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Venmo Payment Declined: Reasons and What to Do

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Venmo is one of the more popular and reliable mobile payment apps available, but some users occasionally receive a message stating, “Venmo Payment Declined.” There are a variety of potential reasons as to why your payment was declined, and understanding these reasons may help you identify the appropriate solution. In this article, we’ll explore the potential reasons for a declined payment as well as the appropriate solutions to get your payments running smoothly again.


What Is Venmo?

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Venmo is a mobile payment app that allows for the digital storage and transfer of money.  The app is part of a larger digital movement within the financial sector shifting financial technologies toward cash-free and completely digital transactions.

Venmo is frequently associated with banking apps, though it has a different purpose and characteristics than a typical banking application. For starters, it was intended as a way for friends and family members to send money digitally, and you don’t even need a bank account to use it. It’s also useful for sending reminders to others for payments and splitting payments between friends or family members.

Venmo is a long-time participant in the money management industry, having been established way back in 2009. However, the app’s popularity would only ever reach its peak after the money giant PayPal acquired it back in 2012.

The mobile app, which is exclusively available to the US, currently has over 80 million users in the country. The implication of this is that users can only send and receive reputation crises within the country. Unfortunately, the company does not appear to have any plans to expand its operations to other countries.

At one point, Venmo suffered a crisis of reputation due to issues relating to its security, with many people believing that the app was susceptible to theft. Venmo resolved the problem by employing new security measures such as two-factor authentication and fraud protection tools.


Venmo Payment Declined: Reasons and What to Do

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Picture this-you was about to send money to your best friend, partner, or sibling through the Venmo app when a notification flashes on your screen. It says, “Venmo payment declined.” Now, this error message could have a variety of potential causes, and you need to identify the cause to find the solution. Luckily, we have compiled a list of reasons Venmo payments don’t come through and potential solutions.


1. You Don’t Have Enough Balance

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Insufficient funds are the first and most common reason for a failed Venmo payment. While the term “insufficient funds” seems fancy, it just means that your current balance (either in the Venmo app or your linked bank account) is not enough to cover the cost of the transaction.

Venmo doesn’t require you to have a linked bank account or prepaid account to use the app. You do need to have a linked account to send or receive money to and from other Venmo users. You can probably survive with just the funds sent to you by your friends and family.

But while it’s not a requirement, it seems like a good idea to link your bank account to Venmo. It will help you ensure that you have a fund source come time to share some funds with another Venmo user. Alternatively, you can use the account to pay for goods and services directly without transferring funds to your Venmo balance.

However, note that you must undergo a separate verification of your bank account. This will help to ensure that you are the owner of the account. Once your account is verified, you can already make payments directly or indirectly through your linked bank account. While this may be a bit embarrassing for some people, having insufficient funds does not affect your account’s status and is not a severe problem.

That said, the remedy would be for you to fund or replenish your bank account or Venmo balance. Once you have linked an account, you can retry the botched transaction. We need to note that transferring funds from your bank account into your Venmo account may come with additional costs and take anywhere between three to five days of processing time.


To Add a Bank Account to Your Venmo Profile:

  1. Look for and select the Profile icon from the bottom menu.
  2. Select the Settings option followed by Payment Methods.
  3. Tap Add a bank or card.
  4. Enter your card information manually into the account.
  5. Follow the steps for bank account verification.

Note on account verification: At this point, your bank may ask for your login information to verify your identity. When prompted, log into your banking application with your details.

Alternatively, Venmo may try to verify your identity by sending micro transfers. These micro-transfers consist of small payments usually amounting to less than USD 2 each. The purpose of sending you this amount is to confirm your identity. This process may take about a day or so to come through. In other words, you might have to wait a few days to settle your obligations.


Fund Your Venmo Account via a Linked Account

Once you’ve added a bank account and confirmed your access to it, you can already transfer funds from your linked account to Venmo. Just  of the following steps:

  1. In the Venmo app, look for the Me tab and select it.
  2. Choose the Balance option at the top of your transactions feed.
  3. Key in any amount that you want to include and hit  Next. Make sure that the amount you key in does not exceed the fundlikemits set by the app.
  4. Make sure that you selected the correct account for the fund transfer. Include the estimated arrival date and select “Add {amount of transfer} now.” This action is irreversible, so be careful with your input.


2. You Haven’t Verified Your Account

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Venmo may also decline your payment if you haven’t completed the verification process. As a money transfer application, Venmo is obligated by law to collect and verify information related to its users’ identities. The specific steps may vary from a simple code verification process to requiring you to submit documentation to prove your identity.

That being said, you will need to pass the account verification process to reach a comfortable level of transaction limits. Even if you have an available balance but have yet to verify your account, Venmo will not allow you to make payments or transfer money. To avoid encountering problems with using your balance, make sure to verify your account and keep it updated.


3. You Have Reached Payment Limits

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To protect the company and its customers, Venmo limits the amount of money you can spend or transfer within any given week. The amount that you can transfer depends on the verification status of your account. That is, a verified account receives more leeway in terms of limits.

An unverified account will have a spending limit of USD 299.99 per week. Meanwhile, a verified account will have a limit of USD 60,000.00 per week. In addition to these spending limits are on daily purchases, cryptocurrency purchases, ATM and over-the-counter withdrawals, as well as the number of transactions allowed.

