Venmo is popular with the young crowd; Zele aims to please the older crowd. Enter CashApp which is very popular with musicians and hip-hop artists. Created by Square (you know, the company that makes those simple, cute, white devices that many small businesses use to transact business) in 2013, CashApp is one of the hottest cash payment app. In fact, CashApp recently surpassed Venmo in the number of cumulative downloads as of July 2019, with 59 Million versus Venmo’s 51 Million.
Increasing Popularity: There are two major factors for CashApp’s popularity: (1) Street Cred: For reasons unknown even to Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Square, CashApp is very popular in the rap and hip-hop world; and (2) Increased services that CashApp provides that its P2P competitors do not.
- Street Cred: Do you remember rappers back in our day with their gold grills in their mouth flashing $$$?
- Popular with Rap and Hip-Hop Artists: If ever there was an example of the impact that technology has on our culture, go no further than CashApp. Remember back in the day, you’d see hip-hop and rap artists wearing gold chains with their gold grille carrying loads of cash (you know, it’s best to pay for booze and strippers with cash!)? Fast forward a couple of decades and today’s rappers like Iggy Azlea, Mack Mill and about 200 hip hop artists literally sing their praises about CashApp. Iggy’s lyrics, “Hit me on my CashApp, check it in the morning”, is just one of a couple hundred songs about CashApp. Even the popular Venmo App garnered a mention in only 110 tracks, while Zelle has only 3 mentions Floyd “A1” Bentley, a rapper and star of VH1 reality show “Love & Hip-Hop Hollywood” even titled one of his singles “CashApp”.
- CashApp is Used in Promoting Songs: Some artists like Travis Scott have used the CashApp for promoting their songs. Last summer, Scott gave away a total of $100k via the CashApp for fans who could quote his lyrics from his latest album on Twitter. Fans were able to earn anywhere from $50 to $1,000.
- CashApp Friday: Square itself has started their own promotion to leverage off of CashApp’s popularity with the rap and hip-hop industry by sponsoring “CashApp Friday” where Square distributes cash digitally to users who request it.
Additional Services Besides Transferring $$$: Although a latecomer to the mobile payment app scene, the CashApp has become very popular due to its many additional features that often replace the need to use banks.
- $Cashtags: Like hashtags in Twitter (Twitter and CashApp are both Owned by Square, CashApp users can create their own “hashtag” in the form of a $Cashtag that allows users to request or receive money through their personalized url (as detailed below). Incorporating social media to transact money gives CashApp a modern and hip feel to its brand, and unlike Venmo’s social feed which is defaulted to “public”, $cashtags offer anonymity when requesting payment.
- CashCard Visa Debit Card: Adding another “coolness” factor is the unique design of the CashCard Visa Debit Card. Envision a very cool minimalist all black card bearing only the VISA logo, the RDIF Chip, and your customizable (you can design your own signature with a drawing or anything as long as it’s not obscene). The popularity of the CashCard’s customizable signature feature that is has spawn a viral phenomenon with artists designing unique one-of-a kind “signatures” not bearing your real name.
- Can Have Both a Personal and Business Account: Listen up PTA moms and other non-profits or small businesses, CashApp allows you to create both a personal and business account. Although Venmo offers a similar service, they do not allow setting up a personal and business account; funds must be connected to a different bank account. The one caveat is that business accounts are limited to only receiving money at a cost of 2.75% of the amount received (arguably, you may be able to set up a personal account for your fundraiser to avoid the transaction fee). This offers a fun and convenient way for your donor’s to send money to you or your fundraising group. Plus, this offers your donors a number of way to send money to your account using only their phone: (1) the CashApp itself; (2) for iphone users, the iMessage, Siri, and Apple Pay (you must first add the CashPay as a source for money for your Apple Pay on your phone ); (3) online through the your personal url on cash.me as follows, “cash.me/$[your self-selected handle]”. Power Tip: The CashApp business account can only receive funds and cannot send out money, as opposed to the personal account which can send and receive funds.
