social payments’ impact on relationships

When copywriter Kelli Johnson moved to Los Angeles, she didn’t tell her parents that she’d be living with her boyfriend. Johnson, 27, grew up in Bakersfield, a couple of hours’ drive north.
“It’s very conservative, very religious — my parents as well,” she says.
In Los Angeles, she pays the rent, and her boyfriend chips in his half on Venmo.

“And when he did it, he put it in the memo line,” Johnson says. “The month plus the little house emoji, and that’s how my mom saw.”
Her mom uses Venmo too. Johnson was busted.

Venmo has been around for a decade. And with millions of transactions — most of them public — the app’s social nature is changing personal relationships, sometimes in unexpected ways.
Richard Crone, a payments expert and founder of Crone Consulting, laughs when he hears Johnson’s story.
“That reinforces our findings,” he says. “The No. 1 use case is paying rent.”

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