Have you ever tried to send money to a friend on Venmo, only to frustratingly get an error saying your payment could not go through? This unsettling experience can happen for a variety of reasons.
In this comprehensive article, we will dive into the main causes behind Venmo payment failures, walk through signs to identify why your specific transaction was declined, and explore troubleshooting steps to get the issue resolved so you can successfully send payments.
Two reasons why Venmo declined the payment
When you attempt to send funds using Venmo, there are two key reasons why your payment can be blocked or declined:
First, your bank or credit/debit card issuer can reject transactions. Just as with any other purchase you try to make from your bank account or using your card, the bank can decline Venmo payments based on its fraud detection policies.
Second, Venmo itself utilizes automated systems to identify and flag potentially high-risk or fraudulent payments and put a hold or stop to them. This provides security and prevents misuse of the platform.
Understanding whether your bank or Venmo triggered the decline is the critical first step to diagnosing the problem. Let’s explore both scenarios in more detail.
Why Your Bank May Decline a Venmo Payment
Banks have full control to reject charges made from customer accounts, including Venmo payments funded by linked bank accounts or debit/credit cards. There are a variety of reasons your bank may deem a Venmo money transfer suspicious or unsafe and deny it.
Some common triggers for banks to block Venmo transactions include:
1. You don’t have enough funds in your account to cover the payment amount. This could lead to an overdraft if allowed to process.
2. The payment amount exceeds your daily withdrawal or transaction limit for Venmo or overall account transfers set by your bank. You may need to transfer less money to stay under the cap.
3. Your bank requires additional verification for transfers over a certain dollar amount as an anti-fraud measure. For example, transactions over $2000 might get declined.
4. You are sending money to a new Venmo user you have not paid before. Since the recipient is unknown to your bank, it may trigger fraud alerts.
5. Something about the timing, amount, source, or recipient of your Venmo transfer appears suspicious or outside normal patterns. For instance, if you rarely use Venmo or suddenly make a very large payment.
The thing is that when your bank declines a Venmo payment, the app itself does not receive details about the specific rationale or can override the rejection. Venmo simply gets notice that the transaction failed to process through the ordinary payment rails.
You will need to contact your bank directly to troubleshoot declined payments, since the issue stems from their systems and policies.
Why Venmo May Decline or Flag a Payment
Separately from your bank controls, Venmo itself utilizes automated software to detect and halt transfers deemed as potentially high-risk or fraudulent. This provides an added layer of security and abuse prevention for the platform.
Some example scenarios that may lead Venmo to flag or cancel your payment include:
1. You suddenly send or request money in amounts that far exceed your regular Venmo transaction history. For example, moving $1000 when you generally only send $20 payments.
2. You rapidly submit multiple payments in an unusually short period. Frequently sending money back and forth can appear like money laundering behavior. Learn about common venmo scams.
3. Your payment is coming from or going to an account that you don’t normally interact with. For instance, paying your friend for the first time when you usually only pay your roommate.
4. Your payment is sent from a new device, location, or IP address that differs greatly from your typical Venmo access patterns. This could signal a hacked account.
If Venmo blocks your transfer, you will need to go through their dispute and review process or have the recipient simply send the funds back to reset the flags. Venmo has full discretion to uphold or override internal payment declines as they investigate.
Finally, here’s what to do
If your bank or card issuer is the one rejecting the transaction, the best first step is to contact their customer service team directly. Speaking to a support rep by calling the number on your card allows you to get personalized assistance.
Explain that you attempted a Venmo payment that was declined, and provide the date, recipient, and amount so they can look into it. The rep can then research why it may have been flagged by their systems, and hopefully authorize the payment. After approving the transaction, they may have you try processing the Venmo transfer again while you remain on the call to confirm it goes through successfully.
If for some reason your bank refuses to authorize that specific payment amount or recipient, try using a different linked card or bank account as the funding source instead – this alternate payment method may not get blocked. Adding your bank account directly as a payment option in Venmo can also establish your bank’s recognition of Venmo as a legitimate payee.
If the decline relates to insufficient funds or hitting a transaction limit, you can request your bank temporarily raise your daily Venmo or overall transfer limit to accommodate the needed payment amount. If real-time transfers trigger blocks, you can set up the payment to happen on a future scheduled date through Venmo rather than immediately.
Regarding Venmo’s internal security systems which might flag and halt your payment, you have a few options to potentially resolve it. For large dollar transfers, try splitting the total amount into multiple smaller payments, as this appears less risky. Sending from familiar devices and accounts you regularly use can help establish expected usage patterns and trust.
You can also appeal directly to Venmo by submitting a support case explaining why you believe their automated flagging incorrectly identified your payment as risky. In some cases, simply waiting a while and trying the payment again later resets any flags, but you can’t be certain if it would.
A common tip is having the recipient first refund the declined payment, so it originates from their end instead. If issues persist, use PayPal or another provider for that particular transaction, then revert to Venmo for subsequent transfers.
Also read: List of 9 Celebrities That Use Venmo
By understanding the main reasons why your Venmo payment got declined, whether your bank or Venmo blocked the transaction, and following the right troubleshooting steps, you can get your money sent properly. With best practices in place, you’ll experience fewer hiccups going forward.
Thanks for reading!