How to Decline a Venmo Payment: Explained (2023)

Written By Branson Knowles

Venmo is one of the fastest and most popular transfer services around. Users enjoy the app because of how quickly transfers are sent, leaving their accounts and arriving in their recipient’s in a matter of moments. With the quickness of Venmo’s transfer system, how do you decline a Venmo payment?

Because Venmo transfers pop-up in your account instantly, there is no way to decline a payment. The only thing you have the option of declining on Venmo is a request for payment, but not a payment itself.

You wouldn’t think that this would be a problem. Who would want to decline free money from reaching their account anyways?

Well, more often than not strangers sending you money on Venmo are actually scammers looking for it back.

It would be nice to be able to have more control over who can pay you and who can’t on the fintech platform, but unfortunately there isn’t much for users to do other than block strangers who send them payments or request payments from them.

If someone sends you money on Venmo, and you never wanted them to in the first place, your only option is to send the money back and block them.

You can also reach out to Venmo support who can send the funds back on your behalf as well.

venmo blocked users

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How Do I Know if Someone Received My Venmo Payment?

When you send money on Venmo, things happen quickly.

You find your intended recipient, type in how much you want to send and boom — your money has left your account.

How do you know that it’s reached the person you wanted to send it to?

Venmo wants to make sure their customers feel secure in their transfers, so each person involved in a transfer will get a notification when the funds have been fully transferred. 

In the transaction histories of each user, the payment will appear red with a minus sign for the sender and green with a plus sign for the receiver.

Some people are under the misconception that Venmo payments go to their bank accounts, and they look there.

When you receive a payment through Venmo, the payment first goes through your Venmo account before you’re able to transfer it to your bank. 

If someone is still having trouble accepting a Venmo payment, they may need to verify their information with Venmo once more. 

Lastly, if you accidentally send money to someone you know on Venmo, but didn’t mean to, or even someone you don’t know, Venmo says to contact them if you’re looking to get your money back. 

What Should I Do If a Stranger Sends Me Money on Venmo?

It may seem like the best problem to have — a stranger sending you money.

How could that possibly be bad, I mean free money is free money, right?

Wrong.

More often than not, if someone you don’t know is sending you money on Venmo, they’re trying to use you in their scam.

Venmo makes it very hard to send money to people you don’t know.

They make you look up each person you want to send money to manually, if it isn’t one of the contacts from your phone.

Most Venmo users have their real name and a profile picture attached to their accounts too.

venmo name username

Put yourself in the sender’s shoes: would you ever send money to someone if you weren’t certain it was the right person?

Transfers on Venmo are instant, so if you send money to the wrong person, it’s hard, almost impossible, to get back.

Scammers on Venmo will usually hack into someone’s account, send their balance to another user “by accident”, and request it back before rerouting it to their own checking account.

They’ll reach out to you and act like it was an innocent mistake when it was anything but.

If this ever happens to you, don’t send the money back yourself.

Contact Venmo support and let them know what’s going on.

It’s what they recommended too: they don’t want two strangers getting into contact on their app over a dispute about money.

Reach out to them and let them know what’s going on.

They should be able to reverse the transaction for you, if that’s the best conclusion they come to.

If not, you can always block the supposed scammer from sending you money again.

Can You Cancel a Venmo Payment?

One of Venmo’s most popular features is their ability to send your payment to another user instantly.

This can be a problem for anyone who accidentally sent the payment or changed their mind after doing so.

Can you cancel a payment on Venmo?

Unfortunately, no. You can’t cancel a payment once it’s sent on the fintech app.

Payments on Venmo can’t be canceled or declined, so you should always be absolutely certain before sending money. 

If you sent money to someone and didn’t mean to, there are a couple of ways you may approach the situation.

If you know the person you accidentally sent money to, Venmo recommends reaching out to them and just asking for them to send the money back.

If you don’t know the person you sent money to, Venmo recommends reaching out to their customer support team first.

They can’t do everything though, and are only able to reverse your payment under a couple of conditions:

First, the recipient needs to give their explicit permission to reverse the transaction.

Second, their account needs to be in good standing with Venmo, and lastly, they need to have the funds in their available Venmo balance.

If they don’t have any one of these three qualifications met, Venmo won’t be able to reverse the transaction and get you your money back.

All the reason to double check every time you want to send a transfer on Venmo.

Why is My Venmo Payment Pending? 

Payments on Venmo go through instantly, whether you’re the sender or the recipient, so it can be confusing for any user who sees that their Venmo payment is pending. 

Venmo only lists payments as pending when they’re going to an unverified email address or phone number.

In order for the user to receive the payment you sent, they’ll need to download the Venmo app or head to the website and confirm their information.

Pending payments are actually the only ones you can cancel in Venmo. Because they haven’t fully authenticated their account, the money is in a sort of limbo before it reaches them.

You can find the payment, click on it, and click cancel if you want the funds back in your account.

There’s an Issue With a Payment I Received on Venmo

If you have an issue with a payment you received through Venmo, the fintech company first wants to know what the issue is.

They first want you to check the user who sent you the payment and figure out whether you know them or not.

If you know the person that sent you money, sending them back the transfer is usually the best method to resolve it.

Payments can’t be canceled or declined on Venmo, so maybe it was a genuine mistake. 

If the dollar amount is still in your Venmo account, you can use that balance to send the funds back to your friend who accidentally sent you money.

If the balance isn’t there though, you may choose a new method of payment to fund your Venmo account. 

On the other hand, if you don’t know the person who sent you money, contact Venmo’s support team.

If someone you don’t know sends you a payment request for no reason, you should decline that as well. 

venmo support contact

You can always report posts on the Venmo app.

In your transaction feed, there are three buttons next to each transaction.

Click on that and a button that says “report” will appear.

Venmo will then give you one of Paypal’s, their parent company, customer service forms. 

How to Dispute a Venmo Payment

If you see unauthorized transactions or payments on your Venmo account, let them know right away.

You can contact them through the app or through their website.

Through the Venmo app, to get in contact with the support team, head to the Me tab in the bottom right corner of the app. It should be the last of the five tabs on the app.

venmo tab me

In the Me tab, click the settings button in the upper right corner. From there, you’ll want to scroll down until you see a question mark next to a button labeled Get Help. 

venmo get help

The Get Help tab will take you to Venmo’s frequently asked questions tab, a way to see your request you’ve made in the past, and a way to check on your current disputes.

If you don’t have any disputes but are hoping to make one, you can contact Venmo customer support from this page as well. 

venmo disputes

If you have a dispute through Venmo’s credit card, the fintech company recommends you contact Synchrony bank, their credit card’s main bank issuer. They have a direct link to contact them on their page. 

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About the Author

Lead Researcher, Digital Banking in the U.S. at TopMobileBanks

Branson Knowles is a former banker and current writer at TopMobileBanks.com.

During his years banking, he helped his clients discover their financial freedom through smart savings and spending goals. He started as a teller before becoming a banker and obtaining his federal licenses, furthering his clients' on their financial journeys.

After becoming one of the top producing bankers in the state, Branson decided it was time to pursue his own financial freedom. He started writing freelance finance articles before joining TopMobileBanks.com, breaking down banking like only an ex-banker could.

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