Real Talk: Venmo Is Not Your Bank

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Teens and parents of teens, listen up! Cash is still king, but the usage of peer-to-peer payment apps is ever-growing among younger generations. And while the convenience of sending and receiving money instantly is great, we need to have a real talk about why these services are not your bank.

There’s a big difference between these services and a traditional financial institution, like your local credit union. Here are 3 important ways that “cash apps” are not a replacement for your bank.

Keeping Your Money Safe & Secure

One important difference between cash app services and your financial institution is the security of your hard-earned money. With your checking and savings account here at Call Federal, your funds are protected by the NCUA, a government agency that guarantees credit union deposits. Using your Visa debit card? That account is also protected from a variety of fraudulent activities and transactions.  Our online banking and card control apps offer give you additional security tools, including the ability to turn your debit card “on and off” at your convenience. With P2P transfers, sending and receiving money is just like using cash; once it’s gone it’s gone. Even if your mobile device is taken and someone else uses your app to send money to themselves, you won’t get those funds back.

Benefits That Grow With You

Teens may not need “grown-up” service options or even see the value in building a relationship with their local credit union. But the checking and savings account they start now, through the magic of compounding interest, will keep their money growing along with them. And when they need that first car loan or want to start building credit, they’ll know where to turn and have someone they trust to guide them. Your cash app won’t do that.

The Fine Print

Let’s be honest – how many of you read the terms and conditions when you download apps to your mobile device? When your money is involved, it’s extra-important to familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of your preferred app. You might be surprised at some of the details in the fine print. From who’s eligible to use these apps, to fees associated with certain transactions, and in most cases, their unlimited discretion at what their services can and can’t be used for.

We can appreciate the convenience of paying back a pal who picked up the tickets for a day at Kings Dominion or sending funds to the friend who picked up the tab for a dinner out with just a few button presses. But it’s important to recognize the potential risks in each transaction and remember that these apps are not a substitute for your primary financial institution. 


Want to learn more about all the benefits you have as a Call Federal member and how we differ from the others? Check them out here.

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