Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Send cash to friends over Snapchat with Snapcash

In November 2014, the popular app Snapchat partnered with Square, the well-known mobile credit reader, to release Snapcash. This allows for Snapchat users to send money directly to their Snapchat friends in a few easy steps.

Eligibility is exclusive to the United States, excluding all U.S. provinces such as Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands. Any international U.S. military base is also ineligible. Participation also requires that you are 18 years or older and have a standard U.S. issued Visa or MasterCard debit card. Other than that, any preexisting Snapchat user or newcomer within those guidelines is eligible.

The process within the app is just as simple. After you type in your debit card information, you simply swipe the person whom you wish to send money to by entering a chat. Type the dollar sign followed by the desired amount and press the green button to send. There is an initial $250 weekly limit when sending money and a $1,000 limit per the 30-day period when receiving money. These amounts can be surpassed after you provide identity verification including your full name, birth date and social security number.

The funds will be directly deposited into the bank accounts of those receiving the money within one to two business days after the transaction was initiated. This excludes holidays and weekends. There is an option within a user’s Snapchat profile to view their transactions and receipts in order to track their spending and receiving of funds. Tutorials are available on, showing the entire registration and sending process.

Within Snapchat’s terms of use, it explicitly states that this exchange system is not for commercial use or to buy, sell or offer compensation for any weapons, drug paraphernalia, access to someone’s account, becoming someone’s Snapchat friend or for actual snap pictures and stories. Violation of these terms results in the termination of one’s account.

According to a Forbes article by Brian Roemmele, various social/chat platforms which incorporate payments have been widely successful in China. The article refers to the partnership between Snapchat and Sqaure as a “perfect match” for both companies.

In an article with Macworld, CEO of Square, Jack Dorsey, claims that this partnership is evidence of the company’s willingness to participate in partnerships in order to diversify itself and stay relevant. Similarly, Snapchat is looking to continue its popularity and stand out against competition from current P2P platforms such as Paypal, Venmo and Google wallet. The most prominent difference between Snapcash and its competition is its lack of processing fees.

Despite the simplicity of its use, Snapchat and Square did not come up with Snapcash over night. Due to Snapchat’s history of being an insecure app, especially after the “Snappening” where tens of thousands of pictures were leaked, Snapchat hashed an effort to convince the large amount of current Snapchat users who are worried about their personal information being used. Reviews from the Google Play and iTunes app stores from both suggest that Snapcash is an “unnecessary and untrustworthy” feature. Android users also reported more difficultly using the Snapcash feature than iOS users. Overall, it does seem ironic for personal information to be entered on an app that was originally launched as an anonymous messaging service.

In order to avoid pushing users away, all payments and personal information made over Snapcash will only be stored in Square, which holds a good reputation for security. However, some people do not need convincing. Investors have been happy to participate in Snapchat, providing $12 billion in funding recently, according to a December 2014 article on Mediapost. No matter the public’s reaction to Snapcash, it shouldn’t significantly hinder the progress of a company that has solidified its role as a major presence in social media.

Erica Garnett can be reached at [email protected].

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