Cash App and Bank Account: Why It’s Better to Link a Card

Written By Branson Knowles
  • Linking your bank account to Cash App is safe overall as they use Plaid for it, which employs advanced security and encryption protocols to ensure data security and privacy.
  • Cash App also uses encryption to protect your data. Users can enable a PIN protection code, disable other users from finding their account, and keep their info secure with a password.
  • It’s recommended to link a Cash App account to a debit card rather than a checking account for better security, as debit card transactions are usually more capable of catching fraud.
  • Linking an account on Cash App means connecting it to conduct transfers between them, and the process is simple and free. Users can link their bank account from the profile section of the app and use Plaid to input the bank’s account and routing numbers.

You can fund your Cash App account from a bank account, but is it safe?

Linking your bank account to Cash App is safe overall. They use Plaid to link their services to your bank account. If you’re not familiar, Plaid is the connecting service that is used by everyone from Cash App to Paypal to Venmo to Chime. 

Here is the short video guide where Elijah explains the process and gives additional information:

Plaid employs advanced security and encryption protocols to ensure that your data doesn’t go anywhere you don’t want it to. They access your information as well to make sure you have enough in your accounts to complete the transactions you want to make. 

Cash App themselves use cutting edge encryption technology to do their best in their fight to protect your data. Any information you submit through them is encrypted and sent to their servers privately, regardless of the network you may be on. 

my cash app account - linked banks

If you’re a Cash App user reading this, wondering what you can do to further secure your account, you have a couple of options.

You can enable a four digit PIN protection code, forcing you (or someone else) to enter it every time you want to get into Cash App.

You can also disable other users from finding you on Cash App.

When you create your account, Cash App will ask you to make a $cashtag. $Cashtags are unique identifiers every user can make to help other users find their account.

If you don’t want to be found though, you can disable this feature in Cash App’s settings. You can also keep your tax info secure with a password that you can set within Cash App. 

Lastly, if you’re looking for ways to keep your Cash App secure, you can always use an authenticator app.

An authenticator app is a separate app that generates a code you’ll use to get into Cash App, if you enable it and connect them. 

Should You Link Your Debit Card or Bank Account to Cash App?

Most people don’t know the difference between their bank accounts and their debit cards. They’re connected to the same source of money, so it shouldn’t matter which one you give out, right?


Giving someone your account and routing numbers is like giving them direct access to whatever is behind them.

Giving someone your debit card number, however, is like giving them access to your money through at least one line of security.

cash app replace linked card

Debit cards are usually more capable of catching fraud as well.

Debit card transactions are monitored by your bank’s back office constantly, so they can make sure no fraudsters have access to your account.

If a fraudster does get ahold of your funds, it’s a lot easier to get a new debit card than it is to get a whole new checking account.

When I worked at Chase, it was always much easier to replace one of my clients’ cards versus one of their accounts.

I would have a customer come in with fraud on his debit card.

Sometimes they bought something on a fishy website and got their card compromised. Other times bad things happened due to no fault of their own. 

Either way, as a banker, all I had to do was sit down with them at my desk, go through their transactions with them and identify which were fraudulent, and call our back office fraud monitoring team and report them.

Once the transactions were reported, we closed the compromised debit card down and reissued a new one for our customers. They could even add the new card to their digital wallets the moment they got it, allowing them to use it right away.

More often than not, Chase was quick either to reverse the transactions in their account or provide them with provisional credit. An easy process for an otherwise unfortunate situation.

Replacing a checking account, however, was an entirely different beast.

I would also have customers, more rarely, to be honest, come in saying their checking account number was compromised, again either due to no fault of their own or good, old fashioned human error.

cash app link bank account

When we used to replace checking accounts, we would have many more steps than our debit card counterparts.

It would take at least an hour for the whole process; I’ll spare you the details.

All this is said to point out the fact that you should always use your debit card over your checking account numbers wherever you can.

Your debit card was invented to act as a buffer between people and your accounts anyways, so why not use it?

Personally, I would recommend linking your Cash App account to your debit card before linking it to your checking account.

The transfer speeds are the same, and when you link a debit card, you gain access to the instant deposit feature. 

What Does it Mean to Link a Bank on Cash App?

I know a lot of Cash App users may be confused by the verbiage being used here.

What does it even mean to link a bank on Cash App anyways?

To put it simply, linking an account just means connecting the two so you can conduct transfers between them.

Once your Cash App account is linked to your bank account, you’ll be able to send money from Cash App to your bank account and vice versa. 

The process is simple and can be done from start to finish within Cash App.

Just click on your profile in the upper right hand section of the app and scroll down until you see “Link a bank”. Enter in your bank’s account and routing numbers, or use Plaid to do it for you.

cash app account

It’s free as well and about as secure as anything can be on the internet. Consider linking your bank to Cash App if you want to do more business between the two of them. 

As I mentioned in the section above, you should link your debit card before linking your bank account to Cash App. 

Is Cash App Safe?

While Cash App has had its fair share of data breaches in the past, it is safe for the most part.

Cash App uses state of the art encryption to do their best to keep their customers safe.

Cash App partners with Plaid to connect bank accounts to their platform.

Plaid, as I’ve mentioned in this article, is a top-of-the-line fintech service used by popular services like Paypal and Venmo.

While no app is 100% safe from cyber attacks and potential hackers, Cash App is about as close as it gets according to their cybersecurity. 

Is It Safe to Receive Money from a Stranger on Cash App?

While “free money” may seem like a good deal, it may be too good to be true.

Cash App is no stranger to scams, and one of the most popular scams you may see on the app is someone sending you money, claiming to have sent it by accident before asking for you to return it. 

It may seem harmless on the surface, but there is more than meets the eye.

These scammers will often hack into someone else’s Cash App account, send that person’s balance over to an unsuspecting user (you), and ask for it back.

When they ask for it back, they will reroute the returned money back to their own accounts, stealing it from the person they hacked. 

Before you refund someone who accidentally sent you money on Cash App, you should think about just how hard it is to accidentally send money to someone on the app.

Cash App works hard to make sure you know exactly to who you’re sending money, so this comes across as suspicious, at the least. 

When you look up a potential recipient on Cash App, you’ll see their $cashtag, profile picture, and any previous transactions you’ve had with them.

You can also see if they have any friends in common with you.

If you don’t see anything familiar, they probably didn’t either when they looked at your account.

Don’t fall for their scam, reach out to Cash App and let them know that someone sent you money by accident. They’re more than capable of returning it to them for you.

cash app support chat

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About the Author

Lead Researcher, Digital Banking in the U.S. at TopMobileBanks

Branson Knowles is a former banker and current writer at

During his years banking, he helped his clients discover their financial freedom through smart savings and spending goals. He started as a teller before becoming a banker and obtaining his federal licenses, furthering his clients' on their financial journeys.

After becoming one of the top producing bankers in the state, Branson decided it was time to pursue his own financial freedom. He started writing freelance finance articles before joining, breaking down banking like only an ex-banker could.

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