Venmo, what card am I using?

I don’t know… you know 3 levels deep in a tucked away settings menu… and apparently it’s not worth knowing before or after I make a payment.

Backstory: I needed to pay an actor for his amazing work on an explainer video of But the whole Venmo experience made me feel confused, stupid and worried that I used my personal card vs the company card. Below I created a separate transaction to illustrate my point.

I’m prolly using the card I set up in the beginning.

I don’t see it though? Do you? Hmm this is strange, oh well move forward with blind trust that the dev’s and designers know that they’re doing.

How am I paying for this? Through my Venmo account balance or a card? It would tell me that it’s going to use one thing or another before I pay something…right?

Ohhhhhh, the card selection will prolly happen on another screen! Lol, duh.

Famous wizard style UI, why wouldn’t they use it, there is no card selector here… that must be it. Lemme just tap the “Pay” button to obviously load the screen that let’s me select the form of payment I want to use… and:

Oh… a green bar shows up… this feels awfully final, like green = go pay someone. Hmm… Maybe I’m overthinking this.

*taps green bar with undeserved confidence*

Mkaaayyy… it paid him, I think? Wait… what just happened? I thought there would be a screen that let me choose my payment… but just took me to the activity screen?!

What account did I just use!?!

Oh crap, I can’t afford to overdraw again! Did this use Venmo cash or a card, I can’t remember my balance and it was hidden in a menu I always forget to look at?

Grrrr, lemme just tappity-tap into the details so I can figure this out.

Money source “super unimportant” apparently?

Ok… I’m taking nice, slow breaths… still I have NO IDEA where this money came out of.

Venmo, is this good accounting practices? Not making explicitly or barely clear where the money is coming from? Not allowing me to choose the card I want at time of purchase or making it clear that it’s coming from my venmo cash or a card BEFORE I make the payment? I know you had to have tested this scenario in your design process, so how did it pass?

No idea what card I used, maybe call support?

So I call, she’s super nice and explains to me that unless I go into the menus, a few levels deep, I will have NO IDEA at time of transaction where I’m paying from. When I asked why it wasn’t clear on the payment screen she replied:

“We don’t have that feature at this time. You can always cancel the transaction and check your Venmo cash balance in the side menu. While the menu is open, you can select Banks & Cards, then see which card is your primary.”

She was suuuuper nice, btw, and did explain she could look into my my transaction history if I needed to know. Here’s what she was explaining:

It’s not super intuitive, which isn’t a crime but creates bad user experiences. This is how Venmo wants me interact with my money, the same money that once it leaves my account is gone forever… It’s really bad UX guys.

Business is all about expectation management.

Here’s an idea, when you click pay button it tells you EXACTLY where the money is coming from:

Product rant: Allowing me to name my cards helps me remember which card is which, cause… well you know, I don’t memorize all my card numbers.

Now, I’m a terrible designer but you can steal this for free if it means you are better managing my expectations.

Also about transparency around transactions.

As far as accounting practices go, it’s usually a great idea to show where money came from and where it’s going, but you only show where it’s going. Here’s a mockup of how you could easily show where the money came from in a transaction:

It’s subtle I know, but see that little text under the amount? It shows where the money came from, amazing right? Now if I make a mistake, I’ll know at least after I’ve made it.

Venmo, in the future, can you please tell me what card I am using?

As a freelance product strategist, entrepreneur, and lover of everything digital, I had to bring this to your attention. I mean no offense to the team whose put much hard work into your product, I’m just super passionate about creating good experiences and speaking up when they aren’t.