Cell Phone Commerce: Webless System Is Perfect (Review of Venmo)

Yesterday, I attended the monthly New York City Tech Meetup Group., wherein the 400+ gathered attendees saw a variety of demonstrations of new technologies by a variety of companies. Most all of demonstrations (and awesome they were) were for consumers, but one of them, Venmo, is a powerful and easy to use “payment via cell phone” service.
I interviewed (video) Venmo co-founder Iqram Magdon-Ismail and got his thoughts on mobile payments in general and how it relates to business. See my video interview below and then read my review of the service following.

The service – I used it myself – is elegantly simple. In fact I tried it out live, to donate to NYTM, during the event this evening.
I first, sent a text to Venmo. I was then emailed back and asked to send my email address. I was then asked to supply a user name. Next an automated phone system called me and I entered my credit card number.

With no need for web access I was able to send money.
With Venmo you can do one of three things: Pay someone. Charge someone. Or establish trust with someone, which enables them to take up to US$500 from your Venmo account.
The trust part sounds a bit scary at first, but that’s why Venmo enables you to determine who you trust with this level of access to your Venmo account.
If you’re a business owner who is mobile and/or has clients who are mobile (like in a park, in a school, at a street fair, in a client’s office), I encourage you to explore Venmo and consider testing it with your clients.
It’s easy to use. I setup an account in 5 minutes.