Venmo halfheartedly responds to its mobile payment security woes

eBay's Venmo mobile payment service can be extra-helpful when you need to repay a debt to a friend, but it's grappling with some significant security problems -- and it's not clear that a proper fix is in sight. Slate notes that Venmo not only lacks a few basic security measures, such as notifying you when login details change, but encourages risky steps like linking your bank routing info. If someone gets in under that circumstance, your bank account could be permanently compromised. There's also little support outside of a slow-to-respond email system, so you may be left high and dry if you need urgent help.

Relief is coming. California officials quietly ordered Venmo to tackle its "unsafe practices," including requirements that it keep an eye out for shady activity and set up a formal customer assistance policy. It's cooperating, and the state tells the New York Times that the remediation process is "continuing." For its part, Venmo says that it's both bolstering security and rethinking its support to help you sooner. However, the promises are rather vague -- there's no mention of addressing the notification or account routing issues brought up in the Slate piece, and there are no firm commitments to improving response times. The chances are that Venmo's security is indeed getting better, but you'll just have to cross your fingers (and use a strong password) until it's clear that there are extra precautions in place.