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Can venmo be anonymous? (Explained)

Can venmo be anonymous? (Explained)

Can Venmo be Anonymous?

Many times, when we pay for various things for various reasons, we want to remain anonymous. Venmo was created to make giving and receiving money from friends and family easy and social. This seems to be in conflict with the occasional desire to make or receive a payment anonymously.

For this reason, many people want to know if Venmo can be used anonymously.

The long and short of it is that Venmo is meant to be social in nature, but there are ways to make payments without giving away your identity or other private information. At least, there are ways that are at least as secure as the average transaction. 

Because of the social, familiar nature of the payment platform, people sometimes want to give anonymous gifts. Unfortunately, doing so is not altogether straightforward.

There are limitations to doing this and reasons to keep your anonymous activities separate from your non-anonymous Venmo activities. Here, we will discuss these methods and how and when to use them to the desired effect.

Note that this is not a cybersecurity article. Making your Venmo activity anonymous may be as secure as other types of payments. But it does not mean hackers or other criminals might not defeat the security methods you may use.

Why Would You Need Venmo to be Anonymous?

Venmo has been with us for a while now and people are more or less accustomed to using it in the way it was intended to be used. Even still, there are legitimate reasons to make your Venmo account private.

For starters, a study was conducted in 2018 that showed users are giving away a massive amount of private information by using Venmo in the way it is intended to be used.

Since then, users have become a bit savvier, but there are still reasons you may want to anonymize your Venmo account.

The first reason, according to the study, was that interested parties could use your Venmo transactions to build a detailed model of not just one user’s behavior patterns but also those of other people in their social network.

A lot of people might not object to that at first. But when you realize you may be compromising the security of your mother, your girlfriend, or even a child, things become a lot more serious.

Other concerns include the possibility of leaving a trail for thieves to follow to find your personal information. There are a virtually unlimited number of reasons of that sort that are worth taking seriously.

One final reason to hide your identity may be that you want to give a donation or a gift without taking credit for it.

These are all reasonable motivations to keep your Venmo activity private.

Venmo is owned by Paypal, which is familiar with the necessity of protecting the information of its users. That is why they have made it possible for users to send payments anonymously.

How Would You Make Venmo Anonymous?

Venmo transactions are public by default. But not giving you a way to use it privately would be, well, illegal. Fortunately, there is a simple solution.

On your mobile phone, find the settings in a drop-down menu on the top left side of the screen. From there, find your way to the settings.

In the settings menu, you will see Privacy under “Banks & Cards.”

You will then be presented with the three setting options, Public, Friends, and Private. The Public option lets everyone see your activity. The Friends setting lets only approved individuals see your activity, and the Private setting keeps your transactions private.

Venmo will try to discourage you from doing this because it goes against their primary value proposition. But they cannot legally stop you from doing it. So enjoy your privacy if and when you want it.

Simply tap Private and disregard Venmo’s cloying attempt to dissuade you by tapping “Change Anyway.”

Venmo wants you to make only individual transactions private, which is a perfectly viable option. But if you want to keep the private setting active, you can.

Can I Hide my Real Name on Venmo?

You can make an account that is not connected to your true identity, add funds to it as you like, and payout from there. At least, at the time of this writing, you can.

Ordinarily, your user name will be shown to the party receiving your payments, unless you use the Private option. Venmo will still need to have access to the account you fund this anonymous account from, because of that’s life.

But yes, you can hide your identity from the public and from the party recording your payment using the settings or by making an anonymous account.

As the internet moves closer to full actualization of Web 3.0 level utilities, making anonymous accounts may be more and more difficult, if it is not already impossible. But even if anonymous accounts are fully banned, you always have the option of selecting the Private setting on your main account.

Final Thoughts 

Venmo is meant to be shared. The platform makes user information accessible via a public feed that almost anyone can see. Still, the platform does make it possible to make a single transaction anonymous, if you choose to use it. 

Because of the nature of the platform, many people assume they can’t anonymize their activity and refrain from using it in such cases. If you have been in this situation, then you may be glad to know that you can make your Venmo transactions private if you choose to.