Is Venmo safe for my privacy? Think again.

Jan 16, 2019 | News, Privacy

There are some combinations that don’t make sense, like Taylor Swift and a boyfriend, college football and prohibition, Monday mornings and company photos, or anger management patients and student drivers. But in its popular app Venmo, Paypal has successfully fused two very unlikely worlds: social media and financial services. With profiles, pictures, descriptions, usernames, and feeds, Venmo takes digital payments, private banking activities, and credit card accounts into a world replete with unintended consequences.

What They Were Thinking
In the abstract, the idea is clever and has obviously caught on. As a culture, we are already social media-addicted and glued to our devices. So why not take personal transactions between individuals to the next level by making them much easier via a social vehicle with opportunities to share, like, comment, and exist as a profile?

We hope the inherent risks are obvious to you when you consider the number of friends on social media you have known who have been hacked or who’s information sharing hygiene is not like yours. The very nature of a public profile lends itself to exposure, and thus, to intrusion or exposure to and by an unwelcome party. Unwelcome parties could be anyone from a malicious criminal to a vengeful old flame. And targeting a platform like Venmo has a special incentive because, not only are they dealing with your personal information, they are dealing with potential access to your credit card or bank account. Alarming information has been released regarding the amount of data people can collect on you based on your Venmo account, says MarketWatch.

In the Ideal World
In the ideal world, you would have the convenience and access of a Venmo with far greater privacy and security. For transactions started on Craigslist, Offerup, and Letgo, security is key: you would like to have the opportunity to pay or be paid easily and without cash, but you want your identity and information to remain protected.

The Internet is riddled with awkward situations caused by Venmo’s default public profile settings, even becoming as ridiculous as roommates who refuse to pay for their fair share of the pizza because they received fewer pepperonis—and having your family know about it. What if the circus of social media was left behind, and you had access to an app that was supremely convenient but was purpose-built to protect your security above all? Enter Mezu.

Grownups Apply Here
While social media has its appropriate place, financial transactions, whether with family and friends with whom you need to maintain good boundaries, or with complete strangers, really should live in a different app. Mezu, a new cash app on the Apple App Store and on Google Play, is the first app of its kind to protect and conceal your identity from those you’re exchanging money with as well as not share your spending habits with anyone. This is the responsible alternative to an app that requires a profile in order to operate. After all, you’re not looking to make friends—you’re looking to pay or get a job done.

How Mezu Works
Mezu makes it incredibly easy to pay someone without having to share personal information. When you “pay anonymously” another Mezu user, you just enter the amount of money you want to pay and the app generates a one-time four-digit transaction code. The person who will receive that money, simply enters that four-digit code to receive the payment. Users can also set up their own MezuBoxes, which operate just like Post Office Boxes for money – perfect for events or online second hand sales or receiving tips, where other Mezu users can Drop payments privately. Mezu adds a layer of protection using location services where the user getting the money must be within a relative area of the person giving the money.

Wonderfully simple and absolutely necessary, Mezu makes the personal transactions you make that much safer, private and easier. With Mezu, you are still able to exchange easy payments with people you know, but without the baggage of a social profile, it’s only that— payments. No drama, just getting the job done.

Looking for a cash app that is both sophisticated, simple and safe? Mezu combine two things that should go together: your money and privacy.

The Mezu program is sponsored by Community Federal Savings Bank, member FDIC, to which Mezu (NA), Inc. (NMLS ID No. 1738907) is a service provider.

 

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