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Square Cash App Review: What You Need to Know Before You Start Sending and Receiving Money


Written by Brittney Laryea | Published on 4/12/2019

What is the Square Cash App?

The Square Cash App is a peer-to-peer payments service by Square, Inc. Individuals and businesses can send and receive payments using a credit or debit card on the Cash App, available for free on Android and iOS, or via any web browser at Cash.me. Users can also add money to their account on the Cash App and use the funds via a free Cash Card Visa Debit card.

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How does the Cash App work?

When you set up your Cash account — after you enter a code sent to you and confirm your phone number or email address — you will be asked to select your primary use for Cash: business or personal.

If you plan to send money only to friends and family, you’ll select personal. If you plan to accept money for goods or services, select business. If you plan to use Cash for both business and personal use, Square recommends you create two separate Cash accounts and logging out between payments. After you finish registering and link your bank account, you’ll be able to send and receive money on a personal account and to receive money on a business account.

How to send money with Cash App

You can send and receive money four different ways using Square Cash:

  1. You can use the Cash App
  2. Send via the Cash.me website
  3. If you use Apple products, you can also send and receive funds using Cash’s iMessage integration or,
  4. You can ask Siri to send the money for you.

In each case, the recipient should get an email or text letting them know you sent them money through Cash.

Cash App

To send money using the Cash app, first input how much money you want to send. You must enter at least $1 and then tap “pay.” Next, select the person you’re sending this money to. You can use the person’s name, their $Cashtag (a unique name Cash App users can create), or the mobile phone number connected to the recipient’s Cash account.

Fees: Cash does not charge to send money from debit accounts, but does charge you, the sender, a 3% fee if you use a credit card.

Cash.me

To send money on Cash using a browser, you will need to know the direct Cash.me URL of your recipient (i.e. Cash.me/$cashtag). Once you are there, you can pay the recipient whether or not you have a Cash account.

iMessage

Open iMessage on your Apple device, then tap the Apps icon above the keyboard. When the prompt pops up, enter the amount you want to send and tap “pay” (at this point, you also have the option to tap “app” to instead use the app on your device).

You can choose whether or not to add “gift wrap” to your payment, which would conceal the amount you’ve sent until the recipient opens it. Then select the the bank account, debit or credit card you want to use to send the cash and add an optional comment to complete your payment. Your account is charged when you select your payment option.

If you send money using Siri

Your iPhone must be running the latest version of iOS to use Siri to pay with Cash. First, go to your settings to enable Cash with Siri. Select Siri & Search, then scroll down until you see the Cash App. Select the app and toggle “Use with Siri” to the on position.

Once you’ve completed those steps, you should be able to send money using Cash to anyone in your contacts list. For example, you could say “Hey Siri, send $5 to Dad using Cash.”

How to receive money with Cash App

When you receive a Cash App payment, the money is added to the balance on your Cash account. You’ll have two options to access the funds:

  1. You’ll be asked to link your bank account or a debit card, which allows Cash to deposit your money into your bank account.
  2. You can request a free Cash Card to spend money directly from your Cash account.

How long does the Square Cash App take to deposit money into a bank account?

Square Cash can deposit funds at two speeds: standard or instant. If you select the a standard deposit option, it may take up to three days for the deposit to post in your bank account. It may take longer if the banks are closed on a national holiday or weekend.

If you select the instant option, you’ll be charged 1.5% of the deposit amount to have the money deposited to your bank account immediately. Deposits will appear on your bank statement either with the prefix SQC* or with the name of the person who sent you money.

Is the Cash App safe to use?

According to Square’s website, the Cash App uses the same fraud detection infrastructure and safety standards it uses for its business customers completing point-of-sale transaction when someone uses the cash app. When you send money, the information is encrypted before it’s sent to Square’s servers. However, there’s always a chance fraud may occur.

Square also offers ways for users to take extra precautions to prevent fraud, like enabling the Security Lock setting on the Cash App. This feature makes it a requirement to enter a passcode to authorize every Cash payment and using a passcode using a security feature like Touch ID and Face ID to unlock your mobile device and using two-factor authentication if your email provider supports the service. You can also choose to receive a text every time a successful payment is made from your Cash account by adjusting your settings in the Cash App.

