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Venmo Payment Declined? Why It Happens and What to Do

Read Time: 8 min

two smartphones sending money to each other after a Venmo payment declined

In the event of a Venmo payment decline, it can be difficult to pinpoint the underlying issue preventing the payment from going through. When you utilize Venmo to send or request money, the app employs an algorithm to approve or reject the transaction. This decision is based on a number of factors, including the transfer amount, the relationship between the sender and recipient, and Venmo’s internal fraud detection system.

This guide details everything there is to know about Venmo payment declines—not only helping you resolve declines, but also helping you avoid them in the future!


8 Common Reasons Why Venmo Is Declining Your Payment

A Venmo payment decline can be as embarrassing as it is frustrating. For a business utilizing Venmo, the result of this could lead to a failure to collect payment or loss of a sale. And for an individual trying to send rent money or split a check at a restaurant, a declined payment could result in personal consequences. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer as to why a Venmo payment was declined, there are issues frequently at the root of a Venmo decline.

1. Insufficient funds in your account

Errors indicating insufficient funds frequently occur, especially among users with multiple linked bank accounts. Before a Venmo payment can go through, the platform verifies that your balance or linked bank account has enough money to cover the cost. If it does not, the Venmo transaction declines and an insufficient funds notification generates. To resolve this issue, add funds to either your Venmo balance or your linked bank account and try the transaction again.

2. Internet or technical problems

A Venmo transaction may decline because the connectivity isn’t strong enough to send or receive the payment information. In this case, try connecting to another network. If this doesn’t work, restart the app and/or your device, then give it another try. If your internet is properly connected and Venmo is still not working, contact Venmo customer support.

3. Card issuer or bank declined the payment

On occasion, the connected bank or card issuer may block the transaction from processing. This could be due to a freeze or seemingly fraudulent activity on your account. In this case, your bank or card issuer has the final say over whether your transaction will go through. In this event, your customer making a call to their issuing bank will quickly resolve the issue.

4. Venmo payment limits exceeded

There are limits to how much money an individual can send during a Venmo transaction. A user has a maximum weekly limit of $299.99 for peer-to-peer payments. However, if a person completes their identity verification, they are eligible to send up to $60,000 a week via Venmo.[1]Venmo. “Personal Profile Payment Limits – Venmo”. Accessed on December 12, 2022. If you or your customer exceed these amounts—resulting in a Venmo payment decline—you’ll need to rely on another form of payment. 

5. Incomplete, outdated, or unverified account information

Failing to finish setting up your account may result in a Venmo payment decline. The first step is simply creating an account, after which you’ll link a bank account to your Venmo profile. After this step, Venmo sends a message to verify your account and information. If you do not verify your account, your first attempt to use Venmo will decline. Additionally, Venmo could decline your payment due to an invalid bank account number. So, ensure the correct account number is input correctly.

Beyond an unverified or improperly connected account, you may also get declined for a transaction due to outdated banking information. Double-check that your customer’s debit or credit cards haven’t expired. If they have, your customer will need to add their newly issued card to their Venmo profile.

6. Account is locked or frozen

Like all secure networks, when you log in to Venmo, you must provide a username and password. Venmo also sometimes sends a verification code for its two-factor authentication process to avoid fraud. If you fail too many login attempts or fail to pass the two-factor authentication, Venmo may freeze your account for a period of time. Venmo will allow you to try again in a few minutes or hours after you’ve been locked out. If you need to proceed immediately, contact customer service.

7. Suspicious payment activity or high volume transactions

Initiating a large number of transactions in a short period of time may lead to a Venmo transaction decline. Suspicious activity may include international payments, transactions associated with a high-risk account, payments sent from a new device, or a large number of transactions resulting in Venmo chargebacks. Other reasons include the following:

  • Your account was inactive and suddenly issued several payments in a row.
  • You’ve sent or received a large sum of money.
  • You suddenly start using your account far more frequently than normal.

8. Products or services are considered high-risk

Another common reason Venmo declines a payment is if you’re dealing with a high-risk business. Some qualities resulting in a “high-risk business” label include a high chargeback ratio, a high transaction volume, or numerous card-not-present transactions

Additionally, businesses operating within high-risk industries are also given a high-risk label. Although these businesses can be profitable, Venmo considers them more vulnerable to fraud and chargebacks, thus higher risk than other businesses. Below is a list of common industries falling under the high-risk category:

  • Adult products or services
  • Alcohol sales
  • CBD products
  • Credit repair services
  • Firearms and accessories
  • Gambling
  • Online dating services
  • Nutraceuticals & Supplements
  • Tobacco and accessories
  • Travel and/or timeshares

What to Do If Your Venmo Transaction Was Declined

cash dollar bills to use when Venmo is not working

If you’re unsure of the underlying issue preventing your Venmo transaction from processing, below are several troubleshooting options.  

