Snapchat today announced it is partnering with Square to launch Snapcash, a new service for sending money to friends. Snapcash is initially only available to Snapchat users 18 years and up in the U.S., though it will presumably expand to other countries later.
The only other requirement you need to fulfill is having a Visa or MasterCard debit card. After you enter your debit card number into Snapchat, the company says it is securely stored by Square, which handles the actual payment processing.
Once you have that set up, all you have to do is swipe into chat, type the dollar sign and the amount you want to send (such as $1337.00), and hit the green Snapcash button that shows up to the right. Snapchat and Square take care of the rest.
This is a big deal for both companies. For Snapchat, it is the company’s first feature created in partnership with another company. Payments is a huge market to enter, and it’s smart of Snapchat not to enter it alone (the company says that “security is essential when you’re dealing with money,” and while it doesn’t mention its various security missteps, it does say “Square has a ton of experience in this area”).
For Square, this is the first time the company is dabbling in the social space. Square Cash already lets users send money by typing a dollar amount into the subject line of an email and send that off, but email simply isn’t a tool many young people use.
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Snapchat says the feature was first born because its team is a fan of Square Cash, and it wanted to create something similar but that felt more “Snapchat-y.” The idea quickly blossomed:
So we built a Snapcash prototype and shared it with the team at Square. Luckily for us, they were just as excited as we were and wanted to build it together. The product you’re seeing today is fast, fun, and incredibly simple.
We’ve reached out to Square to see if the company has anything else to add to the story.
Update: A Square spokesperson confirmed Snapchat’s story above and told VentureBeat “we’ve been working with Snapchat for several months on the feature.”
When asked more about what this meant for the company, she added: “Our goal is to meet customers where they are, enabling anyone to send money to friends and family no matter what devices or services they use. Since our launch last year, Square Cash has made it easier than ever for anyone to send money whether via e-mail, phone number, Bluetooth LE, and now Snapchat.”