- Allows Withdrawing Cash at any ATM: With Cash Cards, CashApp users can withdraw money at any ATM up to $250/transaction, $1,000 in any 24-hour period and within a 7-day period, and $1,250 in any 30-day period. The fee charged by Cash App is $2 and any additional fees charged by the ATM of the bank. Power Tip: You can get reimbursed for ATM fees, including those charged by the ATM operator if you setup at least one direct deposit from your employer of $50+/month to your CashApp.
- Allows ACH Direct Deposit of Payroll: Employers can easily set up ACH Direct Deposit of your payroll into the CashApp. Power Tip: The money in the CashApp is currently not protected by FDIC, but this may change as Square has reapplied to qualify as a bank.
- $Cashtag: As mentioned above, users can create their own $Cashtag which allows senders to go to your personalized site to pay you. Square sees $CAshtags as a way for small businesses and nonprofits to replace checks that they would normally receive from customers or donors. Power Tip: Creating your own $Cashtag will allow you to keep anonymity as you can request any money payment to your handle, and not reveal your name, cell number, or email. This feature would be beneficial when you sell items to the public.
- CashBoosts (aka Discounts at Certain Businesses) for CashCard: CashApp allows for daily “boosts”, which really is a fancy way of saying discounts with certain businesses like Chipotle, Subway, Chick Fil, Starbucks, Whole Food, and for that matter, any coffee shops. A boost can only be used once every 2 hours.
- Buying and Selling of Bitcoin: Want to dive into the bitcoin craze but need a simple way? Because the founder and CEO of Square, Jack Dorsey, sees bitcoin “as a long-term path towards greater financial access for all”, the CashApp now allows users to easily buy and sell bitcoins. So, there’s no need to go to a bitcoin site which can be very confusing. CashApp has made bitcoin transactions as easy as cash transactions. CashApp does not charge a transaction fee but it paid by the difference the rate of bitcoin and what it asks for the buyer to pay. This is kind of like currency exchange businesses that are used in foreign countries. The good news is that CashApp bases its Bitcoin prices on the mid-market rate that is determined by volatility and exchange price. Users have said that CashApp’s prices for Bitcoin are only slightly higher than the median price. For those who intend to hold onto their Bitcoin as a long-term investment, CashApp makes it easy to transfer your digital currency to another wallet. It also allows you to transfer profits from selling bitcoin to any bank account or debit card linked to your CashApp.
4 Ways to Send Money Through CashApp: The CashApp allows money to be sent to individuals and small businesses with the sources for payment coming from either your bank account or credit card that is linked to the CashApp, or CashCard. Power Tip: If you the source of money sent is through a credit card, you will be charged a 3% fee. Whereas, if the source is your bank account or debit card, it’s free.
- Cash App: After downloading the CashApp, you can send money using the recipient’s email address, cell number or $cashtag.
- CashCard VISA Debit Card
- $Cashtag: As mentioned above, what’s great about the $Cashtag which essentially a personal url allows you to remain anonymous because you won’t have to give your email or other sensitive information to get your money. Just go to cash.me and type in a person’s $cashtag which is their personal handle. This allows those individuals who do not have a CashApp account to send money to CashApp users.
Through Apple: What’s really cool for Apple users is that CashApp is integrated with Apple’s Services and products so that CashApp users can send or receive money as follows:
- IMessage: Through iMessage simply by tapping the CardApp icon above the keyboard to access a simple process to pay. Power Tip: One cool feature is that if you want to send the money as a gift, select “gift wrap” and it will allow you to write a note and not show the dollar amount until your recipient opens it.
- Siri: Using the latest version of iOS, go to settings to enable sending cash through Siri by selecting the CashApp and toggle to “on” with “Use with Siri” button. Once enabled, you can send money to anyone in your contacts list just like you would with any Siri command, “Hey Siri, send $50 to Dad using CashApp”.
- Adding the CashApp to Apple Pay: What’s cool is that you can turn your Cash App into a virtual card by adding it into the Apple Pay. By doing this allows you to pay for products or services that take Apple Pay, thus expanding the CashCards functionality pass P2P. It also will allow you to have the same protections against merchants that the Apple Pay has.
