A Friday Chat About Venmo, PayPal, and Square

NICOLE: Happy Friday!

LAURA CHANOUX: And to you! So this weekend is looking to be low-key, but a couple weeks ago I rented a lake house with my college roommates and after your post earlier in the week about how Venmo is ruining our relationships by making them transactional, I keep thinking about how the weekend probably wouldn’t have worked as well without Venmo or something similar.

NICOLE: That is an excellent point. It’s nice to be able to just text someone cash, as it were.

LAURA: Right, exactly. No one has to worry about someone needing to drop a check for their share in the mail after the fact.

NICOLE: And that one person who doesn’t carry cash can just app it over.

LAURA: Yeah, for sure.

NICOLE: So why Venmo and not PayPal or Square or any of the other options? Because Venmo is the one that shows everything publicly and the others (at least as far as I know) don’t.

LAURA: That’s a great question. Venmo is the only one I’ve used, but that’s probably because it’s the one my friends are on/asking me for money with. Do you use PayPal or Square?

NICOLE: I use both, depending on what the person I’m sending money to uses. But I only have one friend who uses Venmo. And I never ask people to Venmo me. I prefer Square, of the options. With PayPal, you have to go dig the money out of your PayPal account and there’s an extra step.

LAURA: I think I’ve only seen Square in the context of small businesses, so that’s cool to know it can be person to person.

NICOLE: It’s totally different than the Square swipe, but I think it’s still owned by the same company? Cash.me. It’s so fast.

LAURA: There are so many more app-based payment options than I realized… So do you have any plans for the weekend that may require Square/PayPal/Venmo? (Or any plans unrelated to payment apps?)

NICOLE: I do! I’m going to be in Missoula doing a reading at a local bookstore and then helping Twogether Studios launch their new Decemberists-themed game Illimat at Travelers’ Rest, the Decemberists’ first big music festival.

LAURA: That sounds amazing!

NICOLE: I don’t actually think I’ll payment app anyone, but you never know!

LAURA: I have so many follow up questions – how do you choose what you’ll read at your readings? How did you get invovled with Twogether Studios?

NICOLE: The people who run Twogether are my friends. I’m less “involved” than “an occasional volunteer.”

LAURA: That sounds fantastic.

NICOLE: I’m really excited about Illimat because it’s a beautiful game—kind of like Backgammon in terms of strategy, although there are several additional variations.

LAURA: Very cool!

NICOLE: And as for readings: I pick what I’m going to read based on the audience and the other people involved. Since this reading also includes Kayla Cagan, author of Piper Perish, I’m choosing a chapter from my book that echoes some of the themes in hers.

LAURA: That sounds great! Is this your first time in Missoula?

NICOLE: It is. I’ve heard amazing things, though. Have you been to Missoula?

LAURA: Yes, back in 2005 for a family trip to Glacier National Park. It was stunning. Our family photo album has about 1000 pictures of buffalo from the trip. We got really into the buffalo.

NICOLE: Oh wow.

LAURA: That sounds like it’ll be a great trip! Do you have more readings lined up for the summer?

NICOLE: Summer’s almost over! My next appearance will be in the first week of September, and there might be some stuff in November but I haven’t confirmed it yet. This is less “reading at bookstores” and more “conventions and that kind of thing.”

LAURA: That sounds great! I hope it all goes well.

NICOLE: And with that, I’m going to say Happy Friday again and have a good weekend! May we all app our friends the cash they deserve.


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