Cash App has become a ubiquitous mobile payments service that is represented in all walks of life and used, beloved, and hated by many people. In this Cash App review, we’re going to cover how to set up an account, trade stocks and Bitcoin, and touch upon many scams surrounding the app. But first, here’s our short verdict:
The Cash App is a great tool to transfer or receive money, without fees, from people you know, first of all. It should not be viewed as a bank account and you shouldn’t let your money, or at least, a great deal of money, sit on it. We like that you can invest in stocks and Bitcoin with little or no fees and that you can spend Bitcoin online or in-store with your free Cash App card.
Its simplicity begs for a comparison to Twitter. No fluff, and straight to the point. A sense of community makes users come back to it over and over. You might love it or you might hate it but you will use it (because everyone else is).
About Cash App
Cash app (before Square Cash) is a peer-to-peer mobile payments service that is available in the US and the UK. It was launched in 2013 by Square Inc. and has now an incredible 36 million users with 7 million owning their debit cards for payments as well.
Square, Inc, Cash App’s parent company was founded in 2009 by Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey. The idea for a company came to them when McKelvey, who owned a small glass-blowing business, couldn’t accept credit cards and would lose sales if customers didn’t have cash on them. Both Dorsey (who founded Twitter) and McKelvey are billionaires now.
Next time you’re having obstacles doing something, don’t just dismiss it – try to make a business out of it.
Square figured out that people want a super-easy way to send and receive money from and to friends, family, or even employers. This simplicity is most obvious when you start up the app and see just the keypad and a $0. It doesn’t get any easier than that. No messages, no menus, or anything else that will distract you.
There are other, excellent features, that are accessed through a menu but even they are made to be used as easily as possible. For instance, buying Bitcoin. In three taps you can have this highly sought cryptocurrency in your account. The same is true for buying stocks. As you’re buying fractions of stocks, you don’t have to be rich to invest in them. In fact, you can invest as little as $1!
With the help of compound interest, little by little you can accumulate a great fortune.
Pros and Cons
- 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
- Scams running rampant
Square jumped on the investing bandwagon in 2019 when the company announced that its users will be able to buy fractions of shares for as little as $1. This put them in direct competition with the super popular stock and crypto trading app – Robinhood and made investing extremely easy for the average Joe.
Investing in stocks also came with no fees attached, which is always a good thing. Unfortunately, investing in stocks through the Cash App is available for US residents only. The UK will have to wait for now.
It’s no secret that Jack Dorsey, the founder of Square, Inc. and Cash App is a big proponent of Bitcoin. It also came as no surprise when in early 2019 the app enabled its users to trade Bitcoin. In fact, in 2020 alone, there was $4.57 billion worth of Bitcoin sold through the app. That’s an amazing figure and we’re sure that the trend will only continue.
Unlike trading stocks, Bitcoin trading does incur two kinds of fees; a service fee for each transaction and an additional fee determined by price volatility. But, at least sending and receiving Bitcoin to and from others is free.
Buying and selling Bitcoin is really straightforward; you need to tap the Investing tab in the app, press buy or sell, enter the amount and confirm with your pin or touch ID.
Super Cash App Friday
Is there anything better than winning money by doing nothing? Just lying in your bed tweeting publicly (!) your $Cashtag at the Cash App company account.
The Super Cash App Friday is a grassroots movement that originated on Twitter when a bunch of people started asking strangers for money via $Cashtags. Then one day, the company took over and it started to giveaway money attracting more and more users.
People could get $100, $200, $500, or even some BTC by merely tweeting or gramming a compelling reason why they should get some cash. Of course, tweeting publicly your $Cashtag does attract some unwanted attention as you can imagine.
What is a Cash Boost?
If you’re into coupons you’re going to love this option. It’s like having a book full of discount codes at your fingertips. The caveat is that you can only have one cash boost active at a time. You can swap them at any time though.
So, what are cash boosts? They are discount codes and coupons that you can only use with your cash app card at supported restaurants, cafes, and shops. Boosts will have minimum purchase amounts and maximum discount amounts. For Playstation Network for example that would be $1.50 and $7.50 respectively.
In the app, tap the card icon, then tap Save With Boost’, choose a Boost and start saving. The list of Boosts is constantly updating so keep an eye out for new ones.
What is a $Cashtag?
A $Cashtag is your unique identifier on the Cash App. It’s what the email address is to PayPal. The company incorporated this probably to differentiate itself from other, similar apps like Venmo and Zelle and to make transfers amazingly simple.
