How to Turn Off Goods and Services in Venmo: An In-Depth Guide

Chances are you‘ve heard about Venmo as the popular peer-to-peer (P2P) payments app to quickly transfer money between friends. With over 90 million users as of 2022, its social, emoji-filled streams make splitting bills, reimbursing roommates, and lending cash to loved ones a breeze.

However, you may not know that Venmo also lets users pay select merchants for goods & services through its app. While convenient, there‘s a catch – your payments get tagged with additional fees!

This handy guide will walk you through exactly how to disable those transaction fees when paying contacts. I‘ll explain why you likely want goods & services turned off for everyday personal payments.

Let‘s get started! This is what we‘ll cover:

  1. What are Venmo Goods & Services Payments?
  2. Should I Use Goods & Services for Personal Transactions?
  3. How to Toggle Off G&S in the Venmo App
  4. What If I Accidentally Leave Them On?

What Are Venmo Goods & Services Payments?

In 2021, Venmo rolled out support for purchases beyond basic peer-to-peer money transfers. Known as Goods and Services Payments, this feature allows you to use Venmo to pay select retailers and merchants for actual goods/services just like a credit card or payment processor.

When turned on, Goods & Services payments trigger an extra 1.9% + $0.10 fee that gets deducted from the money the recipient gets. This fee goes to Venmo for providing the more "official" purchase protection and handling.

Currently, Goods & Services can only be accepted by authorized Venmo Business Profile merchants. But buyers can still turn on Goods & Services when paying anyone on Venmo – even friends or family.

So why would anyone enable these extra fees voluntarily? Good question! In most cases, you wouldn‘t.

Personal PaymentsBusiness Payments
Reimbursing friendsPaying retail stores
Lending someone cashBuying goods online
Chipping in for dinnerFreelance/contractor work
Goods & Services? 👉Off!Goods & Services? 👉 On!

*Table showing typical personal vs business payments in Venmo

Hope this gives you a better sense of the two categories. Now that you know what G&S payments involve, let‘s look at why to keep them off for everyday use!

Should I Use Goods & Services for Personal Transactions?

For most personal payments and basic P2P money exchanges with buddies, you likely do not want Goods & Services enabled in Venmo. Here‘s why:

  • Venmo takes a 1.9% + $0.10 cut of your money in fees each payment

  • Could trigger tax forms reporting income if over $600/year in total

  • Less flexibility if questions/issues later come up

  • Simply not needed between friends!

Between all the unwanted fees, potential IRS paperwork, and other headaches…keeping Goods & Services toggled Off is usually wise.

The only context where you may consider leaving them on is if making a somewhat riskier high-dollar payment. For example, paying back $500 to an old roommate you rarely see. The purchase protection may give you both some extra peace of mind.

But in most regular, everyday cases? Save your money and disable Goods & Services in Venmo.

Next up, let me walk you through step-by-step how to toggle this setting off before making payments…

How to Toggle Off Goods & Services in the Venmo App

I‘ll equip you with exactly how to disable Goods & Services next time you hop in Venmo to pay that buddy back for brunch or split the dinner bill.

Here are the quick steps:

  1. Open Venmo and tap "Pay" or “Request”
  2. Enter your friend’s name/username to pay
  3. Key in the payment amount
  4. In Payment Note, toggle OFF “Goods or services”
  5. Confirm payment details look correct
  6. Hit submit to send funds! 💸

Let me elaborate on each piece…

When first launching the Venmo app, you‘ll land on the Payments page. This overview lists recent transactions in your feed from friends.Tap the ➕ icon to initiate sending a new payment.

Alternatively tap the ≡ menu icon up top then select “Pay or Request”. This takes you to a search field to begin entering a recipient.

Start typing your friend‘s name, username or mobile number to find their account. Select the match once it pops up.

Next comes the fun part – entering how much money you intend to pay them. No need for plain round dollar amounts – feel free to put $9.63 for example if you want to keep ut precise.

Under the amount, take extra care to review the Payment Note section:

You should see a switch for “Goods or services”. It will likely be enabled on by default. Tap to toggle this OFF! This ensures your payment won‘t be saddled with extra processing fees.

Leaving it on by accident essentially tells Venmo: "Hey! Treat this like I‘m buying goods from a store” (rather than paying back a buddy). No bueno.

Once disabled, finish up by giving the payment details a final check and confirm by tapping “Pay” or the ✅ icon.

That‘s all it takes to send fee-free personal money transfers on Venmo going forward. Pretty easy right?

Now, what if mess up happen (as they always do)…

What If I Accidentally Leave Goods & Services On?

No worries – mistakes happen! Especially when moving quickly in Venmo to shoot over that cash for dinner.

If you realize after submitting a payment that you accidentally left “Goods or Services” toggled on, follow these steps:

1. Contact Venmo support immediately (within app or call 855-812-4430). Explain it was a personal payment and the toggle was left on by mistake.

2. Politely ask if they can remove the fees. Apologize for error and say you now know how to disable for the future.

3. Venmo may give a one-time refund. According to their policy, they "may be able to remove this tag if we are contacted right away by the payer only.” So reach out ASAP!

Being upfront about the accidental switch mix-up is key. Venmo reps can empathize with how easy their app makes it to not notice that preference preset to on.

Hope it works out in your favor! But going forward, at least now you know to double check before submitting more payments.

Let‘s recap the key lessons here…

Recap: Should You Ever Use Goods & Services with Friends?

After all this, you hopefully feel empowered to avoid unnecessary fees and headaches when paying people back or grabbing the dinner tab!

Here‘s a quick refresher on what we learned:

✅ Venmo Goods & Services add extra processing fees

✅ They offer some purchase protection for riskier transactions

✅ But for most personal payments, keep Goods & Services disabled

❌ Accidentally leaving them on? Contact Support ASAP to remove fees

Treat the Goods & Services switch just like “Read Receipts” for iMessages – leave ‘em turned OFF for friends! Feel free to share this guide to help others not get bitten by surprise Venmo mishaps either.

Now you can pay your contacts seamlessly without pesky redirects as purchases. Happy Venmo’ing!

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