If an unauthorized transaction occurs on your account, Square advises you contact support right away. Square is not responsible for any unauthorized access or use of the services on your Square account.

Is there a limit to how much money you can send and receive with the Cash App?

Sending limit: $2,500 per week
You will need to verify your verify your name, date of birth, and the last 4 digits of your SSN before you can send more than $250 in one week. After you verify your information, the weekly sending limit bumps up to $2,500.

Receiving Limit: none
You will need to verify your verify your name, date of birth, and the last 4 digits of your SSN before you can receive more than $1,000 in 30 days. After you verify your account, there is no limit on the amount of money you can receive.

Are there any fees to use the Square Cash App?

If you’re using Cash for personal use, it doesn’t charge a fee to send, request or receive money personal payments from a debit card or a bank account, or for a standard deposit.

You will pay a 3% fee if you send a personal payment using a credit card. If you use the instant deposit option, you will be charged 1.5% of the amount deposited to your bank account.

If you receive a payment on a business account, the business is charged 2.75% of the amount paid.

Are there any other limitations to the Square Cash App?

The Cash app is only available in the 50 United States — not in U.S. territories like Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Northern Mariana Islands or outside the U.S. You won’t be able to use the Cash App if you’re traveling to other countries or living abroad.

You must be 18 years or older and located in the U.S. to use the Cash App. The Cash App is only compatible with iPhones that either operates the latest version of iOS or an Android device that runs the latest operating system. Business accounts can only be used to accept payments for goods and services, not to send payments.

Good to know: Although Cash App doesn’t allow you to send payments internationally, you may be able to download a version of the app overseas. Square recently released a version of the Cash App in the United Kingdom — the app is also available in Japan, Australia and Canada. The company also launched the ability to buy and sell bitcoin using the Cash App in January 2018.

How does the Square Cash App make money?

Square Cash earns revenue from the fees assessed on transactions, such as the 3% it charges to send money from a credit card and the 1.5% Square Cash charges to make an instant deposit

Square, Inc., also earns revenue from subscriptions, services and hardware, including the Square Register and Square Stand, used by its business customers.

Square Cash vs. other person-to-person payment networks

Square Cash vs. Paypal

Process
Both Cash App and Paypal withdraw money from the sender’s app account balance, if available; otherwise, they debit a connected bank account for free, or charge a credit card for a fee. The money is then deposited into the recipient’s app balance.

The recipient can then elect to have the funds in their account balance deposited to a bank account, or forego the bank deposit and spend the Cash balance or PayPal balance using a Cash Card Visa debit card or a PayPal Cash Mastercard®, respectively. Paypal account balances can also be used to complete transactions with online retailers.

Speed
Both apps offer two deposit speeds: standard and instant.

Standard deposits on Cash app are sent to the recipient’s bank account the next business day, but may not post for up to three business days. Paypal transfers to bank accounts made before 7 p.m. ET, typically arrive the following business day. Transfers made after 7 p.m. ET or on weekends or holidays, will typically arrive on the second business day. There is no fee to make a standard bank transfer using either P2P service.

Instant deposits are sent to the recipient’s bank account immediately. Cash app charges a 1.5% fee to make an instant deposit. Paypal sends instant transfers to eligible bank accounts for $0.25 per transfer. The company says the transfer should appear in your bank account within about 30 minutes.

Fraud protection
Square Cash offers only chargeback protection to sellers. It will cover eligible chargebacks — when a buyer contests a card payment with their card-issuing bank — up to $250 each month. You are only eligible if Square determines you have followed best practices. Square is not responsible for any unauthorized access or use of the services on your square account.

Paypal offers buyer and seller protection for transactions made for goods and services, but does not provide protections for personal transactions (for example, sending money to “friends or family”). If an unauthorized transaction occurs on your account, report it to Paypal via the company’s Resolution Center within 60 days and Paypal will investigate. If your transaction qualifies for Paypal Purchase protection, you will not be liable for the charge.

