All about Venmo in New Zealand

Samuel Clennett
07.07.20
3 minute read

Venmo by PayPal is a mobile payment app for sending and receiving money with friends and family. Like other similar apps, it’s designed to be easy, convenient and fast.

So, you can use Venmo whenever you need to split a restaurant bill four ways, pay back some cash you borrowed from a friend or get your share of the bills from your flatmate – all without the fuss, fees and delays of using a bank.

Of course, Venmo isn’t the only money transfer app out there, and it’s not available everywhere. Here, we’ll take a look at whether you can use Venmo if you live, study, work or travel in New Zealand, along with alternative apps on the market.

For example, get a Wise borderless account and you can send and receive money just as conveniently as Venmo, managing all transfers from a handy app. You’ll always get the real exchange rate, low fees and unlike Venmo, you can use it almost anywhere.

But let’s start with Venmo, from how it works to where you can use it.

What is Venmo?

Venmo is a service by PayPal – think of it as the mobile-friendly relative of the PayPal service you’re familiar with. It’s a peer-to-peer app for requesting, sending and receiving digital payments.

As well as letting you pay friends and family quickly and securely, Venmo also has a fun messaging interface. This doesn’t affect the money transfer service, but it does mean you can send a thank you emoji to your sister when she whizzes over some birthday money.

To use Venmo¹, you’ll need to create an account using your email address, credit or debit card and a bank account (for withdrawing funds). Then, it’s as simple as entering the recipient’s phone number, email or username to send them some money – or to request a payment. Crucially, you can only send to other Venmo users.

Many Venmo transfers are free, along with cashouts to your bank account but charges do apply in certain circumstances. For example, you’ll be charged 3% per transaction if you fund the payment with a credit card, and 1% for instant transfers when cashing out your Venmo balance to a debit card².

Another handy feature of Venmo for some users is a linked Mastercard debit card³. This isn’t available for everyone, but for those who are eligible it means they can spend their Venmo balance on purchases as long as the vendor accepts Mastercard.

Is Venmo available in New Zealand?

As a mobile payment app, Venmo has a lot going for it. But it has one fairly major drawback – it’s only available in the US⁴. You must actually be in the US, with a US mobile number and US bank account for withdrawals, if you want to use the app.

This unfortunately means that you can’t use Venmo in New Zealand at the moment, although that may change in the future.

What are some alternatives to Venmo in New Zealand?

Venmo in NZ isn’t currently an option for making quick and easy money transfers, but don’t worry. There is a whole heap of alternative apps that do essentially the same thing, but are actually available in New Zealand.

Here’s a quick rundown of the main options available for local and international transfers:

Wise

Get a Wise multi-currency account and you can send money to over 50 countries worldwide⁵. You can do it all on the Wise app, just like with Venmo. Plus, you can hold up to 50 currencies⁶ in your account.

Using Wise to send money internationally guarantees you the real, mid-market exchange rate, without any costly mark-up applied. Fees are low and transparent, and there’s even a linked debit Mastercard⁷.

Like Venmo, Wise is much easier, more convenient and cheaper than using a bank. In fact, it’s as much as 8x cheaper⁸.

TorFX

TorFX works just like Venmo, letting you send and receive money quickly and easily using just the app. You can send in over 40 currencies with no fees, and although exchange rates are competitive – they aren’t unbeatable. You can track your transfer in real-time on the app.⁹

One thing to watch out for though is that TorFX has minimum transfer restrictions¹⁰, so it may not be the best app for sending small sums between friends and families.

PayPal

You may not be able to use PayPal’s Venmo in NZ, but you can still use ordinary PayPal services. It’s a quick, reliable and secure way to send and receive money for all kinds of things, whether it’s chipping in for a meal or getting paid for freelance work.

But keep a close eye on the fees – PayPal doesn’t use the mid-market exchange rate and there are a number of charges to watch out for. This can make your transfer cost more than you’d expect¹¹.

WorldRemit

Another way to send money internationally is with WorldRemit. This app for Android and iPhone doesn’t have all of the fancy features of its rivals – namely, real-time tracking and live exchange rates – but it does let you send to 120 countries, has competitive exchange rates and no minimum transfer. Cash pick-up is also available. WorldRemit does charge fees, which vary depending on how much money you send.¹²


Venmo may not be available in New Zealand yet, but this doesn’t mean you have to put up with the slow speeds and high costs of using your bank. It’s great to know there are plenty of great alternatives available, from Wise to WorldRemit. You can send and receive internationally with just a few taps on your phone – it’s how all money transfers should be done.


Sources used:

  1. What is Venmo
  2. What is Venmo
  3. What is Venmo
  4. Venmo in NZ
  5. Wise NZ
  6. Wise NZ
  7. Wise Multi-Currency Account
  8. Wise NZ
  9. International Money Transfer Apps
  10. International Money Transfer Apps
  11. Wise Compare
  12. International Money Transfer Apps

Sources checked on 26-June 2020.


This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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