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Anybody use Venmo to receive payments for scouting activities? We've had a request from a parent for our troop to consider this. Might not be a bad idea. I can't tell you how many times I try to chase down people for payment only to be told they don't have their checkbook on them. Just wondering what the pros and cons are for using Venmo.

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My adult kids are all about the Venmo. Not sure how it would help a club or unit.

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1 hour ago, qwazse said:

My adult kids are all about the Venmo. Not sure how it would help a club or unit.

Venmo is a GREAT app. It lets identity thieves quickly and accurately profile its users spending habits and it makes privacy settings obsolete by letting 3rd parties override any settings you may make on your own account and device!  Wow!  Great stuff!  

When you use Venmo, you can instantly:

* publish all your financial transactions to the web

* let your neighbors monitor your spending habits so they can gauge how much you drink, who you spend time with, and many other things that are none of their business

* become an easy target for identity thieves in Estonia, Korea, and other 3rd world countries

Yes, Venmo is a VERY useful tool --- for CROOKS, SPIES, and HACKERS.   

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46 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

For those who don't know what Venmo does ---- and for those naive users who think it's "safe", here's another eye-opening article that gives you a hint of what the app is REALLY up to:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/21/style/venmo-cheap-friends-transaction-history.html

Again - wow.  The article I found was unsettling from a privacy perspective.  This one is unsettling from a human being perspective - the quote that jumped out at me (because Ive been seen similar references in other places recently) is “changes friendships and makes them more transactional” .  

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if your going to use a service similar to venmo, you should have them use the service your bank uses

each bank uses a different service provider for such

when its your own bank theres usually no fees for you

if your accepting someone elses transfer company you incur fee's

you shouldn't have to incur fee's for such,

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If people don't want to lock down their privacy settings so that others can't see that they paid BSA Troop xxx money for something, I kind of see that as free advertising for scouts. "Hey, I noticed when I was spying on you on your Venmo app, that you paid some money to Scouts for your son to go on a camping trip. I didn't know your son was a Scout. Tell me more about it because I have a child who might be interested in joining."

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I do not favor these, or any other process which takes the scout out of the equation. One of the great opportunities for scouts' personal growth is being denied when they have little to no part in the financial aspect of their program. Weekly dues collected at every meeting, and bringing cash for the upcoming camping trip to give to the patrol mate buying the food are all opportunities to grow in responsibility, and independence. Sure it is easier to have the adults do it all, but that is the case with most everything.

So how do the adults help ensure a scout is not excluded from a trip by "forgetting" while still fostering patrol and individual independence, and financial responsibility? Like all questions of this matter it comes down to communication: adults communicate with adults, and scouts with scouts.

Let's take an upcoming campout as an example. Evergreen Patrol has an upcoming campout. Without goung through the entirety of the logistics and communications, lets look at one single scout. Timmy tells his PL he is going. The cost for each patrol member is $12. The PL tells the whole patrol the $ is needed next week. The PL gives the list of attendees to the SPL (if exists) or to the SM. Here is where the communication splits but reunites. The SM arranges transportation and more importantly (using ASMs) contact the parents of the attendees directly about the logistics and their scouts responsibilities. The parent, knowing their child best will either help them remember to bring the $ to next meeting, or have it with them so the "forgetful scout" can quickly get the $ at the meeting. So the next meeting comes around and the Patrol treasurer/scribe/etc... is collecting the $ from those attending. Timmy "forgot". The PL could say, "hey is your mom still here, go see if she has it. We will wait for you." Timmy goes to mom to get the $ and returns. If a lot of scouts "forgot" then the SM minute at the end of the meeting ( or better some near future meeting) could be a yarn about responsibility and its impacts on others. 

They key is to balance the goal of the scouts personal growth and involve the parents in that journey. The SM should explain the purpose of the program and all aspects, including financial are opportunities for personal growth.

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Yep. Times change.   I was my Patrol's treasurer for a time.  I had a Tobacco pouch (zippered, leather, rubber lined, perfect for the task) to keep our money in.  I collected money for camp food, camp fees, Scout dues (!) which I had to pass on to the Troop Treasurer.  At age 12-13, 14, I had a book where I wrote all this down, and had to report to my Patrol, at our weekly meetings (!) as to who had paid what to whom. I might have anywhere from $5. to almost  $100. in that pouch at any given time.... 

Any time we have an App, a Computer connection,  a pass thru, a non-paper transaction (yeah, even Scouter.com) somebody somewhere is skimming some fee off the top and gaining some monetary emolument. Ya wanna know why your medical treatments are so high?  Ask your Medical Care Provider (not necessarily a doctor!)  how many staff are in that office.  How many computers. Certainly, MRI's and EEGs and Sonigrams save lives,  all well and wonderful,  but how has your life been improved with  all the rest?  We do pay for the "convenience".  My parent's pediatrician (for me) had ONE nurse. Just the Doc and the Nurse.  Paper files and notes.  

Our lives depend on ENIAC, Colossus,  Mr. Gates and company.    I am reminded that you can make a million dollars by selling 20,000,000 pencils for a nickel  a piece, or ONE pencil for $1,000,000.  Depends on your selling ability.  "Office Space" comes to mind....

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Venmo allows you to hide your transaction to where only you can see it. 

I use it personally for little things if I go out with friends, forgot money, etc.

My troop uses something similar, but I forget what it is called. 

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37 minutes ago, ItsBrian said:

Venmo allows you to hide your transaction to where only you can see it. 

Not completely true.

Venmo does indeed give you the illusion that you are controlling your own privacy settings, but those can be  overridden if the other party to the transaction has policies set differently.

Similar problems have been plaguing users of Facebook and other social media sites:  they provide interface elements that let you think you are controlling how your data are shared, but in reality, app developers can (and do) get around them. This is part of the reason why Facebook, Google, PayPal and others have been facing so many investigations recently and have even started getting hit with fines. (Though it might sound like alot, the recent Facebook fines of $5 billion to the US Govt for privacy violations and another $1.6 billion assessed by the EU, Facebook characterizes the fines as "chump change" and security experts don't see the fines as big enough to actually change the illegal behavior of Facebook or other tech giants.)

The more you know, the less you'll trust social media apps...

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