New Money

Venmo competitors emerge in the U.S. and Europe

Per Cassandra’s SHOP Report, Gen Ys are embracing transparency as it pertains to personal spending, with nearly half of youth in the U.S. and UK say that their friends influence their purchasing decisions. Peer-to-peer payment app Venmo is fueling youth's nascent pastime of stalking each other’s spending, and the platform’s success is inspiring new competition in the U.S. and beyond.


Due to launch in 2017, Zelle will partner with leading banks and credit unions to make money move quickly and securely, allowing users to send funds to anyone with a debit card. The “Venmo killer” hopes to be the banking industry’s answer to peer-to-peer payments—participating consumer banking apps already include Bank of America, Chase, J.P. Morgan, and U.S. Bank. The company hopes to differentiate itself from competitors by promising better security; Zelle will use advanced authentication features to keep transactions safe, which could prove enticing given Venmo’s reputation of being ripe for fraud.


Like the ill-fated German app Cookies, SF- and Barcelona-based Verse is on a quest to become the Venmo of Europe (though with backers that include Greycroft, its outlook is more promising). Similar to Venmo, the app lets users instantly request and send money to contacts free of charge and add a note that explains the transaction. It also quickly transfers users’ Verse balances to their bank accounts in just two business days. The company hopes its superior user experience will set it apart from its European competitors, which include France’s Lydia, US-based Circle, and N26 with its MoneyBeam offering.


Dubbed by Fast Company as "the social payment app for a global audience," Tilt provides a simple way for users to collect, fundraise, and sell with their communities. The one-to-one payments platform lets users easily organize group gifts, sell t-shirts and tickets, and send and request money for expenses like rent and dinner. Meanwhile, enterprise tools like Tilt Pro allow businesses to host, brand, and customize their own crowdfunding experience. Since the company’s inception, more than 500,000 groups have used Tilt to turn goals—like fundraising the construction of an elementary school in India and bringing the Foo Fighters to perform in a small town—to life.