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Tired of carrying cash around? Thanks to Venmo, you may no longer need to.

Already accepted at food trucks, including Coup de Taco, Hemo’s, Hub Bub and Don Memo’s, Venmo is a new text messaging-based payments system founded by Penn alumni, Andrew Kortina and Iqram Magdon-Ismail.

The system is intended to replace cash, and will be the future of payments, according to Magdon-Ismail.

From their cellphones, users text the Venmo main number with the amount of payment and the recpient and then Venmo makes the transfer, the Venmo web site explains.

“Our goal is to become the number one payment processor in the country,” he said.

Kortina and Magdon-Ismail came up with the idea when they were at a concert and could not buy the band’s CD because there was no way for the musician to accept credit card payments. After this experience, they decided to set up a way for people to send money via cell phones.

Kortina said they did not want to create something internet-based just for the iPhone because not everyone has one. “But we liked the simplicity of text messaging,” he said.

According to Magdon-Ismail, it’s this simplicity that makes it nice to see food trucks like Hemo’s be able to accept payments using technology.

Coup de Taco co-founder Jeff Henretig said he appreciates how Venmo is convenient for customers and economical for small businesses like his.

“We can’t afford credit card fees right now, so Venmo is good for us because they’re not charging us any transaction fee,” he said.

Engineering senior Harish Venkatesan, who is helping market Venmo on campus, stressed this convenience aspect for students, including how Venmo accounts can be linked to both credit cards and bank accounts.

Not only can Venmo be used to pay businesses, it can also be used to send money to friends for utilities or splitting bills.

According to Magdon-Ismail, Venmo will also be useful for sorority and fraternity fundraisers, as well as for other organizations on campus that will be able to accept non-cash payments by setting up a Venmo username for their organization.

It can also be used to reimburse employees and to make purchases off of Craigslist. Kortina said they are currently talking to Marathon Grill and Steven Starr restaurants in the city to get them to accept Venmo payments.

He said that it is useful even for businesses that already accept credit cards but want to better engage their customers.

Venmo allows users to import a photo from Facebook, so that businesses can see this photo of their customers as they pay, and vice versa. Users can also attach notes to Venmo payments, increasing this personal aspect.

“In about a year, everyone on Penn’s campus will be using it,” said Magdon-Ismail. “It’s the future of how we’re all going to pay for things.”

Currently, sign-ups for Venmo can only be done on an invite basis. Readers can sign up using the invite code “penn-dp”.

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