Ex-bank employee shares PSA on which cash transaction apps to use
Today, apps for cash transactions are incredibly popular. It’s easy to see why—apps like Venmo and Zelle make it easy to send money from one person to another, alleviating much of the stress that can come with carrying large amounts of cash.
However, according to TikToker and former banker Sydney (@sydneykidneybean), not all cash transaction apps are created equal.
In a video with over 1.3 million views, Sydney gives her opinion on the apps Venmo, Cash App, PayPal and Zelle. The results are mixed.
@sydneykidneybean Responding to @sr8130 my opinions only! #personalopinion #cashappscam #venmo #zelle #zellescandal #thisweekwellsfargo #bankinghacks #dosanddonts #paypal ♬ original audio – Sydney
To recap, Sydney says she uses Venmo but doesn’t keep a balance on the app “because it’s not insured by the FDIC.”
“An FDIC-insured account means that if you have up to $250,000 in a bank account and the bank fails, the FDIC reimburses you for any losses you’ve suffered,” Investopedia details.
She also says that she pays by linking her debit card to Venmo rather than her bank account.
“If [my Venmo account] is fraudulently accessed in some way, I only have to replace my debit card and not my entire bank account associated with it,” she explains. This also allows her to dispute transactions through both the app and her bank via the debit card.
Then review the Sydney Cash App.
“Cash App, I don’t use,” she says. “I have entered far too many claims on the Cash App. I’ve seen way too many scams targeting Cash App users, and I’ve also seen people keep their money in Cash App and have it completely seized or frozen, like constantly, and they just never see it back.”
That said, she acknowledged the fact that Cash App’s cards are FDIC insured.
Third, Sydney accepts PayPal. She notes that PayPal’s ubiquity and low fees for international purchases make it perfect for buying things from abroad, and she raves about the invoice generator.
However, she notes that PayPal is not FDIC insured and that she has seen “a lot of fraud” through PayPal.
Eventually she lands on Zelle.
“Don’t send a Zelle to someone you don’t know,” Sydney says emphatically. “You’re not going to see the money back. It’s gone, okay?”
“The banks don’t care if you were scammed through Zelle, they don’t care if you weren’t happy with what you bought through Zelle – they’re only going to refund your money on a claim if the bank made a mistake specifically and it’s provable , she concludes. “Scammers know that. That’s why scammers love Zelle.”
In the comments section, many users supported Sydney’s claims.
“I work at a credit union and I REFUSE to use Zelle for anything,” one user wrote. “So many hacked Zelle accounts and it’s almost impossible to get the money back.”
“I’ve had some friends who work in banks say the same thing,” added another. “I’m afraid to use any of them.”
“Lost 500 through Zelle,” shared another TikToker. “Wish I wasn’t so nice about ‘refunding’ money to someone who tries to buy something from me.
The Daily Dot reached out to Venmo, Cash App, PayPal, Zelle and Sydney via email.
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*First published: November 11, 2022, 10:19 a.m. CST
Braden Bjella is a culture writer. His work can be found in Mixmag, Electronic Beats, Schön! magazine and more.