updated 07:28 am EDT, Wed October 16, 2013
Entire payment transaction carried out over e-mail after registration
Payments system Square has opened up its e-mail-based money transfer service to users in the United States, added on top of its existing in-store and mobile paymentsservices . At the same time as widening availability of Square Cash after starting its beta in May, the company is releasing a pair of apps for iOS and Android that performs the same type of transaction as the e-mail version.
Sending money through Square Cash requires users to send an e-mail to whomever is going to receive the payment, with the amount being paid included in the subject line, and the e-mail "email@example.com" as a recipient in the CC field. New users on either side of the transaction will be sent an e-mail by Square to set up an account with an existing debit card, with the payment transferring over within two business days, and users limited to a maximum of $2,500 in transfers per week. The app version simply asks for a dollar amount then transfers the user to the device's e-mail client for the remainder of the transaction.
The apparent simplicity of the service could draw users that want to move away from more complicated payment systems such as PayPal, with Square Cash bringing Square itself closer to its competitors in being an all-round service. The system's reliance on e-mail, a relatively insecure messaging system, could potentially scare some potential users away unless it can prove it is secure enough.