How to gift-wrap Venmo payments

Getting a gift of cash via Venmo is great — infinitely better than a gift card — but it’s hard to get appropriately excited and grateful about a row of numbers sandwiched between a rent payment and your share of last night’s pizza tab. 

So starting Thursday you can “wrap” your Venmo gift payments. It’s still all in the app, but instead of the usual notification of fresh funds in your account it’ll be more festive — even if it’s not your birthday or a holiday. The idea came about after Venmo noticed during the pandemic that more people (almost 60 percent of current customers) were gifting money through Venmo with notes that said things like, “thanks” or “just because,” as a Venmo rep explained in an email. Clearly, Venmo payments were becoming little expressions of love, so gift-wrapping was born.

Two Venmo screenshots.

Notice the new gift-wrap icon?
Credit: Venmo

There are eight different gift-wrap designs with animations to amp up your cute and clever GIF- and emoji-filled note. To send a gift-wrapped Venmo payment you still click the same “Pay or Request” button on the home screen and proceed as usual with a recipient, note, and amount. But before sending it off, you’ll notice a new gift-wrap icon next to the “Pay” button. It’ll be a free feature when it rolls out to American users Thursday.

Click that and scroll through the wrapping options (there are currently some designs for the upcoming Lunar New Year) and pick one. You’ll see a preview of the wrapped payment before confirming it’s good to go. 

Different Venmo gift designs on four phone screens.

Give the gift of money.
Credit: Venmo

If you’re on the receiving end, you’ll get a notification that you’ve received a gift (not a payment as your notifications for other payouts usually state). Once in the Venmo app you can unwrap the gift and view the animation. If you want to relive the unwrapping you can always click on the transaction on the payment details screen (the sender can also rewatch the animation from the same screen on their app). 

Now you’ll stop confusing that Hanukkah present from mom with your roommate’s portion of the utility bill. Maybe you’ll be so touched, you’ll remember to send a thank you note for once.

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