How Square Cash Works

For the bridge millennials that sought an easier way of exchanging money with friends and family, Square Cash has become a household name. Launching in 2013 as primarily an email-based platform, Square Cash has since evolved as a less-social version of Venmo in the peer-to-peer (P2P) payments world. Its intuitive design and easy-to-use interface makes the app a popular choice for those just interested in moving money, without the story attached.


To get started with Square Cash, you'll provide your e-mail address and phone number, followed by selecting Square's version of a username, the "cashtag." To fund transactions in the app, you'll add a bank account, debit card or credit card, the last of which will incur fees of 3% when making payments. Disappointingly, Square Cash does not allow you to add multiple of each account type.


To make a payment to a friend or family member, tap the "$" tab at the bottom of the main screen, specify a payment amount and find your contact through their e-mail address, phone number, cashtag or QR code. You'll be able to choose how to fund the payment - through your balance in the app or one of your linked funding sources - as well as add a message describing what it's for.

How does this payment experience stack up with other P2P apps, you might ask? In contrast to Venmo and PayPal that allow you to attach GIFs and animations to the payment, Square's P2P messages are restricted to basic keyword text and emojis. However, Square's send limits ($7,500 per week) are higher than that of Venmo ($5,000 per week). Additionally, one feature that's unique to Square Cash (at least for now) is the ability to send and receive bitcoin in lieu of U.S. dollars.

Finally, Square's simple interface makes it easy to deposit cash from bank to your Square Cash account (one-time or on a recurring basis with "Auto Add Cash") and cash out. Cashing out takes between 1 and 3 business days or can be done instantly for a fee of 1%, which is consistent with other P2P apps.

NOTE: This review was based on Version 3.42.1 of the Square Cash iOS mobile app