Square Cash

Every business should use Square. The payment processing company makes it super easy for both customers and small companies to conduct transactions.

For example, when on business travel and forced to hop a cab, cab drivers just need their smartphone and the Square app/dongle to take my payment. My receipt is then emailed to me automatically since it’s tied to the card I use. Easy for me, easy for them, and everybody wins.

Now, the payment company is making it super easy to send money from one person to another via email with Square Cash.

square_cash_diagramThe Verge explains how it works:

To use Square Cash, all you do is compose an email to a friend, type the amount you way to pay in the subject title, and cc [email protected] If it’s your first time using the service, you’re directed to Square’s website where you type in your debit card number — and you’re done. There are no accounts to create, apps to download, friends to add, surcharges to pay, or bank account numbers to look up. […]

Square is debuting its own iPhone and Android app for Cash as well, but not in the conventional sense. Upon opening the app, you’re presented with a number pad for entering a dollar amount. The app then drops the number you have typed into an email and cc’s [email protected] Type a friend’s name, hit send, and the money is transferred. The app is not much more than a shortcut to composing an email, like Captio for iPhone. Compared even to competitors like Google Wallet, which lets you send cash using its sleek new app or using Gmail, Square Cash is freakishly minimal.

Sounds simple enough, but is it any good? Walt Mossberg breaks it down:

There are other services that allow you to send money from one person to another digitally. You can do it via PayPal, or via a newer service called Venmo, which PayPal is in the process of acquiring. But I believe Square is simpler and more private. For instance, PayPal places received money in a PayPal account and you must transfer it to your bank in a separate step. Venmo has a strong social component that encourages users to post when payments are made.

I tested Square Cash, sending and receiving money in amounts ranging from $10 to over $1,000, with eight people, and it worked rapidly and flawlessly. I can recommend it for anyone who needs to pay a small debt, give a cash gift, split a bill, or send cash quickly and easily.

I sent several $5, $10 and $25 amounts, and asked for and received, all or part of the money back, in order to test receiving money. I also used Square Cash to settle a real bill, with a friend, to pay my half of a shared $2,223.76 fee she had covered. It worked fine in every case.

The people helping me test were generally wowed. One called it “slick.” Another replied: “Done. Two secs.” A third, with whom I had trouble using PayPal last year, said she’d use it “1,000 percent.”

There is one big caveat: You have to trust Square. The company has a strong track record in its merchant business, so it isn’t brand new to the money-transfer business. And Square says it has strong security measures and close human and machine monitoring for possible fraud. If fraud is suspected, the company says it can and will reverse the fund transfer. Still, digital services do get hacked, and email can be manipulated by thieves. The service notifies you via email or text that it appears you have sent money, which gives you a chance to cancel a transaction that didn’t come from you or was a mistake.

So, if you don’t trust Square to defeat such things, you shouldn’t use Square Cash.

Sounds like a really useful service. Looking forward to trying this out.

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