Venmo’s Affordance (Ruizhong & Yasheng)

TEAM: BEAUTY♡ PRETTY☆ SOCIETY♀ (Ruizhong & Yasheng)

The technology we are analyzing is Venmo.

Venmo allows people to conduct small to medium scale of financial transaction with the experience of social media.

After the user allowing Venmo to access her bank account, the users off-load tasks with the bank to Venmo. This allows users to directly transfer money to another person.

Venmo helps to eliminate the process of using actual money to pay back someone or going to ATM and withdrawing money, it allows direct transaction bypassing time and space constraints.

Think about a scenario where you have to pay someone back, you need to have a quantifier to signify the value you owe that person. That’s the cognitive function of paper bill in the sense that it allows people to easily conduct value transaction with certainty.

However, the reality of using money, or paper bill to be more specific, is that there are a lot of physical constraints, including organize bills, deposit/withdraw them from bank, and having extra change to allow accurate transaction. This system diagram showcases the complicated steps of paying someone back (made by Ruizhong).


Venmo eliminates the physical constraints of paper bill, offloading the tasks of using paper bills, withdrawing money from the bank, and having to talk to person about financial transaction.

We, humans, delegate several processes of value transaction to Venmo, the technology, so that we are free of the labor of financial transaction. This system diagram showcases the simple steps to allow financial transactions (made by Ruizhong).


Venmo functions as an extension of our cognition in value transaction in terms of calculating exact amount without worrying about if that person has the exact change, or the awkwardness of having to remind someone to pay back. Furthermore, Venmo takes advantage of the light-heartiness of social media by taking off a lot of social pressure and anxiety of financial transaction.

The Affordance of Venmo

We decide to use the interface of Venmo as an example to demonstrate the affordance of its interface design.


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