- Square Apple Watch: Square has teamed up with Apple to create a version focused on the SquareApp. It is $699.00. Surprisingly, Square did not create the CashApp to work with the Square mobile card readers.
Receiving Funds: Any funds received will be added to you balance in your CashApp account. You can access this money through a “cashout” process in one of three ways: (1) requesting it be transferred to a linked bank account; (2) using the cash in your CashCard; and (3) for employees, setting up an ACH Direct Deposit of their Paychecks. The deposit will appear with a prefix SQC* or the name of the sender.
- Fees: There is no fee to the recipient of the funds in a personal account. However, business accounts are charged 2.75% of the amount received.
- Process Time: There are two ways based upon the speed in process time in which you can have your deposit: (1) Instant Deposit Option: Funds will instanteously be transferred if this option is selected; however there is a fee of 1.5% of the amount charged for this service; and (2) Standard: This delivery method will take up to three days (except longer if a holiday).
Some Important Tips: In addition to all the other power tips, here’s some other tips worth mentioning:
- Referral Program: CashApp users can earn some money (usually about $5) if they refer a friend to register for its app, and the friend does so who then refers another friend and makes a transaction within 14 days.
- Security: CashApp uses the same level of security used for its business POS transactions which is the “Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCIDSS) Level I. Sensitive Information is encrypted before it’s sent to Square’s servers. They have also added a security lock, Touch ID and can receive a text every time a payment is made from your cash account so long as you set it to in your settings.
- App Fraud Protection: CashApp will protect against any unauthorized payments which show up on your financial statement so long as you report the unauthorized statement immediately. An investigation can take up to 45 days.
- Scams: Like Venmo and Zelle, scammers will use the CashApp to illegally obtain money. One particular fraud which is very similar to “money laundering” occurs when someone makes a bogus cash payment to another user. Thinking that it was an “accident”, the receiver sends that money back to the sender, not knowing that the initial transaction was probably from a stolen card or bank account. The result is that the scammer receives “clean” money from you.
- Canceling Payment: Payment transfers between CashApp users are instantaneous and cannot be cancelled. However, you may be able to cancel a payment if you hit the clock button immediately after you sent the payment. If you can cancel the payment because it has not been finalized (takes 1-3 business days to clear the bank), then there will be a button allowing for cancellation.
- Limits on Amount to Send and Receive: CashApp lets you send up to $250 within any 7-day period and receive up to $1,000 within any 30-day period. You can increase these limits by verifying your identity using your full name, date of birth, and the last 4 digits of your SSN. There are no limits to the amounts you can receive in CashApp, but you will need to verify the above information if you receive more than $1,000 in 30 days.
- Bluetooth Support: CashApp has an innovative Bluetooth feature to find nearby payees. This can be helpful if a recipient is not in your contact list.
- Using the CashCard to Pay for Gas: Gas stations may charge your Cash Card a temporary authorization hold of up to $100. The cost of your gas will be charged later as a separate transaction that releases the authorization hold. It can take up to 14 days for the authorization hold to be released and the funds returned to your Cash App. To avoid this issue, try paying a set amount at the register before you pump.
- Support: CashApp has a support staff separate from Square’s standard products. It is only by email or social media.
- Cash App is Available in the U.S. and Select Foreign Countries: The CashApp is not available to U.S. territories like Puerto Rico, Guam U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Northern Marianas. It is available in the following countries (with its own version of the CashApp): Japan, Australia, and Canada.
- Don’t Send Money to Someone You Don’t Know: While cash payment apps are a convenient way to repay friends, never use it to pay for concert tickets bought on craigslist as it’s easy to be scammed. All P2P providers advise, “Don’t send money to anyone you don’t know. Keep it to family and friends.”
As with so many new technological advancements, mobile cash payment apps have changed how money is exchanged between friends and with businesses; instead of cash or checks, the P2P has eliminated the need to carry or use cash. That being the case, let’s make sure to know what is the social etiquette involved when using P2Ps. We’ll explore this in the next post.