Sending cash to people by e-mail may be the next big payment feature to spread across the Internet (even though it’s 2013, and it feels like we should have had this years ago).
Payment service Square is currently testing an invite-only service called Square Cash, which you can use to send money to anyone’s debit card with a simple e-mail, TechCrunch reports. Google launched a similar feature last week when it announced Google Wallet integration with Gmail, but Square’s version looks even simpler.
Square Cash lets you send money just by shooting a normal e-mail to a friend with a dollar amount in the subject line (you also have to copy a Square e-mail address in the message). Once your friend gets the e-mail they can enter their debit account number and instantly receive the cash — it looks like they don’t even need a Square account to receive funds. The service will be free for recipients, but will cost $0.50 for the sender, according to a flashy landing page and help page.
PayPal has long relied on your e-mail address as your payment identity, but sending funds has always involved PayPal’s site or mobile apps. The ease of just sending an email could make this yet another compelling payment feature for Square, which just launched a $300 point-of-service payment stand meant to replace traditional cash registers.
At this point, Square Cash is invite only for a select few — you can’t even put your name on a wait list yet .
VentureBeat’s VB Insight team is studying email marketing tools.
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