Mobile payment solution Square, which lets merchants accept debit cards and credit cards on their smartphone, has launched Square Cash — a new service that allows individuals to transfer money to their friends through an app or an email. It seems to be the simplest way to make payments on your mobile.
“Square Cash makes it convenient to send money to anyone—without making them jump through hoops to retrieve it. Now it’s easier than ever to split a bill, send a birthday gift, or settle up with a friend, no matter where you are.” said Square Cash lead Brian Grassadonia.
Here’s how it works: Suppose you need to give $50 to your friend. You whip out your smartphone and write an email (using any email client) with your friend’s email in the “To” field, CC it to “email@example.com”, and write the amount in the Subject field.
If it is your first payment, you will be prompted to link your debit card to a Square account that uses your same email address. To accept a payment, the recipient has to enter their debit card number once, and will automatically receive funds to their debit card thereafter.
Square says there is no pricing grid of fine print. “Sending and receiving cash is free without gimmicks,” the company writes. and deposits happen within 1-2 business days.
While the service promises to make payments a whole lot easier, it does raise some concerns about the security of linking your debit card — which has access to your full bank account — to something on your phone. We would advise you exercise caution while using it.