It seems like it should be easy to send cash electronically, but until now that hasn’t been the case. Cash App, for better or worse, can make the process as simple as sending an email or typing your card number into a simple web page.
Pros: It's free for consumers and very easy to use.
Cons: It's almost too easy to use—although you don’t hear many reports of fraud—with very limited options for international availability.
How Cash App Works
Cash App (formerly known as Square Cash) is easy to use. Just follow the prompts, which ask you to enter a dollar amount and basic contact information of the person you're sending to or requesting from. You can use phone numbers, email addresses, or $Cashtags (branded usernames specific to the Cash App platform).
To use the mobile Cash App platform, simply open the app, enter your dollar amount, and click "Request" or "Pay." Enter the recipient's email address, phone number, or $Cashtag. You can leave a brief note detailing what the payment is for. Then, click "Pay" or "Request" again to confirm.
Funds come from your checking account via your debit card, and payment goes to the recipient’s debit card or checking account, typically in one to five business days.
You can also use Cash App from any secure web browser. Much like the app, you'll simply log in, click "New," and then enter the details of the person you're paying or requesting money from.
The Appeal of Cash App
There are a number of P2P payment services out there, so what makes Cash App appealing to its users? It’s currently one of the simplest and least expensive ways to make payments:
- There are minimal fees to use Cash App unless you send money with a linked credit card (3% fee) or request an instant deposit (1.5% fee)
- The app and web platform are user friendly and simple to follow
- There’s no need to install any special software, nor do you need to link it to social networks
- You just provide your debit card number, which is probably available in your pocket—no need to dig up bank account numbers and routing numbers if you don't want to
Cash App started out as Square Cash, a P2P service, but businesses can also now use the service using Cash for Business. The cost to receive payments through a business account is 2.75%.
If you want to give your customers one more way to pay, Cash App might do the trick. They can use their own device, or type in their card number on a device you provide (assuming they trust you) to complete payment. No cash, checks, or change required.
Personal accounts are monitored for heavy or unusual activity. Some customers report having their personal account converted to a business account if the company suspects you’re conducting business.
Cash App’s simplicity is great, but it comes at a cost. Be aware of the following issues so that your experience with the service is as smooth as possible (or maybe you’ll decide to use a different service):
Any email sent from your address (or that appears to have come from your address—hackers can trick email systems) will pull funds from your checking account. It’s essential to password protect any device with access to your email accounts, keep your virus protection up to date, and keep an eye out for strange transactions in your bank account.
It's also a good idea to set Cash App to ask for the three-digit security code from the back of your card for every payment.
Cash App is available within the United States and the United Kingdom, but other international payments are not allowed. In addition, you’ll need a “real” debit card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover) that is linked to a checking account; prepaid debit cards and ATM cards won’t work.
The service is designed to run with minimal human involvement, and some customers have had a hard time getting answers when they encounter the occasional (but inevitable) hiccup.
Cash App allows you to send and receive up to $1,000 per week within any 30-day period. If you want to go above those limits, you must verify your identity by providing your full name, date of birth, and the last 4 digits of your Social Security number.
One Card Per Email
You can only link one debit card to your email address. Of course, you might have multiple email addresses, so it’s not too hard to use different debit cards for different payments. If you want to change the card linked to your email address, you can create an account and make changes online.
Customer Service Options
Cash App offers a pretty bare-bones service, but it does what people need, and does it well. If you have any problems, there are a few ways to solve them.
There are three ways to contact Cash App's customer support team. You can send a detailed email message through the app or web platform, reach customer service by phone at 1 (800) 969-1940, or send physical mail to:
1455 Market Street Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94103
Mistakes Making Payments
Cash App notes that payments sent to other Cash App users are instant and usually cannot be canceled. If you made a mistake, you can ask the recipient to refund your money by tapping on the payment in question and selecting "Refund."
If any unauthorized charges appear in your bank account, contact your bank immediately to get full protection under federal law. It’s also a good idea to let Cash App know that you’re disputing the charge.
To keep tabs on any Cash App activity, you can sign up for text message alerts. To do this, you’ll need to create an account and turn on text alerts.
Use a Bank Account
Alternatives to Cash App
Venmo is one of the most popular P2P payment methods, but that popularity has attracted scammers.