Venmo phone number setup confirmation

What phone do you have?
Motorola G6 Play
What plan are you on?
Talk & Text unlimited
Does your plan include data, or just talk & text?
No Data, just talk and text


Issue Description

Who is going to budge? Republic Wireless of Venmo?

I understand Venmo has concerns about using a VoIP line for verification purposes in a financial application.

Republic Wireless’s hands are tied, this is how their service is setup.

I think I got farther with the Venmo support rep, but discussing pro and cons, and what they are doing about it.

How do we get around this in the long run? More and more companies are doing this, are we just going to grin and bare it?

Thanks
Larch

Here is my communication with Venmo support:

Phillip C (Venmo)

May 12, 2020, 4:55:48 PM CDT

Hi Larch,

This is Phillip with Venmo Support. I’m sorry you were having complications

After taking a look, it appears that phone number you provided is registered as a VOIP (voice over IP) number. Although you may be able to access this type of phone number from an app installed on your mobile phone, VOIP phone numbers are not compatible with Venmo. You’ll need to sign up with a phone number registered to a mobile carrier directly (e.g., AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc.).

I hope this information helps! If you have any further questions or issues feel free to let me know!

Best,

Phillip C | Venmo Support


My reply:
Hi Phillip,

My phone number IS with a mobile carrier. Republic Wireless (https://republicwireless.com 2).

It is on a phone, not through an app, but with a phone (https://republicwireless.com/phones 1).

Ya I know the canned response your told to give me.

My cell phone is a real carrier, and it uses Sprint cell towers.

Republic is a hybrid WiFi first VOIP with Cell Backup provider.

You used to support VoIP and then changed your policy at some point.

Republic Wireless has all this captured and confirms that it is Venmo’s policy to not accept these numbers:

Obviously this is the the same canned response you are telling all Republic Wireless customers:

So do you just want to lose all Republic Wireless customers because of a policy change your company made?

Should I recommend to all Republic Wireless users to boycott venmo and just use Zelle, Square’s Cash App, or Google Pay?

Is venmo loosing any money from all the RW people that can’t sign up? Perhaps a group signup list and petition can be setup and forwarded to the head guru at venmo to show a huge loss of business opportunity here?

We are interested in doing legitimate business with you, but blocked out by your policy.

Can I send a code to the Venmo text account (86753) and have you authorize my number?

Please dont give me the canned response:

Thank you,

Larch


Venmo reply:
Phillip C (Venmo)

May 13, 2020, 1:53:31 PM CDT

Hi Larch,

This is Phillip with Venmo Support. I’m sorry you were having complications updating the phone number on your Venmo account.

Venmo uses a third-party service to evaluate the compatibility of phone numbers in real-time, and it looks like that phone number is still being rejected as a VOIP number. If you have access to another phone line or phone number, you’re welcome to try using it to sign up for Venmo instead.

Thanks for the suggestion! Currently, your Republic Wireless phone number is VOIP number and compatibility with Venmo and VOIP numbers is unavailable, but it sounds like a great idea to increase compatibility between Venmo and Republic Wireless. We love hearing what our users would like to see implemented. I’ve passed your suggestion along to the team here at Venmo.

As well, consideration on the part of Republic Wireless to increase compatibility with Venmo should be taken into account. Perhaps they would consider assisting customers like you who would like to increase compatibility between the two companies with some flexibility or alternate options relating back to VOIP concerns. I do like the idea of increasing business opportunities between Venmo and Republic Wireless, and I will certainly pass this email thread along to the department that can take the next steps as they see fit.

The information conveyed over the course of this email thread is accurate and is not an automated response. I consider good customer service to convey accuracy over favorability. I do sincerely apologize for any unfavorable outcomes to this email thread.

I hope this information helps! If you have any further questions or issues feel free to let me know!

Best,

Phillip C | Venmo Support


My reply:
Hi Phillip!

Thanks for your response!

