Square expands P2P service Square Cash for businesses

Steven Loeb · March 23, 2015 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/3cb9

Square also introduces Cashtags, which allows individuals and small merchants to get paid privately

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Back in 2013, Square introduced Square Cash, a free peer-to-peer payment service to rival Venmo. To use it, users needed only send a friend an e-mail to the person they want to pay, CCing Square, and including the amount. Square would then email them to ask for their debit card, no Square account needed.

The service was only available for individuals at the time, but has become a big success,  with Square now processing over one billion dollars in peer-to-peer payments every year. So, now comes the inevitable followup: Square is expanding the service for businesses, it was announced on Monday.

The idea, the company said, is to do away with the personal check.

"Individuals aren’t the only ones who don’t like checks. They’re inconvenient for businesses too, whether you’re a landlord, a lawyer, a dogwalker, or an interior decorator," the company wrote. "We think everyone should have access to a fast, affordable way to get paid, without the inconvenience or lack of security of cash and paper checks."

Cash for businesses allows customers to send money to businesses via Square Cash, where it will be deposited in a bank account immediately, with a processing rate of 1.5%, as opposed to 2.5% for Square register.

Square is also introducing another cool feature, which allows individuals or businesses to set up their own personalized names, or Cashtags, so that they can get paid without having to give away any personal information, such as their e-mail address or phone number. It can be created through the Square app or on the web at https://cash.me.

So, for example, I could create a Cashtag like $SLoeb, then share it anywhere on the Web. If you felt like giving me money for any reason, like if I sold you something or you just felt like being nice, click that link and pay through either the Square Cash app, or through my Cashtag page. 

When you land on my imaginary Cashtag page, you will see a box with the option to enter an amount you would like to pay. They have to enter their debit card information, including the expiration date, the CVV code on the back of the card, andtheur  ZIP code. There is also a place to write an optional note as to why you are making this payment. 

"We think $Cashtags are a fantastic marketing service that lets your customers, donors, fans, or even friends pay you quickly and securely," said Square. "Many artists, musicians, and social media stars now accept payments with their $Cashtags."

That includes Curtis Kulig, a New York City-based artist known for his iconic 'Love Me' campaign, who uses $LoveMe to fund new public art projects, and Joy Cho, an avid Pinterest user and designer with over 13 million followers, who uses $OhJoy to accept payments from her various clients.

Square Cash is also used by non-profits, including Wikipedia ($Wikipedia), (RED) ($RED), Khan Academy ($KhanAcademy),The USO ($USO), and The Bay Area’s KQED ($KQED).

This is a pretty smart play for Square. There are a lot of players going after the big merchants, including Apple Pay and Merchant Customer Exchange, or MCX, which is looking to develop its own mobile wallet called CurrentC. With Square Cash, the company could become the go-to for small businesses, and individual merchants, everywhere. 

(Image source: cash.me)

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