Venmo won't let you pay or charge people from its website anymore

Its smartphone apps were clearly a bigger priority.

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If you've ever used Venmo to pay someone your share of the electric bill or for a half a pizza, you probably did it from your smartphone. Most of the service's users do. There's a loyal subset of people who prefer using Venmo's website for all that, too, but they're all pretty upset right now. According to a statement included in users' May 2018 account summaries, Venmo will "phase out some of the functionality on the website over the coming months," and it's starting with the ability to send payment requests and complete charges from inside a web browser. (In a chilling coda, the company reiterates at the end of the statement that "this is just the start.")

All told, it's probably not a huge surprise to hear that a company with a long-standing focus on mobile payments will, you know, continue to focus on mobile payments. That said, many of Venmo's ardent web users aren't taking the news very well — the fact that Venmo didn't see fit to tell anyone why it made the decision it did, or what the Venmo web experience would ultimately look like, certainly didn't help matters. A statement obtained by TechCrunch, however, shines a little more light on this whole thing: while payments and charges can no longer be handled from the Venmo site, you'll still be able to use it for cashing out balances and accessing your settings and statements.

That's pretty barebones compared to what you'd see if you logged into the site just a few days ago, but at least now the company's priorities are now clear: as convenient as the web interface was, it would never be as important to Venmo's business as its apps are. Whether this doubling-down on the mobile experience will help the PayPal subsidiary maintain its lead over one of its biggest rivals remains to be seen, though — a recent report suggests that Zelle, a competitor dreamed up by a handful of US banks — is on track to surpass Venmo in terms of users by the end of the year.