So is there any plan to support VoIP numbers in the future?
This was a policy change your company made, will they reverse it?

Thanks!
Larch


Venmo reply:
Phillip C (Venmo)

May 14, 2020, 3:38:05 PM CDT

Hi Larch,

This is Phillip with Venmo Support. I’m sorry you’ve been having complications regarding Republic Wireless v.s. Venmo and VoIP numbers v.s. non-VoIP numbers.

Venmo is constantly working to identify ways to refine and enhance the user experience. We frequently test product offerings to understand the value it could have for our users. We have nothing new to share at this time.

The above is my official response.

To my understanding of the matter (which is limited), I believe, VoIP numbers may raise security concerns in regards to their relation to Venmo compatibility, and our clients financial information, and accounts’ security is of utmost priority to maintain a trustworthy, secure, and safe platform for this innately sensitive information. So the use of VoIP numbers on this platform now poses undue risk for our users, including you. Any accounts you, and people you know have (upstanding people I suppose) could become compromised if a security breech was allowed involving the use of VoIP numbers. We are trying to keep your assets safe, not shut you out through over regulation.

This is an ever-evolving market including financial technology, and therefore the changes implemented every so often in different areas are what we owe you in return for your confidence in our company and app. My recommendation is to research the use of VoIP numbers and risks they pose and assume and their range of compatible technologies and software applications to determine whether the pros outweigh the cons in holding a VoIP number.

I don’t know what may be available around the corner, but my thought of Republic Wireless is that they may be a great company, but they appear to have limitations at this point in time. In regards to Venmo’s compatibility with VoIP numbers I cannot predict a future I do not see. I would love for the higher-ups at both companies prove there is a mutually beneficial future in this area though.

To speak to your issue of account access more immediately, though, perhaps there is another device you can use. From the web you can still receive and transfer funds if you have a non-VoIP mobile number to secure and place on your account.

I hope this information helps! If you have any further questions or issues feel free to let me know!

Best,

Phillip C | Venmo Support

1 Like

This is the best response from Venmo:

1 Like

Republic will most likely always be a VOIP provider, as it is part of their technical solution to providing very affordable wireless service (and in my opinion much better than their competitors.) The solution is for VENMO to provide alternative forms of two factor authentication. For example, Social Security Administration allows phone and e-mail authentication. If 2FA doesn’t work on the phone, then use e-mail.

1 Like

Hi @larchm,

I congratulate you for being willing to take the conversation with Venmo farther than most are willing to and for being able to get something more than a canned response. Two points:

  1. Short of changing their business model and as @davidw.ctd2jy points out quite likely pricing, there is nothing Republic can do to change the status of its numbers as being VoIP. This status is determined by the FCC and is a regulatory matter.

  2. Venmo’s assertion VoIP numbers one can prove they pay for as opposed to app based numbers are somehow more insecure than “real” mobile numbers is laughable. If Venmo were actually serious about security, then again as pointed out by @davidw.ctd2jy, they would use a secure method for authentication. There is nothing secure about standard text messaging (SMS) to any mobile telephone number. Email isn’t particularly secure either, however, an authentication app such as Authy would be.

3 Likes

I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but the Venmo support rep in India has no influence and it just spewing out scripts. A support rep saying the companies should work together is about as meaningful as me saying they should. Not to mention his assertions are absurd. They make a policy based on absolutely incorrect information and then suggest that the other company change the entire technology their platform is based on.

I wish someone at Venmo would tell me how a Republic number is less secure than a throw away Tracfone I pick up at 7-11.

2 Likes

Basically same scripted response u will get from banks and other companies that refuse VOIP numbers. Nothing new here.

Do appreciate your time, thoroughness, and follow through of your communications with Venmo.

The VOIP issue is a serious issue, that just should not exist, in my opinion.
But alas, it is only becoming more and more a roadblock for many a user, weather or not that becomes a “deal-breaker” issue, is up to the user to conclude for themselves.
In many cases, there are alternatives or possible “workarounds” but in some, there is none.

2 Likes

Perhaps a Republic Wireless executive could reach out to a Venmo executive and see if anything could be done? I’d bet money that a bit of research would dig up contact information on a Venmo executive that could be contacted.

2 Likes

Hi @robg.ev3gek,

The contacts and relationships exist. Executive to executive conversation has been tried and was not fruitful.

2 Likes

Thanks for all the feedback team! I think I can write up another response to Venmo with the additional verbiage you guys have provided. Possibly request a escalation to someone higher up?

But as @southpaw said “The contacts and relationships exist. Executive to executive conversation has been tried and was not fruitful.”

Maybe we are beating a dead horse?

I appreciate everyone’s time!

1 Like

Candidly, more likely than not, the answer is yes. That said, the only thing that might ultimately move Venmo (and others with similar policies) is hearing from those whose business they seem not to value.

This is not limited to Republic Wireless. In the past year (for reasons I won’t go into), I’ve ported my number from Republic to Mint Mobile to Red Pocket. In all three cases, I have been unable to setup a Venmo account. It seems Venmo will only accept customers with mobile phones on carrier-owned networks. Interestingly, PayPal, which owns Venmo does not seem to have this issue. Why Venmo is so much more popular, despite rejecting a large number of potential customers, I don’t understand.

1 Like

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I think i just got Venmo to allow me to MFA with my email address instead of my cell phone!

Check out the reply I just got from Venmo:

Phillip C (Venmo)

May 22, 2020, 2:59:59 PM CDT

Hi Larch,

This is Phillip with Venmo Support. I’m sorry you’ve been having complications accessing your account.

After careful consideration of the matter of account access, our customer service team may have another solution for you, with your device, as a Republic Wireless customer without further developer or service change required.

If you need to regain access to your Venmo account and have the Venmo app already, you can have an MFA code sent to the email address associated with your Venmo account. Think of it as a supplemental way to access your Venmo account while you’re in between VoIP and non VoIP numbers currently. Your real issue isn’t your device, or carrier. It’s the VoIP status of your phone number.

Whereas, you may not create a new account or update the phone number on your account to a VoIP number, you are able to sign in using your old number (current number on your account) as a credential and then update your remembered devices through settings. Then you will no longer be prompted for the code each time you sign in, rendering you account access and full utility of the Venmo app !for as long as the phone number on your account is not a VoIP number! on your current device.

Warning: You MAY encounter issues if the phone number on your account is changed by another agent over the new owner of the number needing to use it on Venmo. If this happens reach back out to us at that time.

Larch, would you like to access your Venmo account and be able to sign in using your account’s current credentials?

If so:
If you’re having trouble receiving this code, we can manually assist you but will need to confirm your identity before we can proceed.

*Please provide the bank on file with your Venmo account, the full routing number and last 4 digits of your bank account number. Please do not provide the full bank account number for your security. as proof of ID for the fastest resolution.

**If you don’t have access to any part of the above information, you can instead click on the upload link below to send us a picture (not a photocopy) of your unexpired US government-issued photo ID. Please do not omit or cover any information on your ID:

For your privacy and security, please do not attach any documents when you reply to this email. Once we have this information, we can send the code directly to your email address.

I hope this information helps! If you have any further customer service questions or issues feel free to let me know!

Best,

Phillip C Venmo Support

1 Like

I, also, tried to open Venmo account and got the same responses. I wound up using Google. The problem seems to be Venmo’s concern about VoIP. Since RW uses both Sprint and VoIP, would it be possible for Venmo to only allow transaction when the phone is connected to Sprint with the network connection turned off.

Also, would it be of any value to poll RW user to determine how many would open a Venmo account if they changed their policy?

Norm

I’m afraid it doesn’t work that way. Your Republic number, no matter whether you are on the cellular network or wifi, is a number that has VoIP at its heart and is therefore classified as wireline by the FCC.

I was afraid that might be the case.

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