venmo vs PayPal: Differences

While the majority of transactions will function the same no matter if you’re using Venmo or PayPal, the two services have a number of key differences, which we’ve listed and explained below.
International payments
Venmo is limited to the United States, and international payments are not possible. Likewise, only US bank accounts can be linked to the service. PayPal, on the other hand, is supported in more than 200 countries and 25 currencies.
Target audience
While PayPal markets itself as a comprehensive solution to money transfers for both businesses and individuals, Venmo has a much more targeted niche. It has a strong social aspect, and it’s true purpose is transferring funds between friends and trusted individuals to split cab rides,...