Once you make your own unique $Cashtag, customers, friends, and family can send payments through a unique link that is generated.
They can only be changed twice and must include at least 1 letter and be no longer than 20 characters. You can always switch back to your old $Cashtag.
Similar to Twitter (they have the same founder, Jack Dorsey), verified accounts and businesses have a blue checkmark next to their $Cashtag.
How is Cash App Regulated?
Square is regulated by the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission but, unlike bank accounts, the funds that users have in Cash App accounts are not insured by the FDIC.
It’s also interesting that although the Cash App card is issued by the FDIC-insured Sutton Bank, the funds themselves aren’t provided or transferred by the bank and are therefore uninsured.
In March 2020, they were granted conditional approval to open a bank. The bank will be called Square Financial Services and should open in 2021. This will mean more features like business loans and deposit products.
How do I Open a Cash App Account?
Opening an account is easy and straightforward:
- Download the Cash App for Android or iOS, or go to their website
- Enter your phone number
- Enter the 6-digit code they’ve sent you
- Add the debit card information to link your bank account
- Enter your full name
- Choose a unique $Cashtag
- Enter your postcode
- You’re now ready to use the app
The popularity of the app attracts many scammers to social media platforms trying to part regular people from their money. They do this in many, often creative ways.
We already mentioned the #CashAppFriday giveaway and people publicly sharing their $Cashtags. Well, scammers are using this chance to send folks messages that they’ve won cash as well but in order to pay it out, “winners” need to send them a small amount of money to “verify” the account. Scammers might even send a fake Cash App login link so they can steal their credentials.
There are also cash flipping scams that promise to “flip” small amounts of money into bigger sums by “exploiting” a Cash App “hack” or by simply doing it in return for installing a few “benevolent” apps.
How to Avoid Scams?
Because scams are so prevalent, and cash payments are instant, we have to be careful and use our common sense when using the app.
You must know that no Cash App representatives, including their customer support, will ask you for payments, log in details, SSN, or bank account information.
Before sending money to someone, double-check $Cashtag, phone number, or email for typos. Only send money to verified accounts and to people you know.
Don’t share your $Cashtag with strangers as scammers can use it against you.
A good rule to follow when dealing with people requesting that you send them payments over the Cash app is – if it’s too good to be true, it’s probably a scam.
Is my Money Safe With Cash App?
We’d like to say yes, but from what we can see and read, there are far too many issues involving Cash App. Too many red flags keep popping up when you start researching the platform.
There are hundreds if not thousands of reviews that say the same things – I can’t access my money or my account and the customer service is not helping at all.
One fact alone, that the money isn’t insured by the FDIC is enough to turn users away. This isn’t unique to Cash App as its competitors, Venmo and Zelle have the same problem.
The problem is that the mobile payment apps are tech companies and not financial institutions that have an interest in guarding your money.
Cash App vs Venmo
Venmo is a direct Cash App competitor that is owned by the PayPal behemoth. It is mainly used for sending and receiving money in a somewhat social setting. You can add messages and even emojis to your transfers. Venmo doesn’t do anything else besides money transfers, and Cash App has an advantage here as it does more things like trading Bitcoin or stocks.
Venmo is more similar to PayPal, although geared towards friends and family. You also get less protection with Venmo than you do with PayPal if there are issues with your transactions.
Cash App vs Zelle
Zelle offers immediate transfers between bank accounts. If you want to send money through Zelle, you don’t even need to download their app as Zelle is probably already in your banking app. Transfers are free and fast but can only be done between domestic bank accounts. There’s no way for you to spend money, and Zelle doesn’t offer a card as it’s only a payment service and not a wallet or an account.
Cash App vs Revolut
Cash App is huge in the USA while Revolut is taking over the old continent (Europe) but is also available in America. They both offer cash transfers, stock trading, and Bitcoin trading. Revolut is a digital bank in some countries and offers even more useability. It also offers 9 other cryptocurrencies besides BTC. The downside is that you don’t own BTC, you can only invest in it.
Revolut also offers budgeting and analytics tools to help you save up, commodities trading, kids accounts, and is overall more geared towards an international audience that travels abroad a lot and holds multiple currencies. Read our Revolut overview here.
The Bottom Line
Cash App is a good app for non-demanding users that want to quickly send or receive money. Its additional features like stock and Bitcoin trading only add more value for Cash App’s users, and there are many – over 36 million. And this popularity coupled with ease of use makes it a target for scammers and chancers trying to get a hold of your money.