A relationship survey breaks down the rudest, most selfish Venmo offenses that rub your friends and S.O. the wrong way.

By Maggie Seaver
November 06, 2019

Venmo and other money-sharing apps are too new to have any set-in-stone etiquette commandments. So when it comes to polite protocol for requesting payment and paying people back on Venmo, it’s often a bit of a guessing game. While that doesn’t necessarily mean anything goes—there are definitely some basic, unwritten etiquette rules of money-sharing apps—you can’t count on every Venmo user to be in top form at all times (like making timely payments and keeping unexpected charges at bay).

They may sound trivial in the scheme of life, but Venmo micro-faux pas happen all the time and don’t go unnoticed—even by close friends and significant others. In a survey from HireAHelper, which asked nearly 1,000 U.S. adults to identify their own and others’ rude behavior and how it affects their relationships, the majority of people admitted they’d hold it against someone for not paying them back on Venmo, among other breaches of unspoken app etiquette.

Accidentally ignore or delay a payment once, and you’ll probably be forgiven—but get a reputation as a serial Venmo debtor and it’s likely to cause some relationship tension, whether with acquaintances, friends, or someone you're dating. So, how long is too long to go without completing a payment? Sixty-five percent of survey-takers agree that all IOUs should be taken care of within six days of the charge—preferably less. The remaining 35 percent were a little more forgiving, though not by much, saying delaying a Venmo reimbursement by a week or longer pushed their patience. When in doubt, follow the 48 hour rule: One party should make payment requests within 24 hours, and the second party should fulfill payments within the next 24 hours.

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When it comes to Venmo etiquette in romantic relationships, both men (40 percent) and women (53 percent) agree that having their S.O. or someone they're dating ignore a payment request is the most annoying behavior. People of both genders also particularly dislike when their partner underpays them; sends an unexpected payment request for a shared meal, movie, drink, or snack; calls to remind them to pay; or acts like a stickler about exact change.

Apps like Venmo make paying people back almost too easy—it takes only a few seconds to pay or request money. So why would someone ignore a payment request, if not by accident (or due to a low budget)? There are a few main reasons someone might shun a request, at least according to this survey. The most likely is that the person requesting payment actually owes them money via Venmo. But others have more selfish reasons, like they’re secretly hoping the other person will forget about the IOU, they simply don’t feel like paying up, or they don’t feel they really know (or even like) the sender. Sadly for them, those probably aren’t good enough reasons to withhold money from an acquaintance who grabbed the bill at a multi-person dinner or fronted the cost of a group wedding gift. If you have a question or issue about a charge from someone, a polite and honest (read: non-passive-agressive) text to clarify or explain your situation is far smarter than ghosting them via Venmo (yes, even if you hate confrontation!).

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