Venmo begins piloting ‘Business Profiles’ for small sellers

Venmo is going after small businesses. The PayPal-owned mobile payments app maker announced today it’s piloting a new feature called Business Profiles that offers small sellers and other sole proprietors a more professional profile page on its platform, allowing sellers to share key business details like their address, phone number, email website, and more. By adopting a Business Profile, sellers will be able to raise awareness about their business through Venmo’s social feed and search, as well as keep their personal transactions separate from those for their business, for accounting purposes.

The profiles give smaller sellers a way to do business without having to necessarily establish a larger web presence, like a Facebook Page or Google Business listing, for example.

Instead, Venmo’s Business Profiles may be better suited to sellers such as local artists, crafters, or farmer’s market booth holders, or those who casually use Venmo to support their side hustle income, like that from mowing lawns or doing neighborhood home repair jobs.

As Venmo users pay these small sellers, the payment is published to the Venmo social feed where friends or even the public can view the transaction, depending on the user’s privacy settings. Interested friends and neighbors could then click on the Business Profile to learn more about the seller, as these new profile pages also offers a space to write a short introduction to business.

They’ll also be able to see how many customers the seller has and if any of their Venmo friends have ever transacted with the seller. Sellers can also email, print out, text or AirDrop their Venmo QR code for their profile to make it easier for customers to find their business on the app.

In addition, a new Venmo Search experience would allow users to switch between a “People” and “Business” tab when looking for a particular Venmo username.

Businesses with a profile page will be able to more easily track their transactions without having to create a separate account. Instead, users will be able to switch between their personal account and business profile from the same login.

Venmo says the new feature will also offer transactional insights and information, including number of customers and a customer list.

The system would formalize what’s already a top use case for Venmo’s platform. It would also offer Venmo a way to expand its revenue opportunities. Though the service is free during the pilot, Venmo indicates that may not always be the case.

In an online FAQ about the new feature, Venmo notes that in the future, business owners would be changed a per-transaction fee of 1.9% + $0.10 on every payment made to their profile. This is still a lower fee than Square charges or even Venmo parent PayPal.

The new feature, however, isn’t just about offering a new way for sellers to transact. Because Venmo is also a social platform, sellers can tap into the network effects its provides — similar to Messenger or WhatsApp, where businesses often now have their own profiles.

The Business Profiles feature is starting to pilot today with a limited number of users on iOS. It will roll out to Android in he week ahead and in the coming months will become more broadly available.

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