Trust Payments

One of Venmo's least understood features was Trust. If User A and User B decided to Trust each other on Venmo, User A could request money from User B and receive it without User B needing to confirm. As Venmo's userbase grew there was a concern that due to the general lack of understanding around this feature people may start to abuse it. Around 80% of users trusted at least 1 person, less than 3% of those users had ever made a Trust payment, and less than 1% of those users had made more than 1. Since Venmo was about sending money simply and securely we decided to fix this.

My role as the lead and sole designer on this project was to conceptualize and execute on a variety of concepts as well as help lead user testing sessions. The project team also consisted of a PM and a few engineers.

Sketching Concepts

The main design principle for this project was to make trusting someone hard to do by accident. If two users wanted to enter a Trust relationship we needed to make sure they understood what that meant. I sketched out and user tested three different UX options. Option 1: hold to trust, option 2: swipe to trust, and option 3: type to trust.

While all 3 options were disruptive and met the design principle, we found that users who were shown either option 1 or option 2 continued to have difficulty understanding what Trust meant since it still relied on them reading text. The user was more inclined to discover how to advance vs actually reading to understand.

Our Solution

After our initial set of user testing we decided that Option 3 was our winner. I tweaked the initial design from the user only needing to type the word "Trust" to asking them to type a short sentence explaining what Trust on Venmo meant.

This feature was then built and ready to launch before a key stakeholder decision was made that we would be better off removing Trust all together.