How to control your privacy settings on Venmo

Venmo app login screen on a Samsung Galaxy S22+
(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

The PayPal-owned payment app Venmo is a popular service for sending money between friends, as well as paying small business owners for services or even purchasing stuff on Amazon. But unlike a credit card statement that only you can see, your Venmo transaction history is visible to pretty much anyone by default. 

We're here to help you find the Venmo privacy controls so you know how to make Venmo payments private, how to block specific users or remove friends that are pestering you for money, ensure that others with access to your phone can't use your Venmo, and other useful tricks.

How to hide Venmo payments

1. In the Venmo app, tap the Me tab, then the Settings cog icon in the top-right. 

2. Under Preferences, tap Privacy

3. Change your Default Privacy Settings to Public, Friends, or Private

Choosing one of the latter two options ensures that all future payments can either only be seen by the sender and recipient, or by your Venmo friends as well. 

This doesn't retroactively apply to past purchases. If you want to globally change all past payments to Private or Friends Only, you'll find that option in Privacy > Past Transactions directly under the Default privacy settings.

If you want to hide specific payments instead, go back to the Me tab, then select the Transactions section under your profile picture. 

Any public payment should have an Earth icon; tap that payment, then tap the public icon under Transaction details. You can change its visibility there. 

How to block Venmo users from seeing you

Let's say someone is spamming you with Venmo payment requests, or sending you money that you don't want. The best way to make sure it doesn't happen anymore is to block them, which should only take moments.

1. Either find the person's name in your Home feed or use the Search bar, then select their name to be taken to their profile page. 

2. First, if you're friends with them, tap the Friends button to remove them as a friend.

3. Then, tap the ellipsis icon in the top-right. 

4. Tap Block

5. Go to Settings > Privacy > Blocked users to make sure their name appears there.

As a side note, you may also want to make sure that strangers can't see your Venmo friends list, either. In that case, tap Friends List in the Privacy Settings and change it so it's only visible to other friends, or just to yourself. 

One last point: while you can decline payment requests, you can't decline unwanted money once it's sent to your account. After blocking someone who sends you that money, your only recourse for canceling a Venmo payment is to contact Venmo support; they specifically say "we can help you reverse this payment" on their help page.

Protect your Venmo account with a PIN, fingerprint, or Face ID

Venmo app privacy settings page

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

If someone grabs your unlocked phone while you're in the bathroom, they can access your Venmo and send themselves a ton of money before you finish washing your hands. Thankfully, Venmo does let you authenticate your identity before a transaction. 

Under Settings > Preferences, you'll find either PIN code & biometric unlock on Android or Face ID & PIN on iOS. Tap it, then toggle it on. You'll be prompted to create a new PIN, which can be different from your phone PIN. 

Then, if you have a fingerprint associated with your Android phone or a Face ID associated with your iPhone, you can enable this as a login option as well. 

One important point: Venmo will pull from your phone's fingerprints or facial scans on file, so a spouse or kid could access Venmo easily if you've given them access. By only using a custom PIN, you make sure only you can access your Venmo. 

We have Venmo on our list of the best Android apps for financial management tools, and these Venmo privacy tools are part of the reason why: you can easily pay friends while also keeping those payments relatively invisible. It's just that most people who signed up for Venmo years ago probably never noticed these options were available!

Now that you can use Venmo for Amazon payments as well as P2P transactions and charity donations — and even cryptocurrency payments, if that's your thing — it's good to make these privacy changes now. 

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, VR/AR and fitness

Michael is Android Central's resident expert on fitness tech and wearables, with an enthusiast's love of VR tech on the side. After years freelancing for Techradar, Wareable, Windows Central, Digital Trends, and other sites on a variety of tech topics, AC has given him the chance to really dive into the topics he's passionate about. He's also a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves D&D, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings.

For wearables, Michael has tested dozens of smartwatches from Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, COROS, Polar, Amazfit, and other brands, and will always focus on recommending the best product over the best brand. He's also completed marathons like NYC, SF, Marine Corps, Big Sur, and California International — though he's still trying to break that 4-hour barrier.