Venmo is a convenient way to make transactions, but can you hide your name on Venmo to protect your privacy? Continue reading to find out.
Streamlined cash apps, particularly Venmo, have been taking the world by storm lately. After all, who doesn’t like to send and receive money with a few taps?
However, if you’re already a Venmo user or plan to sign up for this service, you may be understandably worried about how much data you’re giving to the platform.
So, how much information do you have to share? Can you hide your name on Venmo, for example? Technically, you can’t hide your username since other users need it to finalize transactions with you, and providing your legal name is a prerequisite for keeping Venmo from suspending your account.
- Is it Possible to Hide Your Name on Venmo?
- Why Does Venmo Require Your Legal Name?
- How to Maximize Your Privacy on Venmo?
- Bottom Line
Is it Possible to Hide Your Name on Venmo?
No, you cannot hide your name on Venmo. Your username is public information that can’t be hidden. However, while you have to register using your legal name to abide by Venmo’s guidelines, it won’t appear to the other users you’re sending money or receiving funds from.
So, if maintaining anonymity is your main concern, make sure to choose a username that’s both unique and different from your legal name.
There’s no need to fret, though–that doesn’t mean your account’s data and security are compromised. Venmo offers a wide array of other tools to help you enhance your privacy on the app.
Read on to find out how to ensure that your Venmo account is secure and private.
Why Does Venmo Require Your Legal Name?
If you’re new to Venmo, you may be wondering why the application requires your legal name to complete the registration process.
To combat the surge in online scams and ensure the privacy and safety of all transactions, Venmo’s administration decided to implement rigid identity verification rules way back in 2019 to comply with the USA Patriot Act governing it.
In fact, if you add a fake name while registering for a Venmo account, you won’t be able to finalize the identity verification step.
Venmo requests several official documents to verify the identity of its users, so you may be asked to provide a copy of your ID, driver’s license, or passport.
Venmo may also request your SSN in some cases if the previous documents aren’t sufficient.
How to Maximize Your Privacy on Venmo?
Although you can’t hide your username, it doesn’t mean you can’t take some steps to improve your privacy on the application. Here are some tips to protect your identity and transactions on Venmo.
1. Don’t Use Your Legal Name as Your Username
Some people don’t mind using their legal names as their usernames on Venmo, but it’s not the best approach to preserving your privacy.
If you haven’t registered yet, we recommend choosing a unique username that’s not too close to your real one. Treat your Venmo username as you would your Twitter or Instagram handle and choose something fun; the sky’s the limit!
Can You Edit Your Username After Creating a Venmo Account?
If you already have a Venmo account and made the mistake of using your real name as your username or simply want to switch it up a bit, you can edit your username at any time by following these steps.
- Launch Venmo on your phone and tap the single person icon on the top right to access your profile.
- Open the settings by tapping the gear icon.
- For iPhone owners, choose “Account” under the “Preferences” section. Skip this step if you’re an Android user.
- Select “Profile” and change your username.
Make sure that your new username is between five and sixteen characters, and note that dashes and underscores are the only special characters you can include.
2. Change Your Transactions’ Privacy Settings
Due to the social media-like features of Venmo, your transactions are public by default, meaning that all Venmo users can see who you’ve sent money or received funds from.
As you can probably tell, this is a huge security risk. Fortunately, you can control who sees your Venmo dealings by tweaking some privacy settings.
How to Make Your Transactions Private
To change your default privacy setting from “Public” to “Friends” or “Private,” use this method. On Venmo’s homepage, tap the hamburger icon on the top left and choose “Settings.”
- Select “Privacy.”
- Under “Default Privacy Setting,” change this option from “Public” to “Friends” or “Private.”
- Tap “Change Anyway” when the popup confirming your action appears.
Note that if you choose “Friends,” any transaction you carry out with another user will be visible to both your friend list and theirs.
So, if you want the transaction information to stay between you and the recipient only, it’s better to set your default privacy setting to “Private.”
Can You Change the Visibility of Previous Transactions?
You can change the privacy setting of your previous transactions at any time; simply try the following steps.
- Open “Settings” through the hamburger icon on the top left.
- Navigate to “Privacy,” then tap “Past Transactions.”
- Choose between these two options: “Change to Friends” or “Change All to Private.”
Remember that selecting “Change to Friends” will only affect your public transactions, making them visible to friends, whereas choosing “Change All to Private” makes every transaction you’ve made on Venmo accessible to you and the recipient only.
So, can you hide your name on Venmo? Well, even though you can’t use a fake name to register for the service, choosing a fun username that’s not too similar to your real one adds an extra level of anonymity and safety to your Venmo experience.
Overall, protecting your privacy on Venmo isn’t difficult if you know which settings to change.
To tighten your account’s security, experts also recommend choosing a strong password, enabling multi-factor authentication and push notifications, and using credit cards instead of debit cards since they have anti-fraud protection.
While Venmo charges a 3% fee on credit card transactions, it’s a fair trade for users concerned with the security of their transfers on the app.