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Square today is officially launching Square Cash, a product that allows anyone to send money to a contact via email. Square initially soft-launched the product to a limited number of users as we reported earlier this year but is now opening the service to all users with a few tweaks to the initial payments system.

Clearly this launch aligns with the company’s goal of reducing friction around payments and making commerce simpler. Whereas Square’s core products, including its iPad register and swiper, make payments easy for merchants, this makes sending cash to anyone as simple as sending an email.  The new Square Cash product is a clear swipe (get it? ha!) at other companies product’s such as Venmo and Google’s Gmail integration in Google Wallet, both of which allow you to do the same thing.  PayPal also has a budding interest in frictionless payments as it made obvious with its recent $800 million acquisition of Braintree, which also owned Venmo.

How does Square Cash Work?

square_cash_emailThe sender simply emails cash@square.com and CC’s the person they want to send the money to with the amount of money either in the subject or body of the email. If the sender has not already added his or her debit card, then Square will instruct the sender to register a debit card on a web page with just the card number, billing ZIP code and the expiration date. The recipient will immediately get another email from Square telling them that they have received money from the sender with a link to add the recipient’s debit card, billing ZIP and expiration date.

Once they type in their debit card information, this begins the transfer, which takes one to two business days. We’re told that the recipient has up to 14 days to enter the debit card and receive the money, and the recipient will get reminders every other day via email.

Square is also releasing native apps for Android and iOS that incorporate email, as well. When you open the Square Cash app on your phone, you’ll be prompted with a number pad, in which you type in the amount of money you want to send. Once you do this, the app will bring up an email from the dedicated email client on the phone. The email will be pre-filled with the amount the sender entered, and they can type anything in the body of the email, as well as input the email of the person.

Overall, Square Cash looks like a solid product offering for frictionless P2P payments and perhaps best of all there are no transaction fees when sending or receiving money using Square Cash.


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