Fees
Neither PayPal nor the Cash app charges a fee to send, request or receive personal payments from the app balance or a bank account, or to make a standard deposit from the app balance to a bank account.

Cash app charges the sender a 3% fee to send a payment using a credit card and 1.5% to make an instant deposit to a bank account.

Paypal does charges a 2.9% fee, plus $0.30 per transaction, for payments made from a debit card, credit card or PayPal Credit, a line of credit Paypal offers. Paypal charges $0.25 to make an instant deposit.

Other features to note
The U.S. version of the Cash App won’t work overseas; Paypal, however, does support international transfers.

Square Cash vs. Zelle

Process
Cash App withdraws money from the sender’s Cash app balance, if available (otherwise it debits a connected bank account for free, or credit card for a fee), then deposits it into the recipient’s Cash account balance. The recipient can then elect to have the funds deposited to a bank account or spend the Cash account balance using a Cash Card Visa Card.

Zelle withdraws money from the sender’s bank account and deposits them into the recipient's bank account, available for immediate use. Users can send, request or receive money using an enrolled email address or mobile phone number.

Speed
Cash app offers standard and instant deposit speeds. Cash sends standard deposits to the recipient’s bank account the next business day but the deposit may not post for up to three business days. Cash does not charge a fee to make a standard bank transfer. Instant deposits are sent to the recipient’s bank account and are available immediately, for a 1.5% fee.

Zelle transfers occur typically within minutes and are deposited into the recipient’s bank account. If the recipient is not yet enrolled in Zelle, it may take up to three business days for the money to become available in their bank account.

Fraud protection
Square Cash offers only chargeback protection to sellers. It covers up to $250 per month when a buyer contests a card payment with their card-issuing bank. Square determines eligibility.

Zelle is advertised as a service mainly for sending money to friends family and people you know personally. Zelle does not offer a protection program for purchases or sales and neither do its participating financial institutions. If it’s a transfer you initiated, you are not covered for fraud by Zelle or your bank. However, you are covered if someone else uses Zelle to hack into your account.

Fees
There are no fees to use Zelle. The Cash app only charges a fee to send a payment using a credit card (3%) and to make an instant deposit to a bank account (1.5%).

Square Cash vs. Google Pay

Process
Cash App withdraws money from the sender’s Cash app balance, if available (otherwise debits a connected bank account for free, or credit card for a fee), and then deposits them into the recipient’s Cash account. The recipient can then either have the funds deposited to a bank account or spend the Cash account balance using a Cash Card Visa debit card.

Google Pay withdraws money from the user’s default payment method (a Google Pay balance, debit card or credit card) and deposits it to the default payment method set on the recipients’ Google Pay account. If you’re sent money on Google Pay, you should receive an email or text message to alert. If you’ve set a default payment method, any money you receive through Google Pay will be sent there.

Speed
Cash app offers standard and instant deposits. Standard bank transfers are free and sent to the recipient’s bank account the next business day. However, a standard deposit may not post for up to three business days. Instant deposits are sent to the recipient’s bank account immediately, for a 1.5% fee.

On Google Pay, money sends instantly if you use a debit card or pay from your Google Pay balance. However, if you send money using a bank account or have funds deposited to a bank account, the transaction may not post for up to four days.

Fraud protection
Square Cash offers only chargeback protection to sellers. It covers up to $250 each month in eligible chargebacks — when a buyer contests a card payment with their card-issuing bank — up to $250 each month. Square determines eligibility based on its best practices.

Google Pay is advertised as a service mainly for sending money to friends family and for small business transactions. The company recommends you pay the seller in person if you do not know them personally. Google Wallet offers fraud protection for all verified unauthorized transactions. Report fraud or unauthorized activity on your account to Google within 120 days of the transaction date. Google may ask you more questions to determine if you qualify for this protection.

Fees
The Cash app charges two fees: 3% to send a payment using a credit card and 1.5% to make an instant deposit to a bank account. There are no fees to use Google Pay.

