Venmo now works for check cashing, including stimulus payments

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Venmo users can now cash checks with the app.
Image: Cody DeBos | The Burn-In

For many people, cashing a check is a major hassle. Those with a bank account and mobile banking app can do so in the blink of an eye. Others are left struggling to find ways to access their money. Venmo now has a solution for that.

The app best-known for its peer-to-peer payments now supports check cashing on both iOS and Android devices. Venmo’s newest feature couldn’t come at a better time.

With people trying to avoid in-person contact as much as possible due to COVID-19, a mobile check cashing solution is ideal. Moreover, the second wave of stimulus checks from the government is expected to start arriving at any time. By giving users a new way to cash their checks, Venmo is opening new doors for its business.

Convenient Checking

As noted, those who already utilize a mobile app from their banking institution of choice will probably find this information useless. After all, most of today’s banking apps feature a virtual check cashing feature. A benefit of using a bank’s app is that the feature is typically free.

Venmo will charge a fee to cash most checks, although it didn’t say how large the fee is in a company press release on Monday. It’s worth noting that an instant transfer of Venmo funds to a linked bank account comes with a one percent fee that maxes out at $10. It would be reasonable to assume that the check cashing feature has a fee that is similar if not identical.

However, users who want to cash a government stimulus check will be able to do so at no cost. In its release, Venmo says, “For people who may have recently received a government stimulus paper check, all fees associated with the Venmo Cash a Check feature for these funds will be waived for a limited time, to enable affordable access to this much-needed funding, so you can use it on the things you need most.”

The company notes that its new Cash a Check feature will be available to “eligible customers in the U.S.” at first. It’s unclear whether the feature is coming to other countries in the future.

Cashing a check is as simple as snapping a photo of the front and back of the document. Venmo then processes the images. According to the press release, approval typically takes just seconds, and funds are then deposited into the user’s Venmo account.

Banking Hub

By giving users a way to cash checks, Venmo comes one step closer to becoming an all-in-one money management app. Users can now pay friends and strangers, cash checks, make bank deposits, and even sign up for a credit or debit card with rewards points.

Of course, the app’s fees make it a less attractive option compared to traditional mobile banking apps for users who make a lot of transactions.

Nonetheless, Venmo is making it easier for people to get their money when they need it quickly. Its app is also a lot smoother than many apps from traditional banks. That could help it attract users and convince them to forget about the fees.

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