clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Venmo will allow users to pay at merchants like Williams-Sonoma

Merchant fees will let Venmo make money on transactions.

Venmo COO Mike Vaughan sits on stage at Code Commerce 2017.
Venmo COO Mike Vaughan
Keith MacDonald
Rani Molla is a senior correspondent at Vox and has been focusing her reporting on the future of work. She has covered business and technology for more than a decade — often in charts — including at Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

Venmo will allow users to pay at merchants like Williams-Sonoma, Chief Operating Officer Mike Vaughan told audience members today at Code Commerce in New York City.

Users of the peer-to-peer money-transferring service would be able to use their Venmo balance — or charge their bank account — to buy or split gifts with friends on the bridal registry at Williams-Sonoma.

“That is very much a traditional retailer that is very innovative that comes from a traditional retail world,” Vaughan said. Williams-Sonoma CEO Laura Alber “was talking about how physical stores are part of their plan, but digital also has to be.”

Venmo would charge a processing fee to the company to generate revenue, but Vaughan sees it as a benefit to both sides: “You bring in new customers to Williams-Sonoma and expand the reach of PayPal,” Venmo’s parent company.

Venmo oversaw $8 billion in transactions in Q2 of 2017, double what it did the year before, but has yet to find a way to monetize since the regular service is free. Merchant processing fees from partnerships like Williams-Sonoma would be the first step in making money from transactions.

Up till now, the Venmo app has served as a way for people to transfer money to other Venmo users or to pay for items in digital apps that have partnered with the company, as well as through some websites that feature its parent company, PayPal. Earlier this year, Venmo started testing a physical debit card in which Venmo customers could use their balance toward purchases at all retailers.

Watch his full interview below:

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.