”Cheddar Up vs. Venmo: how are you different?“
You’re not the first to ask, and you won’t be the last. Once you’ve used Cheddar Up, the distinction shows for itself — but we know that if you’re here, it’s likely because you’re trying to decide if you should dive in. Do we really offer anything you can’t get from Venmo?
If you’re managing a group, that’s a resounding yes. In fact, that’s how we’d sum up the key difference: Our features are built to simplify group management — those high volumes of payments for different purposes, coming at you from all angles, requiring meticulous reporting.
But what exactly does that look like? Here, we give a detailed breakdown of Cheddar Up vs. Venmo and PayPal.
Group organizers tell us that Venmo is too light, and PayPal too painful.
Types of payment platforms and their purposes
Before we can compare, it’s helpful to understand what we’re comparing. (It’s a little apples-to-oranges, as the saying goes.) The world of online payments generally fits into two primary-use categories: small and medium business (SMB) and peer-to-peer (P2P).
SMB platforms (PayPal, Square) are primarily intended for business transactions of any size, but especially large value due to the high transaction limit. Most include invoicing features, and some are integrated with online retailers for a seamless purchasing experience.
The key use, in short: business.
P2P platforms (Venmo, Cash app, Zelle) are for money being exchanged between two people, no reporting necessary. Think back to the days of cash: If you paid someone for something without expecting a receipt, that’s a P2P payment. Paying a babysitter, splitting the dinner check, etc.
The key use, in short: personal.
What doesn’t fit neatly into this two-category approach? The key use, in short: Groups. There’s a wide-open space in between business and personal — a space you don’t always see until you’re in the group organizer’s seat. That’s where Cheddar Up lands.
Looking through this lens, there are really three distinct categories with little overlap.
The question to ask, then, is not, “Which payment platform is the absolute best?” but rather, “Which one is best for my specific needs?” It’s all about your purpose. Our team has accounts on multiple payment platforms because sometimes they fit the bill. (Pun intended.)
Let’s talk about Cheddar Up’s purpose.
Why Cheddar Up (vs. Venmo) is the best payment platform for groups
Venmo, PayPal, and their friends do their jobs, and do them well. What they don’t do optimally is your job — as a group organizer. What do we mean? Here are a few common conundrums:
- You don’t simply need to collect payments. You also have a form attached.
- You love the idea of having a convenient online system to get payments in on time, but sometimes it’s not convenient for you to sort through.
- Your groups have multiple payment needs — when they aren’t tagged and categorized, it adds hours (hours!) to your role.
- You need meticulous reporting. It’s hard to catch everything on an endless scroll.
- Insert your own here.
This is where Cheddar Up comes to play. From our founding, our focus has been group management, and that’s where we plan to stay. We’re literally built for groups — specifically implementing feedback and requests from group organizers.
Cheddar Up’s exclusive features were created to solve these group-specific online-payment needs.
Accept payments and custom forms in one single transaction.
Group payments typically come with some kind of form attached, literally. Think: PTA membership registrations, field trip permission slips, and fundraiser order forms. With Cheddar Up, you can connect payments to custom forms at the same URL so that no one can check out without providing the necessary information. No more blank Venmo description boxes or linking to a separate document (and losing people in the process).
Categorize and sort payments.
Groups collect money for multiple items, sometimes simultaneously. Cheddar Up saves you the headache of sorting through incoming funds with custom pages — we call them “collections” — for each specified collecting purpose. So instead of having one large endless-scroll “pot”, you have designated “buckets” to direct payments.
Track and tally money automatically.
Every single payment and piece of information you receive online is automatically tracked and totaled in our robust reporting center. You can view the total received across your entire account, or the separate totals of each collection. You can even view the totals for the separate items within each collection. (This makes merchandise sales a breeze.)
Create custom automated reports.
Assign multiple account managers and adjust permissions.
This is a very key distinction between Cheddar Up vs. Venmo. Most mainstream payment platforms require you to set up an account through one email address and/or phone number — which gets sticky (and increasingly insecure) the more you circulate the credentials. Cheddar Up allows as many account managers as you need, each with their own logins and permissions.
Transition the account to another leader.
Individual logins also simplify transitioning to new leadership teams, but that’s not the only way Cheddar Up helps with handoffs. Your organization’s account contents and history stays intact no matter who is at the helm. Our intuitive, step-by-step interface also helps lower the learning curve — allowing new leaders to jump right into business-as-usual.
Choose your own fees.
Groups love Cheddar Up’s flexible fee structure! On a collection-by-collection basis, you decide whether your group or payers pay the fees, which can be as low as $0.59. (Here’s a Fees FAQ.) We know that, for many groups, being able to keep as many funds as possible can have a huge impact on your efforts.
Cheddar Up vs. Venmo and for small businesses
Through serving group payment solutions, we’ve also attracted a number of small businesses who face similar challenges: They need an online shop-and-pay experience that better displays products, manages multiple incoming payments, and helps simplify record-keeping. Small businesses, especially those that sell products, also fall through the space between Venmo’s simplicity and PayPal’s services-centric invoicing features.
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, small businesses can use Cheddar Up to:
- Post items for sale, with photos, for no listing fee
- Create dropdown menus within an item for multiple sizes, colors, sleeve length, etc — and track the quantities of each option
- Track all collection visitors, whether they’ve purchased or not, for marketing purposes
- Add shipping fees
- Print packing slips directly from the dashboard
- Offer discount codes
Collect both in one transaction
Dedicated to specific payment needs
Payers choose purchases from a list
Items with photos, dropdowns for options
No additional software needed
By item, collection, and account
Separate logins and permissions
Choose how much and who pays
Set start-and-end dates for collecting
Pay with one simple click
Cheddar Up is a one-stop shop
“I struggled with online sign ups for years until I found Cheddar Up. I would send out a Google Form and people would have to go elsewhere to pay, which then forced me to have to track people down and nag them for the money they promised which gets frustrating. Having everything built into one system, while making it so my nonprofit doesn’t lose money and pay fees has been such a blessing and has made my events easier to organize.”
Cheddar Up keeps funds separate and secure
“We looked at Venmo, but because it has to be associated with one cell phone, that causes problems. You can set up an alternate business account, but you have to be very careful when you’re in the app to make sure you’re in the correct location to avoid commingling funds.”
Cheddar Up doesn’t require extra fees
“Cheddar Up was the platform I would design in my head for PTO fundraising if I could dream it up myself. The ease of use, and the elimination of paying small fees every time someone makes a small payment is BRILLIANT. We work so hard for every dollar we raise that seeing those fees add up is difficult. The elimination of worrying whether someone is stealing cash is also fantastic. As a PTO, we take in LOTS of relatively small payments. The record keeping and accountability is fantastic.”
In short, before you go
Venmo was created for individuals, and PayPal best serves merchants — but Cheddar Up was made for groups. That sheer volume of information and payments is our playground. We link custom forms + payments in the same transaction, and sort, tally, and report everything you receive.