Square Cash vs. Venmo

Process
Both Venmo and the Cash App withdraw money from the sender’s app account balance, if available. If not, the services will debit a connected bank account or debit card for free, or credit card for a fee. The funds are then deposited into the recipient’s app account balance.

On either service the recipient can elect to have the funds in their account balance deposited to a bank account for free. With the Cash app, they can also spend funds in their Cash account balance using a Cash Card Visa Card. With Venmo, they can use their Venmo balance to pay for goods or services using a Venmo card at merchants that accept the card or merchants online that offer Venmo as a payment option.

Speed
Both Cash App and Venmo offer standard and instant deposit speeds. Neither charges a fee to make a standard bank transfer. Standard deposits made using Cash App are sent to the recipient’s bank account the next business day and may not post for up to three business days. Venmo transfers to bank accounts made before 7 p.m. Eastern typically arrive the following business day, although it may take up to three full business days for the money to post in your bank account.

To make an instant deposit and have the money available for use immediately, Cash charges a 1.5% fee of the transfer amount, while Venmo deducts $0.25 from the transfer amount.

Fraud protection
Square Cash offers only chargeback protection to sellers. It covers up to $250 of eligible chargebacks per month. A chargeback is when a buyer contests a card payment with their card-issuing bank. You are only eligible if Square determines you have followed best practices.

Venmo is advertised as a service mainly for payments between friends or people who know one another. The company recommends users do not make transactions with people they do not know personally, especially if the transaction involves the purchase or sale of a good or service. Venmo does not offer a protection program. In cases where someone uses your Venmo account to make unauthorized transactions, Venmo recommends you work with your bank to get a reimbursement. The bank should file a separate claim with Venmo for the amount.

Fees
Neither Venmo nor Cash App charge a fee to send, request or receive personal payments from the app balance, a debit card or a bank account, or to make a standard deposit. Cash App charges the sender a 3% fee to send a payment using a credit card and 1.5% for an instant deposit to a bank account. For business payments, the customer is charged 2.75%.

Venmo charges a 3% fee to send money using a credit card and $0.25 to make an instant transfer from your Venmo balance to a bank account.

Square Cash vs. Popmoney

Process
Cash App withdraws money from the sender’s Cash app balance, if available (otherwise debits a connected bank account for free, or credit card for a fee), and then deposits them into the recipient’s Cash account. The recipient can then have the funds deposited to a bank account or spend the Cash account balance using a Cash Card Visa debit card.

Popmoney withdraws money from the sender’s bank account and deposits them into the recipient's bank account for immediate use.

Speed
Cash app offers standard and instant deposit speeds. Standard deposits are sent to the recipient’s bank account the next business day, but may not post for up to three business days. Instant deposits are sent to the recipient’s bank account immediately.

Money sent to you via Popmoney should become available in your bank account one business day from the date you provide your Eligible Transaction Account information. When the money is sent to your bank account, you should receive an email confirming its estimated arrival date.

The time it takes for a recipient to receive money sent with Popmoney will depend on the type of account used to make the payment, but the delivery speed will be displayed when you schedule the payment. It may take longer for the money to become available in the recipient’s bank account if they are not yet enrolled in Popmoney.

Fraud protection
Square Cash offers only chargeback protection to sellers. It will cover eligible chargebacks — when a buyer contests a card payment with their card-issuing bank — up to $250 each month. You are only eligible if Square determines you have followed best practices.

Popmoney offers a somewhat limited protection program for unauthorized transfers. You are liable for up to $50 if someone accesses your account without your permission, but only if you notify Popmoney within two business days after discovering the fraud. If you wait longer than two business days, you may be liable for as much as $500. If you don’t say anything within 60 days, your liability may be unlimited.

Fees
The Cash app doesn’t charge a fee to send, request or receive personal payments from a debit card or a bank account, or for a standard deposit. It charges the sender a 3% fee to send a payment using a credit card and 1.5% for an instant deposit to a bank account. For business payments, the customer is charged 2.75%.

