Cash App Vs. Apple Pay (There Is a Significant Difference)

Written By Adrian Volenik

Both Cash App and Apple Pay have tens of millions of users that couldn’t imagine their lives without them. In this head-to-head, we’re pitting the two mobile payments behemoth one against the other. 

But first, here’s our short verdict:

While you can use Apple Pay only to pay and transfer money, Cash App is a digital bank that does that and lets you invest in stocks and Bitcoin. They’re both easy to use and offer no additional frills.  

Pros and Cons

Cash App

No monthly fees
No transaction fees
No foreign exchange fees
Free debit card
Stock trading
Bitcoin trading
Money not FDIC insured
Spending limits
Bitcoin fees
Withdrawal limits
Limited functionality
Vulnerable to scams
Instant transfer fee of 1.5%

Apple Pay 

No monthly fees
No transaction fees
No internet connection required
Can be used with Apple Watch
Excellent privacy
Works only with Apple devices
Limited functionality
Instant transfer fee of 1.5%

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Cash App 

With tens of millions of users, and rising, Cash App is one of the most popular and most widely used digital banks, not only in the US, but worldwide. However, Cash App is only available in the US and the UK for now and the company isn’t signaling a future worldwide expanse. 

Hopefully, the service will spread at least to Canada because the app not only lets you send and receive money but is also a beginner-friendly way to buy Bitcoin and even stocks. 

With Cash App, you’re only a few taps away from being a fully-fledged investor. 

What’s interesting about Cash App is that customers and businesses get a unique username to send and receive money, known as a $Cashtag. Gone are the days of boring strings of random numbers.

To find out all about this popular finance app, read our full review of the Cash App.

READ NEXT: Cash App Vs. Bank Account (Explained For New Users)

Apple Pay

Apple Pay is a staple of mobile wallets for quite some time now and stands side by side with the likes of Google Pay and Samsung Pay. 

It’s available in soon-to-be 70+ countries and lets you pay by using just one tap on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch. 

You can pay in-person, online, or transfer money to anyone using the Messages app. And that’s where its functionalities end basically. Still, it’s predicted that by 2025, a whopping 10 percent of global card transactions will be done using Apple Pay.  

That’s quite an achievement but when you consider that Apple sells more than 200 million iPhones and that more than 100 million people have an Apple Watch, it’s not so surprising.  


Cash App 

Cash App was launched in 2013 by Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey as Square Cash. Dorsey is known for founding Twitter while McKelvey was a small glass-blowing business owner and friend.  

The idea came to the pair after McKelvey wasn’t able to accept cards from customers in his shop and would reportedly lose sales if customers didn’t have cash. At the time, you could easily subscribe to a POS service. Why he didn’t do it is an enigma. But it makes for a good origin story anyway. 

After two years, Square, now called Block, launched Square Cash for business that’s rivaling many big-shots in the payments space and is a cheap and straightforward way of taking payments in person and online.

In January 2018, the company launched bitcoin trading functionality on the Cash App which became one of its most popular features. Finally, in October 2019, Cash App got stock trading as well. 

As of recently, teenagers are also allowed to open a Cash App account but, naturally, with no access to the trading side of the app.

As of December 2021, Square, Inc. changed its name to Block, Inc. The company headquarters are still in San Francisco with global offices and 5,500+ employees.

Apple Pay

Apple Pay was first launched in the US in 2014 after a long build-up and acquisition period. The international roll-out was slow but it’s now available in almost 70 countries. 

The service not only supports well-known and international payment schemes like Visa, Mastercard, and American Express but also local ones like Interac (Canada), UnionPay (China), JCB (Japan), Girocard (Germany), and many others.

You can use Apple Pay to pay online using Safari, inside apps, in-store, person to person, to pay for transport, in Business Chat, and at some schools with your student ID.

Apple Pay uses the EMV Payment Tokenisation Specification that keeps your payment info secret from the retailer. It does so by replacing your credit or debit card FPAN with a tokenized DPAN and creating a dynamic security code that’s generated for each transaction. 


Cash App 

  • No monthly or annual fees
  • No account minimums
  • Free to open an account
  • No fee when using a bank account or debit card 
  • $75 ACAT outgoing transfer fee
  • 1.5% instant transfers
  • 3% if sending funds by credit card

Like other mobile payment apps that take themselves seriously, there are no fees for using the app or debit card for buying things or to transfer money in up to 3 days. However, if you want an instant transfer, there is a 1.5% fee. 

Apple Pay

  • No monthly or annual fees
  • No account minimums
  • Free to open an account
  • No fee when using a bank account or debit card 
  • 1.5% instant transfers

Apple Pay is free for users as the merchants are the ones that bear the cost of your purchase as part of their card processing fees. The only time when you’d have to pay a fee is while using Apple Cash (only available in the US) to send and receive instant transfers. The fee is 1.5% and is on par with the likes of Venmo and Cash App. 

RELATED: How to Use Apple Pay at Target (Guide & Helpful Tips)


Cash App 

I wish I could say that Cash App is perfectly safe, but unfortunately, the service is crawling with scammers trying to steal peoples’ sensitive information by pretending to be a Cash App customer service representative any many other ways. 

