Square Cash Goes Paypal In Reverse
It has been quite a while since the money-transfer service, Square Cash, did anything really exciting. It just worked, perfectly, for quick and easy person-to-person cash payments. But there are some new developments you should know about. Read on for the scoop on what's new with Square Cash, and how it stacks up with Paypal...
What's Better Than a Square Deal?
For a few years, I've been using Square Cash to send and receive money between myself and friends. But suddenly, in the second week of March 2018, Square Cash radically changed the way it handles money transfers for its 7 million users.
They offered me $25 to accept their new “laser engraved” Visa debit card, and enabled trading in cryptocurrency via its Cash app! So I think it’s time to update all of you readers on Square’s ambitious makeover.
The original Square Cash required two parties who each had a debit card (not credit card) issued by a bank based in the USA. One party could request money from the other, and the other just clicked or tapped to pay. A supplier of mine once sent me an invoice via Square Cash and I happened to notice it immediately. From the time the supplier hit “send invoice” until he had money in his bank account - not in a “holding cell” such as Paypal does - only 47 seconds elapsed. Like I said, Square Cash just works, perfectly!
Unfortunately, what is perfect can only get worse. Now, money sent via Square Cash goes into a Cash App Account, just like one’s Paypal account. It can be spent via the Cash App or the new Visa debit Cash Card, just like Paypal. But you have to press or tap a few times to transfer money from that “holding cell” to your bank account, where you can write checks against it, use your bank’s debit card, or get cash over the counter from your bank account.
Square says its default method of transferring funds to a bank account - what Square calls “cashing out” - takes anywhere from 1 to 3 business days. Somehow, the variability of that delay depends upon your particular bank. But you don’t have to wait or take a chance that your money won’t arrive in your bank account until it’s too late.
For a fee of 1% of the amount “cashed out,” Square will provide instant transfers to your bank account, just as it had been doing. You don’t have to remember to cash out. You don’t have to make those extra clicks or taps. Most of all, you don’t have to keep track of where your money is - in your bank account or in your Cash App account. I hate that sort of bookkeeping!
Comparing Square With Paypal
Paypal, of course, charges a fee to the recipient of money; currently, the fee is $0.30 per transaction plus 2.9% of the amount involved. So you get less money than the sender sent. Bummer! But what Square is doing is sort of the opposite of Paypal, yet the same.
Paypal does not charge a fee when you transfer money from your Paypal account to one of your bank accounts. Square Cash does, but that 1% is less than a third of what Paypal charges you when you receive money. So Square Cash is still the better option, in my opinion.
The addition of a Visa debit card branded by Square is apparently an attempt to throw shade over the Paypal Master Card debit card. Square is even offering (some users) $25 cash if you take its Visa card! That money appears instantly in your Cash App account, provided you are approved for the card. The qualifications are minimal. Basically, if you already have a debit card issued by your US-based bank, Square will give you one of its nifty all-black “laser engraved” Visa cards.
Why do I say "some users" get the $25 incentive to get the Cash Card? Well, it appears that they are selective about it. One friend of mine used the Cash app to request his Cash Card, but was not offered the $25 reward. It may depend on how long you've had your Square account, how frequently you use it, the phase of the moon on the day you try, or random chance. In any event, the card is free, and will make even squares look cool. Oh, and lasers.
I don’t see any mention of cash-back rewards based upon the dollar volume of money paid via your Square-branded Visa card. Paypal pays 1% cash-back each month on purchases that are processed as “credit” rather than “debit.” That used to be 1.5% but Paypal lowered the percentage over a year ago, even for long-time 1.5 percent-ers like me.
Ready to Dip Your Toe into Cryptocurrency?
A rather startling perk of the Cash App is that you can use it to trade Bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency. I wonder if more flavors of cryptocurrency will be added in the future. I think that’s likely; after all, Square, Inc. is in the business of processing payments, so cryptocurrency falls within the company’s purview. (Currently, the Bitcoin option is unavailable in New York, Georgia, and Hawaii.)
Such a bold move might go a long way towards restoring trust in the Wild West world of crypto exchanges and trading partners. Square, Inc., is a well-known brand among merchants; but then, so is Paypal. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how Square’s mirror-image plan for defeating Paypal goes.
Meanwhile, I suggest you let transfers from Square Cash to your bank account proceed at their “1 to 3 business days” pace. You may still get practically instant transfers, or you may find yourself stuck in the "float," waiting up to 3 business days (which can be five calendar days).
Have you used Square Cash, Paypal or another online service to send or receive money? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 19 Mar 2018
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Square Cash Goes Paypal In Reverse (Posted: 19 Mar 2018)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved