Venmo’s newsfeed is about to get more interesting. Historically, the PayPal-owned app’s users would comment on their transactions using text, or, as is more common, emoji. But now the company is planning to add support for custom, animated stickers, as well.
These animations were designed in partnership with Holler so they’re unique to the Venmo app and tailored to the sorts of transactions that take place there. For example, one is of a hoagie sandwich broken in half with text that reads “split the bill.” Another features a spinning pizza. One includes two characters pushing an IKEA shopping cart. And so on.
IKEA isn’t the only brand to be included in the new stickers, as it turns out — Subway and others are also participating, Venmo says. (Keurig was initially listed as a sticker partner, then pulled. Other news sites have still included the brand’s mention, but to be clear — it isn’t launching just yet.)
The move to introduce stickers — and particularly those featuring select retailers — comes at a time when Venmo is looking for ways to establish itself as a payment method of choice at brick-and-mortar stores. On that front, the company this past fall launched a rewards program tied to its physical Venmo card to offer users 5% back at stores like Target, Sephora, Dunkin’ Donuts and Wendy’s, among others.
Though Venmo parent company PayPal had already tried to establish itself as an option at checkout through point-of-sale integrations in years past, it never really took off. In more recent months, PayPal instead chose to partner instead of competing with payment rivals like Apple, Google, Visa, Mastercard and others. Venmo, however, still has a shot at establishing a foothold in the physical retail space, thanks to its Venmo account-linked card and its forthcoming credit card.
In addition, its service is favored by millennial and Gen Z shoppers who often opt for non-traditional cards and banking products, like mobile banking apps and cards that also function as status symbol cards, like the new Apple Card. Plus, they prefer visual communication when it comes to sharing what they’re spending. More than 90% of Venmo transactions include emojis, the company notes.
Venmo says the new stickers in the app will help the retailers to better connect with Venmo users and could allow for tailored experiences going forward. To date, the company has worked with other brands in a similar fashion — for instance, populating an Uber emoji when someone types “uber” in the payment note. And brands like Chipotle and PepsiCo have leveraged a Payouts feature for things like rebates and rewards. The brands appreciate the exposure they receive in the Venmo newsfeed, but Venmo says the stickers aren’t sold as ads.
However, not all the new stickers are branded — some are just happy tacos or burritos, jars filled with pennies and other generic images.
The stickers are rolling out starting today, says Venmo.