There’s an unlimited amount of horror stories, and you can find ways these scammers are operating in our article titled The 10 Most Common Cash App Scams.

Then there’s the fact that the company doesn’t have a banking license and therefore your deposits aren’t insured if anything happens to it.

We always recommend people not to keep large amounts of cash on the app as it wasn’t designed to be used in such a way.  In other words, it doesn’t and shouldn’t replace your bank account.

READ ALSO: How to Pay With Cash App in Store or Online Without a Card?

Apple Pay

Then we have Apple Pay, on the other side. Apple has a heavy emphasis on security on all its platforms and devices. 

This is clear when you read that, reportedly, more than 750 people at Visa worked on the anonymized token system for a full year with similar stories coming out of Mastercard and banking partners such as JPMorgan.

Also, when you scan a credit or debit card into Wallet, it gets assigned a unique Device Account Number (token), that’s then stored in the phone rather than your actual card number.

Sign up and verification

Cash App 

It’s easy to sign up for a Cash App account and involves the subsequent steps:

  1. Download App for Android or iOS, or on the website
  2. Type in your mobile number
  3. Enter the code you get sent
  4. Link the bank account by adding the card information
  5. Enter your name
  6. Select a $Cashtag
  7. Type in your postcode

You can choose to verify your account to increase the starting account limits. The limits for sending and receiving are up to $1,000 within any 30 days. And in the UK, it’s £250 per week to send and £500 to receive. 

You can increase the limits by entering your name, date of birth, and the last 4 numbers of your SSN.

To even open an account, you have to be older than 18 or you can be thirteen years old and have the permission of your parents or guardians. 

Apple Pay

To sign up for Apple Pay, you’ll have to have an iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch and the latest version of the operating system. Plus an Apple ID signed in to iCloud. You can then add a new card to your device. 

Here’s how to do it on an iPhone:

  1. Inside the Wallet app, tap the Add button (+)
  2. Tap Debit or Credit Card.
  3. Tap Continue
  4. Add a new card by choosing your bank or card issuer from the list or by using the search bar
  5. Next, you’ll need to verify your information with your bank or card issuer. You might need to provide additional information or download an app before approving your card
  6. Lastly, you can also add the card to your paired Apple Watch

Ease of Use

Cash App 

Cash App is very beginner-friendly and extremely easy to use. All your day-to-day banking is straightforward. Even investing in stock and bitcoin could be done by a five-year-old. 

You have the option of using a desktop browser or the app. If you feel you need a physical card, you can order a free Visa debit card.    

For only $5, you can design your own card by adding your signature, emojis, or by choosing a different color. 

RELATED: 5 Ways To Put Money On Cash App Card (Quick Guide)

Apple Pay

Apple Pay and Apple Cash are well thought out and are easy to use. After you add your card(s) into the wallet, you’re basically done. You can also add it to your Apple Watch and use it that way, without the need for bringing your iPhone to the store with you. 

Sending money to other iPhone users is as easy as sending a message and is ingenious, really.

Customer Reviews

Cash App 

Cash App has a 1.2-star rating out of 5 on Trustpilot, with only 3% of more than 3,000 reviewers giving it an excellent mark and 93% a bad one. A vast majority of bad reviews are related to subpar customer service and many scams. 

Apple Pay

Because Apple Pay isn’t a separate app, you can’t actually leave a review for it. However, I haven’t met a person that thinks the service isn’t excellent and seamless. Its lightning-fast payments are beloved by everyone using an Apple product.




Revolut is a UK digital bank that’s quickly spreading around the world and is also available in the United States, among other countries. Revolut is more than a digital bank and is betting heavily on its trading platform that includes stocks, cryptocurrencies, and even commodities. 

Google Pay 

google pay

Google Pay is a digital wallet, just like Apple Pay. But, unlike Apple Pay, you can use Google Pay not only on Android, but also on other operating systems, and yes, even on iOS. It’s a no-frills payment system used by millions of people. 


chime bank

Chime is a free mobile banking app that comes with a Visa debit card and has no account or other fees, in general. You can get paid up to two days early if you set up a direct debit, get fee-free overdrafts, free ATM withdrawals, a useful credit building program, and much more.



Wise is an online money transfer service and digital bank that’s popular all around the world and offers the cheapest money transfer rates available. With 10+ million customers around the world, Wise moves around $6 billion each month in over 50 different currencies.


If you need more than payment services, go with Cash App. The mega-popular app lets you also invest in Bitcoin and US stocks. But that’s it. If you need even more from your financial app, find the perfect one in our digital banks overview

About the Author

Chief Editor at TopMobileBanks

Adrian is a fintech expert who has tested hundreds of financial apps, cards, and accounts. His love for testing digital banks, payment apps, and financial products, in general, is unmatched.

How many digital banking accounts can one man have?

Not enough, if you ask Adrian. As his wallet will soon explode if he doesn’t cut back on the number of cards.

On the plus side, they have enabled him to create awesome How-To Guides that you can read on our site.

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