Depending on your account verification status or account history, your account may be blocked based on reaching any of the limits cited above. When this happens, you will not be able to use your balance to send money or pay for transactions.


To Find Out How Much Money You Are Allowed to Transfer per Day or Week:

  1. Go to the “Settings” page of your Venmo app, then click on “Limits.”
  2. The app should show you the amount of money left that you are allowed to spend or transfer within a certain week. It will also show you the number of transactions that you can carry out.


4. A Payment Triggered Venmo Security

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Venmo uses an automated process to periodically temporarily block your account users and their financial security. If Venmo detects suspicious activity in your account, they may temporarily block your account, freezing your balance.

You’ll most likely know when Venmo has blocked your account for security reasons since they send an automated notification via email. This notification will simply tell you that Venmo has frozen your account due to suspicious activity. However, the notification does not specify the exact cause.

Venmo flags account for noticeable changes or what they call unusual activity. Unfortunately, Venmo has been very secretive about the exact reasons they block specific accounts. In some cases, they may ask for documentation to verify your identity, but they still will not explain.

If Venmo sends you a notification stating that your account has been blocked due to security issues, contact Venmo customer service. The same goes for when you are unsure why Venmo locked your account.


5. Your Account Was Locked Due to Too Many Login Attempts

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Venmo accounts are protected with usernames and security pins to protect users from transaction fraud. Each time you open the app, you will need to provide this username and PIN. The app may also ask you to provide a code sent to your phone as part of two-factor authentication.

If you make too many failed attempts at logging in, the system may freeze your account temporarily to protect it. This is because the system interprets too many attempts as someone else trying to get into your account.

Suppose your account gets blocked due to a suspected fraudulent attempt. In most cases, the system normally restores it within a couple of hours. As such, you can try to wait for a few minutes to a few hours and then retry the transaction. You may also want to read these tips on unfreezing your Venmo account to get it working again. If all else fails, contact Venmo customer support.

In the future, you can prevent Venmo from locking down your account by being mindful of the username and PIN. Thesusceptibleensitive to any deviation in capitalization, so keep this in mind when keying in your details. Do not share your information with anyone else at any point. Additionally, you should never share your PIN regularly just in case someone else has your old PIN.


5. Your Bank or Card Issuer Declined the Payment Directly

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As you might expect from a digital wallet, Venmo offers a separate account in which you can transfer money from your bank account. The balance that you have for this account is your go-to for payments. Although, it’s also possible to pay for goods and services directly from your linked bank account through Venmo.

That being said, in cases where you choose to pay for a transaction via direct deduction from your bank account, the payment may be declined due to reasons unrelated to Venmo. It may be that your bank has detected unusual activity in your account. In other cases, it may be because you do not have enough balance in your bank account to cover the cost of the transaction.

If you have a reason to believe that the cause of your failed payment relates to your bank account, credit card, or debit card, you will have to contact your bank directly. Venmo will not have access to the problem’s specifics and will be unable to help you troubleshoot.

If you need to make the payment urgently, then you may want to add another payment method by linking another bank account to Venmo. Venmo allows you to add multiple accounts covering credit, debit, prepaid, and network-branded cards. A few examples of network brands include American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa.

Alternatively, you can try using a different mobile payment processor to settle your obligation. An application with a similar structure, verification process, and security protocols to Venmo would be its parent company, PayPal. Of course, you’re not stuck with one or the other, especially with this list of the best PayPal alternatives.


6. Minor Technical Issues Blocked the Payment

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While receiving a “Venmo payment declined” notification can easily lead to panic and drastic conclusions, the actual reason may be something a lot simpler. Technical issues on the part of Venmo or your internet service provider can prevent a payment from coming through. While it doesn’t happen very often, the probability of a technical issue causing a failed payment is never zero.

That being said, you can try to check for an internet connection issue. Try to close and reopen the Venmo app, or other apps for that matter, on your phone. You can also try accessing any website on your device’s web browser. If you are not able to access other apps or load websites on your browser, then the problem is likely your internet connection. In that case, you can turn your router on and off to refresh the connection.

Of course, the technical issue may have nothing to do with your internet connection or mobile app and more to do with Venmo. Like other mobile payment apps, Venmo relies on servers to process transactions, and these servers can occasionally become overloaded or malfunction due to maintenance work. If this happens, wait a few minutes before retrying the transaction or calling customer service.

If you have made several attempts at making a payment without success, you may consider uninstalling the Venmo app and reinstalling it again. Uninstalling and reinstalling the app will not affect your existing account; you need to sign in with the same credentials.


Final Thoughts on Venmo Payment Declined Issue

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Venmo is a crowd favorite and usually very reliable for making payments, but there are rare cases when it doesn’t deliver. Suppose you encounter the “Venmo Payment Declined” notification in the middle of a transaction. In that case, you need to assess the situation to determine whether it is a minor or severe issue. You may want to check your bank account if you know that everything else is up to speed. You may need to call customer service or your bank if you suspect something more serious.

In the end, understanding the root cause of the issue will offer you a better chance of fixing the problem than trying different solutions in the dark. If the problem persists without a clear cause, you may consider deleting your Venmo account.

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