January 7, 2020

Lawmakers are lobbying for the creation of a ‘public Venmo’

New York state lawmakers proposed the creation of a public digital banking system that resembles Venmo to assist the underbanked.

New York state lawmakers proposed the creation of a “public Venmo” system that could offer underbanked New Yorkers a digital payment option. 

It would be like Venmo… but without the fees

A team of politicians and a law professor drafted a bill proposing what they called an Inclusive Value Ledger (IVL). 

  • Like Venmo, this system would allow users to store money digitally and transfer money to other users.
  • Unlike Venmo, this system would not charge fees for instant bank transfers or credit card transactions.

Under the plan, the state of New York would issue digital wallets to all individuals (and businesses) in the state, giving everyone in New York the ability to spend their money without transaction fees or delays. 

Currently, many New Yorkers rely on expensive services like payday lenders or check-cashing services to access their earnings — but the IVL would prevent New Yorkers from losing money to these services, which are often exploitative.

If New York’s plan passes, it could be a model for the rest of the US.

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