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Follow These 5 Venmo Etiquette Rules When Splitting the Bill With Friends

Danielle Letenyei - Author
By

Dec. 7 2022, Published 3:59 p.m. ET

Mobile payment apps like Venmo and Zelle have made sharing expenses with friends and family easier. If you buy tickets for the Van Gogh Immersive Experience for you and your friend, your friend can use Venmo to pay you back for her ticket, easy peasy.

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However, there's a certain Venmo etiquette to using the app with friends. For example, one women’s story on TikTok about a Venmo exchange with a former boyfriend has got several people talking about how to use the mobile payment app correctly.

Venmo app on phones
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If you are using Venmo to split the bill, here are five rules of etiquette to follow.

1. Discuss the Payment Arrangements Beforehand

When you're going out to dinner with your friend or asking someone to pick something up for you, make sure you talk about how the bill will be paid beforehand. Simply tell your friend you’ll pick up the tab, and they can Venmo you their share. If you’ve agreed to pick something up for a friend, communicate that they can pay you back via Venmo, so they know you want to be paid back.

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2. Don’t Send an Unexpected Pay Request

Regarding our first point, you should have clear communication about the Venmo transaction. You’ll probably just anger your friend by sending them a Venmo pay request for something you didn’t discuss first.

In the recent TikTok so many people are talking about, the woman asked her former boyfriend of four years to pick up cold medicine for her because she was stuck at home sick. The boyfriend got her the medication, then sent her a Venmo pay request the next day for $7.

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“I think I prefer a relationship where it’s like ‘hey, I’ll get this, and you get that next time,’ and we’re not like keeping track of our expenses like dollar by dollar,” the woman says in the TikTok video.

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3. Venmo Transactions Should Be Done in a Timely Fashion

If your friend picked up the tab for dinner and you’re going to Venmo her your share of the bill, the sooner you Venmo the money, the better. The longer you wait, the better chances you’ll forget you owe your friend money. Then you leave them in the awkward position of having to bug you for it.

“When you receive a request, do your best to pay back the requested amount within a 24-hour time frame,” etiquette expert Myka Meier tells MarketWatch.

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4. Use the Notes Section

Each Venmo transaction has a notes section where you can add information about the payment. You should use it on all transactions. That way, if you can’t remember if your friend paid you back for that plane ticket to Cabo, you can check the transaction notes.

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5. Don’t Send Your Date a Venmo Pay Request

Traditional dating etiquette says he who requests the date should pay for the date. Online dating changed that a bit, with many agreeing that the bill should be split, especially if it's the first date.

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When splitting the bill on a date, also referred to as a 50/50 relationship, it’s probably better to have the waitress split the tab than to use Venmo. If the date went bad, Venmo could connect you to someone you’d rather never see again.

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One TikToker told her story about a nightmare date who requested she Venmo him for what he spent on their date after she declined to go out with him again. When she did Venmo him, he sent another request for more money.

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