Venmo, an application widely used to send and request money from your friends, has risen as one of the must-have applications for millennials and Gen Z-ers. Venmo essentially makes social money transferring easy to do compared to traditional money wiring, where it requires routing and account numbers, or cash-handling.
When it comes to splitting the bill, each person may have gotten different items. As of now, Venmo users have to do separate transactions for different amounts. The challenge was to find a way to easily pay or request different amounts of money from different recipients of the transaction.
Google Forms, Draw.io, Figma
When I decide to pay for the bill, I want to be able to request each person’s tab so everyone pays the amount they owe me.
I surveyed 11 people who use Venmo to send and receive money. The two major advantages that the users highlighted were Venmo’s convenience in sending and receiving money, and Venmo’s social component of being able to add friends.
From the user survey, the users highlighted two pain points:
I explored the Venmo app to see if there are features that could be the solutions to the pain points that the respondents highlighted.
I decided to improve multi-recipient transaction on Venmo.
After analysis, I concluded that Venmo has addressed the problem of recipient verifications through various features such as the QR Code. It is also possible that Venmo made an intentional design decision to make sure that the interface has 100% of the user’s attention, making sure that the user has selected the right person for the transaction.
Venmo has somewhat addressed the multi-person transaction issue by allowing multiple recipients to be charged the same amount in one transaction. However, the recipients of the survey complained that if they want to charge different values to everyone, which is often the case when a party is splitting the bill, they have to go through the transaction page multiple times.
How Might We allow the user to request or send different amounts to different recipients in one transaction?
I prototyped three possible flows that allows the user to pay or request multiple people in one transaction: Multi-line Single Recipient, Multi-line Multi Recipient, and Receipt Scan.
Venmo would have to generate rows for each recipient specified. Engineering wise, this would be easy to achieve.
This would change the default behavior of multiple recipients and will require relearning the default experience.
This would require the engineering team to build out a new UI component and a new behavior. Not as easily achievable as before, but not as intensive as the main component can be reused.
The additional rows have the same behavior that Venmo has currently, thus only user training required is adding a new row. The behavior of each row is identical to the behavior that Venmo currently has.
This requires an entirely new page for UI and Computer Vision, which will require heavy engineering uplifting.
This will simplify calculation, which is another pain point that many users have. However, the additional benefit is out of the target scope.
After analyzing the feasibility and impact of each option, I decided that Multi-Row Multi-Recipient had the most reasonable feasilbility and impact. It allows the user to process a transaction with multiple recipients who may have different amounts not requiring heavy engineering work or a relearning of the experience that Venmo currently has.
This case study explored three different solutions to the problem that we face with current Venmo’s experience with multi-recipient transactions. If given the opportunity, I would like to conduct more user interviews (including in-person observation of user behavior) and an in-depth brainstorming session.
The future steps for this case study would be to take the prototype and test it with a focus group that fits our persona. It would also be interesting to sum up the data gathered from these focus studies and potentially present the idea to Venmo as a potential new feature.
This project was done as part of Students Who Design. Students Who Design is a free, one-semester program to help students and professionals who are interested in breaking into the industry of Product Design. To learn more, visit https://studentswho.design.
I also acknowledge that I am not associated with or representing Venmo in any way.