Venmo, the peer-to-peer payment app that is all the rage among college-age Americans, has slowly wormed its way from the fringes of the industry into its beating heart. It began as a small startup, was then acquired by rising mobile payments giant Braintree, which was itself acquired by the grandaddy of digital payments, PayPal. Up until now PayPal didn't make much money from Venmo, all transactions were free except for those made with a credit card. But on yesterday's earnings call, the company announced that Venmo users will soon be able to use the app to pay anywhere PayPal is accepted, and that it will collect its standard fees on every transaction.
PayPal also offered up some numbers about Venmo's staggering growth. Just last year Venmo was processing less than a billion dollars each quarter. Last quarter, that number had grown to $1.6 billion, and this quarter it rose to $2.1 billion. PayPal says that this makes Venmo one of the fastest-growing companies in the entire payments space. It's hoping that it can find a way to start earning serious revenue off those customers, and to bring a younger generation that grew up with mobile phones instead of desktop browsers into the PayPal purchasing ecosystem.