Venmo adds check cashing feature for some US customers

PayPal-owned banking app Venmo is launching a check cashing feature for both its Android and iOS apps for “eligible” users in the US, the company announced Monday. Cash a Check will allow users to snap a photo of a check and deposit it into a Venmo account.

The review process that makes the funds available should only take a few seconds, but in some cases may take up to an hour, the company says. Fees will apply to most check deposits, but Venmo is waiving the fees for deposits of stimulus checks for a limited time. Its usual fees, according to PayPal’s terms of service, will include a 5 percent check cashing fee for hand-signed payroll and government checks for a minimum fee of $5 and 1 percent fees on payroll or government checks with pre-printed signatures.

To use Cash a Check, a Venmo customer has to have either a Venmo debit card or direct deposit active on their account, as well as a verified email address. The feature will also require location services to be active. Venmo has partnered with First Century Bank and Ingo Money, the latter of which provides the check cashing services for the PayPal app.

The check cashing feature, which most banks already have some version of (usually without fees for customers), is Venmo’s latest attempt to widen its array of banking services. In October, Venmo launched its first credit card to “select customers” in the US, each with its own unique QR code and RFID chip, and cash back rewards based on a user’s spending habits rather than rewards for pre-selected categories.

And parent company PayPal announced in October it would begin supporting cryptocurrencies for the first time, with plans to roll out cryptocurrencies to Venmo sometime this year.

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