How Venmo built passion around a payments brand

Ben DeJarnette

In just seven years, Venmo has grown from a fledgling peer-to-peer app for transferring money into a booming company with millions of users and an annual payments volume topping $19 billion.

But what's even more impressive, says Jay Parekh, its Director/Business Development, is that Venmo - which was purchased by PayPal as part of an $800 million acquisition of payments-processing firm Braintree in 2014 - has managed to build a beloved brand around a normally unbeloved process.

"You can go to a café in San Francisco and people are literally taking their friends' phones from them and saying, 'Download this app. This is the only way that I will pay you back,'" Parekh told the Open Mobile Summit 2016 in San Francisco.