How to cancel a Venmo payment if you paid an inactive account, or send a request if you paid the wrong person
Category : entrepreneur
- You can cancel a Venmo payment by using the “Take back” option in the app if you paid a person without an active account.
- If you accidentally paid the wrong person, you can’t cancel that Venmo payment — but you can send a request for that person to pay you back.
- Unfortunately, Venmo does not guarantee your money back if you paid the wrong person, but you can contact Venmo support and attempt to solve your issue if the payment is not returned.
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Venmo has become so popular it is often used as a verb, allowing users to instantly transfer money from one person to another.
Many people find Venmo extremely useful for splitting meals and cab fares or even for paying rent. Last year, the Wall Street Journal highlighted the recurring issue that Venmo does not have an “undo” or “cancel” option to quickly reverse a payment mistake.
While this option still does not exist today, there are a few ways to try to go about getting your money back.
The two most common ways are requesting the amount back if you accidentally paid the wrong person, or using the “Take back” option if you sent funds to a phone number or email address without an active Venmo account.
Here’s how to do it.
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How to cancel a Venmo payment
One of the best ways to look up a person directly on Venmo is by phone number or email, which ensures you won’t send it to the wrong person.
However, if you thought your friend had a Venmo account and they don’t, here’s how to cancel the transaction.
1. Open the Venmo app on your iPhone or Android phone.
2. Tap the three bars in the upper left hand corner. There will be a small red dot if you have any notifications or incomplete payments.
3. Tap “Incomplete” on the list of options. This is where you’ll find unfinished payments you sent, indicated by a number in a red circle. (“Notifications” is where you’ll find requests from friends asking you for money.)
4. In the “Incomplete” section, you’ll find two options: requests and payments. Tap “Payments.”
5. You should see the payment you sent, including the phone number or email, your message, and the dollar amount. If you sent the money via phone number, the person will have received a text message from Venmo prompting them to create an account. A similar message applies if you sent money via email.
6. Regardless, if they have not created an account, you can tap “Take back” next to the payment.
7. Once this is tapped, the payment will turn gray and display the message, “You canceled this request.” When you click back to your Venmo homepage, or open the app again, the payment will have disappeared and the funds sent to the new user will not be taken out of your linked bank account.
How to send a Venmo request if you paid the wrong person
Another common mistake is sending the payment to the wrong person. This happens often, since many people have similar usernames — especially those automated by Venmo when setting up an account.
Unfortunately, once you send a payment, the funds are automatically added to that user’s account (they are then able to transfer that money to their linked bank account). In this case, the best option is to request the money back before contacting the Venmo support system directly.
1. Open your Venmo app.
2. Click on the draft option (a pen and dollar sign icon) at the top right hand corner of the screen.
3. Type the username of the person who you accidentally sent the payment to.
4. Enter the same dollar amount you accidentally sent.
5. Venmo suggests adding a note explaining how or why you accidentally sent a payment to the wrong person.
6. Press “Request” instead of “Pay.”
7. You will be prompted with a green message at the bottom of the screen to confirm your request. Tap to confirm.
8. If you don’t receive the money right away, you can first send a reminder to the person you requested it from.
9. To do so, tap the three bars in the upper left hand corner.
10. Tap “Incomplete.”
11. In the “Requests” section, you’ll find any unfulfilled requests. Tap the blue “Remind” button underneath the request. Once tapped, this will change to a gray message that says “Reminded.”
How to contact Venmo if your payment is not returned
If you still don’t receive the money, you can then contact Venmo for support, though Venmo does not guarantee that your money will be returned.
1. To contact Venmo, tap the same three bars in the upper left hand corner.
2. Select “Get Help” from the list of options. It should be the choice on the bottom next to the question mark.
3. Tap “Contact Us” and then select whether you want to email, chat, or call Venmo support.
Regardless of which contact option you choose, Venmo recommends having the payment information on hand to expedite the process, including the username, amount, and date of the payment you accidentally sent.
Additionally, it’s helpful to have the username, phone number, and email address of the person you meant to pay.
Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:
There’s a limit on your Venmo transactions — here’s how much money you can send and receive with each account type
How to receive money on Venmo and transfer funds to a connected bank account
How to set up a PayPal account and link a bank account or credit card
‘Does Venmo work internationally?’: No, you must be physically located in the US — here’s what you need to know