Use an alternative payment method

Using an alternative payment method may be the easiest way to get around a Venmo payment decline. You can try another payment service provider, such as Stripe, Square, or PayPal.

That said, declined transactions, held funds, and frozen accounts are common issues across all payment service providers. Instead, obtaining a merchant account is a great alternative. As merchant accounts are tailor-fit to your business’s needs, the occurrence of declined transactions, funding holds, or frozen accounts is much less likely. Additionally, your dedicated account manager will be available to assist with any payment errors you do receive. While it may be easier to get started processing with a payment service provider, in the long run, payment processing is typically much easier with a customized merchant account.

Double-check your Venmo account details

Another easy fix if Venmo has declined your transactions is to make sure all your account details are accurate and up to date. This may seem simple, but sometimes a Venmo payment gets declined for something as simple as a typo.

Here’s a checklist: 

  • Double check the card details are inputted correctly.
  • Verify that the card is not expired.
  • Ensure the profile information aligns with the banking information.
  • Confirm there’s a strong internet connection.

Contact Venmo customer support

If you’ve tried troubleshooting, double-checking your information, and confirming you have a strong internet connection, but your transaction is still declining, it’s time to contact Venmo customer service. 

Venmo Payment Declined: Final Thoughts

Having a Venmo payment declined is frustrating, but as explained above, there are many simple ways to troubleshoot the problem. In most cases, extra attention to detail, reviewing your information, or even simply checking your internet connection can resolve the underlying issue. However, Venmo declines are an all-too-common reality of relying on this platform for payment processing. To circumvent the time-consuming issue of declined payments, you may consider relying on a credit card processor for your needs. Its customizable nature helps mitigate the occurrence of declined payments, and your account manager is available to resolve any payment snags that do occur.

a payment terminal with credit cards as an alternative to when a payment declined with Venmo

Don’t decline this offer: Get a merchant account today!

FAQs: Why Venmo Is Not Working

What is Venmo?

Founded in 2009, Venmo is a mobile platform allowing you to pay or request money from friends, family, or businesses—making it easy to split the bill at restaurants, send rent payments, and pay small businesses.

Why would Venmo prompt me to contact the person I’m trying to pay?

If you see this message, it means there was an error in the transaction you were trying to send. Typically, the reason for this error is that your bank or card issuer declined the payment. Because Venmo cannot override this transaction failure, you must reach out to your bank or card issuer to resolve this issue. You could also try a different card or payment method if you think the card itself was the issue. 

However, scammers using Venmo’s platform may ask you for more information to steal your identity or money. Be careful when you receive unsolicited messages or calls as they could be fraudulent.[2]Venmo. “Common Scams on Venmo”. Accessed on December 12, 2022. 

Why does Venmo ask me to try again later? 

If you receive a message asking you to try again later, this may have happened for any one of several errors:

  • Your account is associated with too many failed login attempts. You need to wait and try to log in again at a later time or contact customer support. 
  • If you received an error message while making a transaction, check your transaction history to see if the payment went through. If it did not, try again later. 
  • Your internet may not be strong enough to handle the transaction.
  • It could be as simple as a glitch within Venmo.

Can I get a refund if my Venmo payment was declined?

In many cases, when a payment declines, the transfer of funds will automatically be canceled. In this instance, you will not need a refund.

If you have a payment that will not go through or you have a dispute about a transaction, you can always contact Venmo. However, Venmo does not guarantee a refund in any scenario.

Where can I find my Venmo transaction history?

In the app, tap the “Me” button at the bottom right. On a web browser, navigate to “Transaction History” or select the “Statements” tab. Doing either of these will easily allow you to view or download your Venmo transaction history. 

Why is my payment showing a “pending” message?

A payment may show as “pending” because the payment was sent to an email or phone number not currently tied to an active Venmo account. The other reason this could happen is if the individual you are trying to send payment to has not verified their account information yet.

If you have sent a payment to the wrong individual, you can always contact Venmo customer support to try and get your payment refunded. However, there are no guarantees, so always verify the party you’re sending payment to is the correct one.

Why does Venmo continue to decline my payment? 

The main reason a Venmo account will continue to decline is because of app glitches, unstable internet connection, improper banking information, incorrect personal information, or suspicious activity on your account. If you have tried troubleshooting these issues and continue to have your payments declined, you may need to contact Venmo customer service. 

Why can’t I use my Venmo balance?

If you can’t use your Venmo balance, it may be because the money has already been used or allocated for another payment. Another reason is if your Venmo balance fell into the negative, then any money received will be redistributed to cover the negative balance. Additionally, a Venmo balance may also be unavailable if you accidentally transferred that money to your bank.

Article Sources

  1. Venmo. “Personal Profile Payment Limits – Venmo”. Accessed on December 12, 2022.
  2. Venmo. “Common Scams on Venmo”. Accessed on December 12, 2022.


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