Square's free 'Square Cash' service allows users to send money via email

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Square, Inc. on Tuesday announced "Square Cash," a new no-fee service that lets users make up to $2,500 person-to-person transfers over email, meaning funds can be sent from Web browsers, mail clients and even mobile phones.

Square Cash


Rolling out on Tuesday, Square Cash is a simple and free one-step digital solution for sending money person-to-person.

Unlike its familiar square-shaped credit card swiper that enables small businesses to easily and economically accept credit card payments, Square's new product involves no hardware beyond a user's computer, smartphone or tablet. The only requirements to use Square Cash are a valid Visa or MasterCard debit card and an email address.

To send cash to a friend, a user creates an email with the recipient's name in the "To" field, "[email protected]" in the "CC" field, and the amount to be sent in the subject line. A note can also be included in the email's body, but this step is optional.

Square Cash will receive the email, check that the bank account linked to the sender's email address has the requisite funds, and send along the payment to the recipient. Upon accepting the payment, the money will be placed in a recipient's linked account and becomes available for withdrawal in one to two business days.

For first time users, Square Cash will send an email to both sender and recipient with steps to link their respective debit card accounts with the service. After this one-time setup, no further action is necessary.

Square Cash


Currently, transfer values are capped at $250 per week for the basic service, which can be raised to $2,500 with a few additional steps. While still free, the higher dollar amount requires users send Square their name, date of birth and last four digits of their social security number. Alternatively, a Facebook login can be used for verification.

As an alternative to emailing money, Square Cash also has an iOS app that can be downloaded for free from the App Store.

Currently, the service is only available to U.S. residents, though the company plans to expand operations internationally with a for-pay service.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    larryalarrya Posts: 548member
    Here's hoping I can use this for eBay sales instead of paying 3% to PayPal.
  • Reply 2 of 22

    money via email


     

    This sounds terrifying.

  • Reply 3 of 22

    I can already send money via e-mail by using Interac E-Mail Transfers. And I don't need a Visa or MC debit card - it works directly from my bank account. It's also virtually instant (usually 15 minutes). The other person knows nothing except my e-mail address I used to send the e-mail. And since it's done through my bank App (or online website) I don't have to worry about some third party handling it for me (even though the third party is Interac themselves - who are far more trustworthy than some company).

     

    Only drawback is it costs $1.50 - IMO a small price to pay for the convenience and security.

  • Reply 4 of 22
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    money via email


     

    This sounds terrifying.


    It is done regularly already.

  • Reply 5 of 22
    Originally Posted by StruckPaper View Post

    It is done regularly already.

     

    And it’s properly secure, is it? I should hope it is.

  • Reply 6 of 22
    And it’s properly secure, is it? I should hope it is.

    Well I guess that depends on who does it. For Interac...
    When you send money using Interac e-Transfer, your money never actually travels by email or text message. Email and text messages are only used to notify the recipient and to provide instructions on how to deposit the money. Your financial institution and your recipient’s financial institution transfer funds using established and secure banking procedures.
  • Reply 7 of 22
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,603member
    I can already send money via e-mail by using Interac E-Mail Transfers. And I don't need a Visa or MC debit card - it works directly from my bank account. It's also virtually instant (usually 15 minutes). The other person knows nothing except my e-mail address I used to send the e-mail. And since it's done through my bank App (or online website) I don't have to worry about some third party handling it for me (even though the third party is Interac themselves - who are far more trustworthy than some company).

    Only drawback is it costs $1.50 - IMO a small price to pay for the convenience and security.
    For payments above $50.- (approx), Interac then becomes a cheaper option.
  • Reply 8 of 22
    diddydiddy Posts: 282member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    And it’s properly secure, is it? I should hope it is.


    These guys are using the same electronic methods that credit cards companies use when they do other forms of electronic transmission.  I would imagine that unless your email account is totally hacked, you are pretty safe.  

     

    I found this.  Seems like everything is encrypted and they will text the sender every single time.  They also have really good fraud detection overall.  

     

    Their biggest recommendation is to use an email service that offers 2 factor authentication, but that's it.

  • Reply 9 of 22
    Dear Osama,
    Here's $2500 for your cause.
    Best wishes and death to America,
    Mom
  • Reply 10 of 22

    So how exactly will this service avoid email spoofing fraud?

     

    Suppose I sign up for the service and verify/authenticate my email and send payments to people.  Then one day, some hacker comes into the picture and spoofs my email address and sends money to himself.  

  • Reply 11 of 22
    ecsecs Posts: 307member

    And then there's people who say StreetView is scary...

  • Reply 12 of 22
    irelandireland Posts: 17,616member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Spamboy View Post



    Dear Osama,

    Here's $2500 for your cause.

    Best wishes and death to America,

    Mom

     

    Sending money to dead peeps ain't easy.

  • Reply 13 of 22
    blah64blah64 Posts: 928member
    Quote:

    Money By Email

     

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

    This sounds terrifying.


     

    For once I completely agree with your drive-by comment.

  • Reply 14 of 22
    blah64blah64 Posts: 928member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by diddy View Post

     

    These guys are using the same electronic methods that credit cards companies use when they do other forms of electronic transmission.  I would imagine that unless your email account is totally hacked, you are pretty safe.  


     

    On the one hand I feel like you must be joking, but I don't think you are.

     

    Seriously, email accounts are the least secure, most easily and often hacked, trivially spoofed, stupidest idea EVER, for attaching to financial transactions.  Holy crap, what are they thinking?!

