Venmo For Teens!

No, you are not dreaming. Now you can get Venmo for teens.

Officially speaking, you were required to be 18 years old to use Venmo before. However, lots and lots of teens and parents got around that restriction by having the parent sign up as the official user and then handing the username and password over to their kids. This worked particularly well when paired with a bank account containing nothing but the child’s money.

What Is Venmo?

Venmo is another cash app similar to Zelle or any of the others that let you move funds around to friends, acquaintances, or PTO boards.

Banking for Teens

A lot of banks will play ball with you and your teenager when the teen turns 16. No, they can’t open a bank account all by themselves, and no, a bank that has never heard of you probably won’t open an account with your teen either. That said, a bank that you have a relationship with will likely open a bank account for your teenager, with your name on it as well.

It’s not like banks and other financial institutions are being mean or short sighted, it’s just that you cannot sign contracts until you are 18 years old. (Well, technically I suppose they could sign them, they just wouldn’t be enforceable under standard contract law.) Besides, banks know that the best way to get your child to become a customer is to make them a customer before they turn 18 and just go with it.

Teenager Venmo

Which brings us back to Venmo for teens. To open a new Venmo teen account, the parent or guardian has to open the account and is ultimately financially responsible for the account. Sound familiar?

Like banks and credit unions, Venmo wants your kiddo’s business, they just can’t treat them as adults. So, now this not so block buster announcement means that your teenager can get an “official” Venmo account rather than using a blind spot in the creation and usage of teen Venmo accounts. As a double, secret bonus, Venmo also ensures that Mom or Dad is a Venmo user since there must be an adult Venmo account overseeing the child’s Venmo account at all times, not just during creation.

For teens, who didn’t have rule breaking parents, this is huge news. Today’s teenagers were born after everyone had a cell phone, and more importantly, everyone did everything on a cell phone. Like their elders, they carry around less and less cash, while still needing to buy things and pay back their friends when they buy things. Your teen likely has a whole underground economy with their friends and acquaintances.

Teen Venmo comes with a debit card with no monthly fees and free ATM withdrawals. As always, this means free on the Venmo side, the ATM itself can charge you all the fees it wants. — An important point to make while talking with your teen about money before unleashing them with Venmo is how ATMs work. Make sure they understand what an ATM network is, which one their card works with for free ATM fees, and how ATM owners charge their own ATM fees. Finally, make sure they understand that the more likely a person is to “have to” use an ATM, the more the ATM probably charges. Stick to carrying around a couple of $10 bills and skip the ATM.

Smart Teenager Banking

While you are at it, help your teen make smart banking decisions. Show them interest rates and make sure overdraft protection is OFF on all of their accounts. It’s way better to have a charge declined than to have your bank do you the “favor” of allowing your debit to go through, all while charging you a $30 – $40 fee for the privilege. If you really want to put in some effort, go around town and the internet hooking your kids up with bonuses, perks, and features for other teen accounts. Fidelity offered $50 to teens who signed up for an account and put any amount of money in it. (Yes, an adult has to have a Fidelity account to oversee the minor’s accounts, but Fidelity accounts are free, and while you’re at it you can throw $20 a pay period into an index fund or buy some stock slices if you want to invest for yourself.)


Brian is a full-time freelance writer and financial expert. Formerly a Certified Financial Planner and financial advisor, Brian tries to convey financial understanding on topics both simple and complex. All information is for research and informational purposes only and should not be the sole basis for any financial or legal decisions. Check with your financial professionals for advice on your own specific situation.

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