Amazon cuts Venmo payment option barely a year after enabling it

Amazon is canceling its payment partnership with Venmo only a year and some change after first offering the purchasing option to users. Venmo also announced the abrupt aboutface through a brief update to its “Using Venmo on Amazon” tutorial page, citing only “recent changes” for the policy shift. Screenshots posted to the social media platform, X, indicate a December 6 email from Amazon sent to account members echoed the news.

[Related: It’s time to make your Venmo transactions private.]

In a statement provided to TechCrunch on Thursday, PayPal (Venmo’s parent company) noted users will still be able to add their Venmo debit and credit cards to pay on the site, and added that the company still has “a strong relationship with Amazon and look forward to continuing to build on it.” Venmo is already no longer included on Amazon’s list of acceptable payments.

An Amazon spokesperson also confirmed the phaseout in an email to PopSci while noting customers can “still use nearly a dozen” alternative payment options. Amazon has never integrated a PayPal option for shoppers, either, although it does support PayPay debit cards.

Amazon and PayPal first unveiled plans for the integration in November 2021, but didn’t begin to enable the feature until shortly before the 2022 holiday season. As Bloomberg notes on Thursday, PayPal alongside similar e-commerce companies have struggled in recent months due to an increasing return to in-store shopping, alongside consumers contending with overall economic inflation issues. It is still unclear if this influenced the two companies’ decision, however.

“We expect this news is simply the result of a lack of traction, as consumers failed to adopt using Pay with Venmo as their preferred checkout method,” analysts noted to Bloomberg earlier today.

[Related: Amazon to offer instant pay to workers and more loans to sellers.]

Despite the dissolution, Amazon continues to pursue in-house financial options, particularly for its employees. In September 2022, the company announced Anytime Pay, which allows workers to withdraw up to 70 percent of their earnings as soon as they accrue. Amazon also announced a partnership with Lendistry around the same time that introduced small business loan options to independent retailers.

“Whether it’s restocking household essentials or purchasing a last-minute gift, we know that Venmo users shop over two times more frequently than the average shopper and are 19 percent more likely to make repeat purchases,” Amazon said during last year’s payment feature rollout.