The Digitization of Money: Venmo Is Just The Start


LOVE Venmo – so easy and efficient. If any of you aren’t using it yet, you MUST sign up for the app immediately. I’ve used it recently to pay my share of a group dinner and to get paid when I sold my bike. Next, I am going to see if my cleaning person will let me pay her via Venmo.

Great interview with Dan Schulman, the CEO of PayPal and Venmo  on how the digitization of money (from cash to digital) is driving their growth.

On Venmo, which started out as a millennial-oriented peer-to-peer payment service and went viral with almost zero marketing, he revealed:

  • Venmo just saw its 15th straight quarter in which its user volume doubled
  • Venmo will soon be available for retail transactions

He predicts the financial services industry will see more change in the next 5 years than it has in the last 30 because of mobile and digitization.

Read on below for more on the digitization of money and the surge of interest in fintech (seen through google trends searches).

Phenomenal piece by Greg Blythe, Sr. Strategist at HP on digitization from cash and credit/debit cards to bits, biometrics, and digital contracts.

Here are the highlights:

  • The smartphone is enabling this transition
  • 85% of global consumer transactions are still done with paper bills and coins but developing nations are “leap frogging” to digital currency adoption. The same kind of leapfrogging happened with mobile phones in developing countries – they never had landlines.
  • In Africa, India and now Eastern Europe, a service called M-Pesa has replaced banking for millions of people who don’t have a bank account.
  • NFC-enabled mobile phone shipments have grown from 93.2 million in 2011 to 544.7 million to 2015.
  • Mobile payment purchases are also on the rise. Worldwide, they’ve increased from $240 billion in 2011 to $670 billion in 2015.
  • In India all 500 and 1,000 rupee notes have been stripped of their status as legal tender (and they represent 86% of all currency in circulation!). The removal of the notes has created India’s first digital and cashless village, Akodara, where people now buy their groceries through mobile banking.


Growth in Fintech Searches via Google Trends (Source: the financial brand)

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