PayPal finally reveals Venmo user count, as Zelle keeps growing

Register now

Venmo has more than 40 million active users, PayPal has revealed for the first time. This finally gives the market a sense of how popular Venmo is, and sheds a little light on how it compares to the bank-run Zelle service.

Until Wednesday night, PayPal had never said how many people use its Venmo P2P service — the market only knew that it was a drain on PayPal's profits. Zelle has reported volumes as well as the number of financial institutions on its network, and allowed individual banks to provide further detail.

Zelle is used by customers of more than 5,391 financial institutions, and handled 147 million transactions — totaling $39 billion — during the first quarter of 2019. Payment values rose 54% from a year earlier, while payment volume rose 72%, according to Zelle. It did not say how many individuals use the service.

Venmo's 40 million active users moved $21 billion of total payment volume in the first quarter, representing 73% growth, according to PayPal. Total P2P volume grew 41%, to $42 billion.

The new emphasis on Venmo's user base aligns with PayPal's mission of making the service profitable. "Prior to some of the great progress in monetizing Venmo this year, we were providing a service that we were not monetizing in any way, and losses were growing as volume grew," PayPal CEO Dan Schulman told analysts in January.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.
P-to-P payments Online payments PayPal Venmo Early Warning Zelle