Square Cash: Send/Request Money Via Debit Card For Free + $1 Carrot

square1Square, known for helping people accept credit cards with smartphones, has expanded another feature called Square Cash. Yes, it’s yet another attempt at simplifying person-to-person payments, but this time all you need is e-mail and a debit card number. No accounts to open, no passwords to remember, and no fees either.

To request money, just send an e-mail with the following fields:

To: [one or more email addresses]
Cc: request@square.com
Subject: You can write whatever but include $ [amount]

To send money, just send an e-mail with the following fields:

To: [one or more email addresses]
Cc: cash@square.com
Subject: $ [amount]

That’s it, the Square website walks people through the rest. I found it pretty interesting that you can both deposit and withdraw money via debit card. If this stays fee-free then I could actually see myself using this between friends and family. iPhone/Android app also available, but not necessary (it just helps you compose the e-mail).

Right now, Square Cash will give you $1 to try it out. Your debit card number will then be associated with the e-mail address you provided from then on for future payments (unless you change it).

Comments

  1. This seems very risky, it’s not hard to fake a email so it appears to come from someone else not to mention your email account is not nearly as safe as your bank. No fees is nice but not at the cost of security

    • > it’s not hard to fake a email so it appears to come from someone else

      Square actually has excellent countermeasures to this. It’s easy to try to fake an email but also easy to detect someone trying to do this.

      > your email account is not nearly as safe as your bank

      You would be surprised. Gmail + 2 factor authentication is actually better than most bank security.

      None of this even matters to consumers because you can charge back fraudulent debit transactions.

  2. Ok so they have a optional code but note it’s not encrypted if your email is hacked they can look in your sent box not to mention everyone you send money too will have it

  3. My banks do not give me the ability to do ACH between banks so maybe this would be a good way to get around that for free.

    • They do not want you sending money to yourself and you do have to verify your identity. Why not get a hub bank like ally, that will pull money and push money between your other banks.

  4. I would use this if I could use a credit card.

  5. Yikes! What’s to stop someone who knows I use this service, from spoofing my email and sending cash on my behalf? I mean, sure it’s tracked and all but it still seems super risky and could easily be exploited, unless I’m missing something.

  6. Any chance your bank may see it as an out-of-network atm withdrawal and charge a fee rather than a debit POS?

  7. As mentioned above, this is a wildly insecure service, very poorly thought out by the Square people. I’ve made a career in security and technology, and I can say in no uncertain terms that this is trivial for anyone to hack. They don’t even need to get into your e-mail account. All they need to do is send an email to the Square folks for every e-mail address they can find. Someone is bound to be signed up for the service, and voila! There goes your money!

    I would strongly recommend against using this service for any reason.

  8. I am NOT a security person, but I would consider the need for a debit card and thus a checking account on both ends. If you think about checking accounts, every single paper check anyone writes has their routing number and account number on it in plain sight. Wouldn’t that be easy to hack as well? Why are paper checks still flying around?

  9. Jonathan, that’s true about a check, but there are know rules and protections around check writing, I am not sure if all those protections apply to this service. Additionally they have to fake your signature (not hard, but still harder than faking a email)

  10. It would be better if they would not associate your debit card number to your email for future transactions. They should force you to type it every time.

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