Venmo mobile payments app now allows you to pay people near you

Venmo, the popular mobile payments app developed by the eBay/PayPal company of the same name, has just debuted a new feature called Nearby Payments. The new feature does exactly what its name says: it allows you to pay people near you. With Nearby Payments in the new version of Venmo, you don’t have to be friends with the person you’re splitting a check or otherwise transacting with. You don’t even have to know his or her name or contact details. 

Venmo, the mobile payment app, has had a wild few years. They shook up their industry so hard that they were acquired twice within 4 years of launch; once by Braintree for $26.2M, and again when Paypal acquired Braintree for $800M. Their trick? Make paying your friends easy and (mostly) free. Today, they’re making it even easier: you don’t even have to be friends with the person you’re paying, anymore. Just stand near them. As it stood before, you could only pay other Venmo users if they were your “friend” on the service — a process which, though pretty quick, still required a bit of manual setup. You had to know their name, email, or phone number, for example.

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