Popmoney does not charge a fee to receive money or pay a request. It does, however, charge $0.95 to send money using a debit card or bank account, or to request a payment from another person.

Other features to note
Popmoney does not allow users to send money using a credit card, while Cash App does.

Square Cash vs. Circle

Process
Cash App withdraws money from the sender’s Cash app balance, if available (otherwise debits a connected bank account for free, or credit card for a fee), and then deposits them into the recipient’s Cash account. The recipient can then elect to have the funds deposited to a bank account or spend the Cash account balance using a Cash Card Visa Card.

Circle withdraws money from the sender’s debit card or bank account and deposits them into the recipient's Circle balance. The recipient can then elect to have the funds deposited to a linked bank account or debit card.

Speed
Cash offers two deposit speeds: standard and instant. Standard deposits are sent to the recipient’s bank account the next business day, but may not post for up to three business days. Instant deposits are sent to the recipient’s bank account immediately.

Deposits from your Circle account to a debit card occur instantly, while it may take up to four business days for a deposit into a bank account to become available.

Fraud protection
Square Cash offers only chargeback protection to sellers. It will cover up to $250 in eligible chargebacks — when a buyer contests a card payment with their card-issuing bank — each month. Square bases eligibility on their best practices.

Circle’s protection policy states the company will reimburse users for eligible unauthorized transactions and any losses resulting from an error, after investigation, as long as the user reports the unauthorized activity within 60 days.

Fees
The Cash app doesn't charge a fee to send, request or receive personal payments from a debit card or a bank account, or for a standard deposit. It charges the sender a 3% fee to send a payment using a credit card and 1.5% for an instant deposit to a bank account. For business payments, the customer is charged 2.75%.

There are no fees to use Circle. However, the company used to support payments from credit cards. Those who still have a credit card linked are charged a 2.9% fee to send money from a credit card.

Other features to note
Circle does no longer supports credit cards, while Square Cash does support payments made using credit cards. Circle no longer allows the ability to buy and sell bitcoin, which Square Cash started offering in 2018. Buying and selling Bitcoin with Cash App is available to all Cash users except those located in New York, Georgia, Wyoming or Hawaii.

Circle can be used to send money internationally while Square Cash is limited to use in the United States only.

Square Cash vs. Facebook Messenger

Process
Cash App withdraws money directly from the sender’s Cash app balance, if available (otherwise directly debits a connected bank account for free, or credit card for a fee), and then deposits them into the recipient’s Cash account. The recipient can then have the funds deposited to a bank account or spend the Cash account balance using a Cash Card Visa Card.

Facebook messenger withdraws money directly from the sender’s bank-issued debit card or Paypal account and deposits them directly into the recipient's bank account.

Speed
Cash app offers two deposit speeds: standard and instant. Standard deposits may not post in the recipient’s bank account for up to three business days. Instant deposits are sent to the recipient’s bank account for immediate use.

Facebook messenger transfers may take up to five business days to become available in the recipient's bank account.

Fraud protection
Square Cash offers up to $250 each month in chargeback protection to sellers. It will cover eligible chargebacks — when a buyer contests a card payment with their card-issuing bank — if Square determines you have followed best practices.

Facebook offers limited fraud protection. If an unauthorized transaction shows up on your account, submit a claim within 30 days, so the company can take action to prevent financial loss. If you don’t report within 30 days, you will have waived all claims related to the transaction.

Fees
There are no fees to send or receive money using Facebook messenger. The Cash app doesn't charge a fee to send, request or receive personal payments from a debit card or a bank account, or for a standard deposit. It does, however, charge the sender a 3% fee to send a payment using a credit card and 1.5% for an instant deposit to a bank account. For business payments, the customer is charged 2.75%.

Comments
midas89
midas89   |     |   Comment #1
PayPal now charges 1% of the amount you want to withdraw from your PayPal account (maximum charge of $10) for instantaneous transfers from PayPal to your bank account if you elect the instant transfer option.
Dave
Dave   |     |   Comment #2
Cash app is a Total fraud

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