  • Reply 15 of 22
    blah64blah64 Posts: 928member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

     

    I can already send money via e-mail by using Interac E-Mail Transfers. And I don't need a Visa or MC debit card - it works directly from my bank account. It's also virtually instant (usually 15 minutes). The other person knows nothing except my e-mail address I used to send the e-mail. And since it's done through my bank App (or online website) I don't have to worry about some third party handling it for me (even though the third party is Interac themselves - who are far more trustworthy than some company).


     

    I don't use this service (nor would I want to), but from what you've wrote here it doesn't even sound like you're sending money by email at all, it sounds like you're using other means (bank App or online web site), and the only part of it that's email is a verification sent to your recipient.  Is that right?   That's still meta data sent in the clear, which I wouldn't do, but at least it's not payment data itself.

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post


    When you send money using Interac e-Transfer, your money never actually travels by email or text message. Email and text messages are only used to notify the recipient and to provide instructions on how to deposit the money. Your financial institution and your recipient’s financial institution transfer funds using established and secure banking procedures.

     

    This seems to confirm what I'm saying above, I think, but looking for your response.  This doesn't sound nearly as bad as what square is doing.

  • Reply 16 of 22
    blah64blah64 Posts: 928member

    I had to go look this up directly on square's site because it seemed to stupid to be true.  From what I'm reading there, it's not just ill-advised, it's completely moronic.

     

    Quote:

    Send Money with Square Cash via Email


    1. Draft an email with the recipient's email address in the "To" field.

    2. Enter [email protected] in the Cc field.

    3. Enter at least $1.00 in the subject line. For example: "$10.

    4. Add a note in the email body to inform the recipient of the purpose for the payment.

    5. Send the email.

    6. If you haven’t sent or received Square Cash before, you will be prompted to link a debit card. Once added, your cash will be sent and you'll see the "Cash Sent" confirmation screen.


     

    Your actual payment information is right there in clear-text email !  

     

    Not only are there all kinds of ways to spoof email (though I'm sure they think they have tricky algorithms to detect it, good luck with that!), but the meta data alone is asinine to be throwing around in public email.  For chrissakes, everything you send in open email is absolutely guaranteed to be visible over public wires.  Even if your mail provider has an SSL connection between your client and their servers, the mail needs to be sent in clear text to the receiving server!  And your email provider (along with every friendly govt agency) now has a full record of every payment you've given to everyone with this service.  This feels so absolutely stupid that it's like an April Fools joke, but it's not April.  WTH are they thinking?!

     

    Think about it.  Because of the basic nature of email, the world can't even get a grip on spam.  Yeah, you might not be getting as much as you used to, but how many BILLIONS of spam emails are being scanned by your email providers every single day, clogging up their systems, sucking massive resources -- and some still get through (and other real emails lost, though far fewer).  How are they going to stop folks from pilfering what looks like easy pickings of real, hard cash?? :no: 

  • Reply 17 of 22
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    This sounds terrifying.


    yes... but...

     

    sending a Sawbuck in an colored paper envelope sealed with cheap glue any better?   (postal inspectors actually recommend that you never send money or gift cards in a non-standard envelope... better to enclose a Birthday card in a large business manilla envelope... unscrupulous  USPS workers are attracted to pastel envelopes like bees to flowers).

     

    And with most SSLs Txs at 128bit encryption (silly us), and to most online criminals... SSL is like a 'colored envelope';-), especially on standard XP browsers and cheap ecomm sites.

     

    IF...

     

    I was able to send a 'link' via email  which is opened by an app signed by Square.

    encrypted with the receiver's public key and my private key

    that behind the scenes contained a webservice command encrypted in my [2048bit]private key[my account] receivers public key [their account] and square's Private Key[trusted money agent]...

     

    they click on the link which starts the app, enter a password [or better... press finger to touchID....] to decrypt/release their account and...

        money is xferred.

     

    It's pretty simple.   It's the same structure of 'security' most financials use for 'secure' communications to clients via email, but better in that the app is sandboxed [in iOS, Win8, and OSX at least] and SSL is not the 'only' level of secure transport.

     

    Square can do better, if they want to.

  • Reply 18 of 22
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

     

     

    Sending money to dead peeps ain't easy.


    if you're rich enough, your estate lives on...

  • Reply 19 of 22
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,459member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    And it’s properly secure, is it? I should hope it is.




    I believe it is called PayPal.  Secure is another question though...<img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" />

  • Reply 20 of 22
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

     

    I had to go look this up directly on square's site because it seemed to stupid to be true.  From what I'm reading there, it's not just ill-advised, it's completely moronic.

    Quote:
    Send Money with Square Cash via Email

    1. Draft an email with the recipient's email address in the "To" field.

    2. Enter [email protected] in the Cc field.

    3. Enter at least $1.00 in the subject line. For example: "$10.

    4. Add a note in the email body to inform the recipient of the purpose for the payment.

    5. Send the email.

    6. If you haven’t sent or received Square Cash before, you will be prompted to link a debit card. Once added, your cash will be sent and you'll see the "Cash Sent" confirmation screen.




    I agree. This sounds pretty risky. You should never link your debit card to any online payment such as Apple Stores, Adobe, Amazon etc. A debit card is a direct conduit to your entire bank funds, so if the online retailer site gets hacked, well, I'd rather let the credit card companies worry about it than the thief having direct access to the funds in my checking account.

     

    I used to use my debit card for everything, but with all the hacking and the possibility of crooks scraping my card info when I hand it over at a restaurant or when buying something at a convenience store, I prefer to use only credit cards, except to withdraw cash from an ATM. Even though the debit card has a Visa logo on it, and they will ultimately cover any fraud, I still don't like the idea of having my bank funds unexpectedly disappearing.

     

    Definitely not using this Square service, no way.

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