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This article was published on February 27, 2016

Venmo shutters API beta to new users to focus on ‘Pay with Venmo’

Venmo shutters API beta to new users to focus on ‘Pay with Venmo’
Lauren Hockenson
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Lauren Hockenson

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Lauren is a reporter for The Next Web, based in San Francisco. She covers the key players that make the tech ecosystem what it is right now. Lauren is a reporter for The Next Web, based in San Francisco. She covers the key players that make the tech ecosystem what it is right now. She also has a folder full of dog GIFs and uses them liberally on Twitter at @lhockenson.

New developers who were interested in linking up with the Venmo API got quite a shocking eyeful today when they tried to access the sign-up page: it wasn’t there.

But contrary to reports, Venmo hadn’t pulled the plug its six-year-old API beta entirely — the company has paused the program for new users to work on a service that already encompasses much of what third-party developers are doing by themselves.

Screenshot 2016-02-26 16.42.27

Despite the rather disconcerting message on the site that the “Venmo API is no longer available,” a spokesperson from Venmo confirmed that users who already had access to the beta API will not be affected. This means that projects already released on the backbone of the Venmo API — perhaps, most notably, its integration with Braintree — would remain up and running despite the pause on the program’s applications for new users:

The Venmo Developer API is, and will be, available to all existing users and we will continue to support those partners, including Braintree merchants. We have, however, discontinued accepting new beta users of the API as we are focusing efforts to open up the beta to pay with Venmo. Focusing our efforts on allowing users to pay with Venmo within select merchant apps allows us to provide many of the capabilities previously powered by the API, now with optimal user and developer experiences alike.

‘Pay with Venmo’ is a program announced in January of this year that allows apps to integrate Venmo with the app to pay businesses. The program is currently used by apps such as Munchery and Gametime, but it’s clear the company is zeroed in on bringing the program to a beta process that allows more companies to get on board.

It seems that ‘Pay with Venmo’ would offer many of the features that the API already has, but as a plug-and-play opportunity for developers rather than building an app from scratch. While that might not satisfy all potentially new developers, it’s likely to appease the merchants trying to incorporate Venmo into some aspect of their businesses.