As part of our Dads Dig This series, we ask cool dads for their own favorite tech picks.


I like writing checks as much as the next person born during the Eisenhower administration but I think my 20-something babysitter is onto something with the Venmo app available for both iOS and Android users.

Venmo thinks of itself as a wallet but I prefer to think of it as the Facebook of transactions – not the kind between long-lost and/or recently-divorced high school sweethearts — but rather actual cash-on-the-barrelhead transactions and it is so perfect for parents who… um… spend money.



Venmo app: Make and Share Payments | Cool Mom Tech


It’s super simple to set up and works with all major U.S. banks (sorry, Canadians, no Venmo for you yet). You just download the app, register with your bank account or supported debit card, and then use those accounts or your Venmo balance (which is the amount in your account before you cash out) to fund transfers. If you’re one of those who chooses to use a credit card, just know you’ll get hit with a 3% fee.

Then you find “friends” who also use the app, which in my case is my babysitter, dog walker, house sitter, and the young dude who mows the lawn. You can also charge your friends’ accounts the amounts they might owe for office Super Bowl pools, splitting a dinner tab, reimbursement for that baseball through the plate glass, whatever. Either way, you just scroll to their name, enter the amount to pay or be paid (and a note for why) and done and done.

The best part of all? I feel safe using it. No honor system here. Account information is encrypted, stored and protected on secure servers, and they do constant security checks to be doubly sure.

One thing to note is that not only can you keep track of transfers into and out of your account but you can check out which friend is charging which other friend and for what–which is either cool, or a little too TMI. So if you owe someone money on something unseemly keep that in mind. You can also share the info via Facebook or Twitter, say you want to post a public reminder that a friend owes you money for those slightly raunchy greeting cards you picked up for her at that cute little letterpress shop. Use that feature at your own discretion.

Download the free Venmo app for iOS on the App Store or for Android on Google Play. And check out the the Venmo FAQ for more details on security and transfers.

Photo by Denise Malone Photography

Eric McClellan spends his days obsessively doodling in pursuit of the perfect Superman symbol and communicating with his 14 year old daughter via Instagram and yes, Snapchat. He also works on Ford advertising as Executive Creative Director of Content and Brand Entertainment at Team Detroit.

{photo credit: denise malone photography}

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