Cash App is a peer-to-peer payment app formerly known as Square Cash. Here’s what you need to know about Cash App, including fees, security, privacy and card use options.
You probably know Cash App, even if you’ve never heard of it before. Formerly called “Square Cash,” it’s been renamed and rebranded.
Owned by Square (which is helmed by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey), the app allows consumers to send and receive money, link to an existing bank account, or spend money directly from Cash App with a dedicated debit card.
Users can also set up direct deposits to their Cash App account.
Want to learn more? Here are some of the basics on Cash App:
A 12-step guide to Cash App
- What is Cash App?
- How does Cash App work?
- Are there limits on how much you can send or receive via Cash App?
- How much does Cash App cost?
- How quickly does the other party receive money sent through Cash App?
- Are Cash App transactions public?
- Is money in a Cash App account FDIC insured?
- What happens if I send the wrong amount or send it to the wrong person?
- Does Cash App offer its own cards?
- Is the money sent via Cash App protected against loss, fraud and theft?
- Can Cash App users earn credit card rewards and loyalty points?
- Do I need extra security while using Cash App?
What is Cash App?
Cash App is a peer-to-peer payment app that allows individuals to send and receive money to friends and family. They can also use the optional linked debit card to shop or hit an ATM.
Consumer Reports’s study of peer-to-peer payment apps gave it a 64 on a scale of one to 100 (with 100 being a perfect score). It earned good marks for data security, customer support and accessibility (across a range of devices and for those without bank accounts). But evaluators felt the app could do better on payment authentication and privacy.
How does Cash App work?
Cash App is a peer-to-peer payment app, so you can use it to send, receive and request money. Instead of an account number, you’re known on the network by your email address or phone number. Or you can create a unique identifier known as a $Cashtag. If you receive money, it lands in your Cash App account. Or you can link Cash App to an existing bank account and use that to transfer money to and from the Cash App account. You can also send money from a debit card and spend your Cash App balance directly from that. The app also allows users to receive direct deposits (like a paycheck), to their accounts.
Two caveats: You must be at least 18 to open an account. And U.S. users can make payments to U.S.-based recipients only, according to a company spokesperson. (UK residents can use Cash App to send and receive money within the UK.)
Are there limits on how much you can send or receive via Cash App?
Users are allowed to send “up to $250 within any seven-day period and receive up to $1,000 within any 30-day period,” according to Cash App’s website.
Once you’ve verified your account by giving information like your name, date of birth, etc., those limits are lifted, according to a Cash App representative.
Additionally, if you have a Cash App debit card, you can use ATMs to withdraw up to $250 at a time; $1,000 in a seven-day period, and $1,250 in 30-day period. And you can also get cash back at the register, if the merchant allows it.
How much does Cash App cost?
It’s free to send, receive and transfer money.
And while Cash App doesn’t charge ATM fees, you’re responsible for any fees levied by the ATM networks.
How quickly does the other party receive money sent through Cash App?
Money can be sent and received instantly through the app, according to the site.
Adding or depositing money to your Cash App account can take from one to three days, depending on your bank, the site reports.
You can also opt for Instant Deposits to your bank account, which are immediate, but come with a 1.5 percent fee, according to a company representative.
Direct deposits can take one to three days, depending on the sender’s bank, the representative explained.
Are Cash App transactions public?
No. And the Consumer Reports study found “they’re actually pretty transparent about data security and data privacy, just not as private as the top performers,” says Christina Tetreault, senior policy counsel for Consumer Reports.
Is money in a Cash App account FDIC insured?
Not at this time, according to a company representative.
What happens if I send the wrong amount or send it to the wrong person?
That money could be gone permanently. The Cash App site states that “payments are instant and usually can’t be canceled.” It directs users to “look at your activity feed to see if the payment receipt is displaying a cancel option.”
If not, the option it gives you is to use the app to ask the recipient to refund the money.
And while you can request help through the app or the company website, you can’t contact the company via phone or email, according to a representative for Cash App.
The Consumer Reports study did find that a large number of complaints about Cash App involved that aspect of the service, says Tetreault.
“There are a lot of great FAQ responses, but for folks looking for the personal touch, this could be not so easy,” she says.
And that problem isn’t unique to Cash App, she says.
With any service involving your money, “consumers should have multiple and plentiful ways to resolve issues,” Tetreault says.
Does Cash App offer its own cards?
Yes. Once you sign up for an account, you can request a free debit card.
Cash App doesn’t offer credit cards.
Is the money sent via Cash App protected against loss, fraud and theft?
The Cash App account and debit card would fall under the new prepaid card regulations, which took effect April 1, says Tetreault.
That means if you have unauthorized charges and report them within two days, your losses are limited to $50.
You can also temporarily disable the card if you’ve lost it, according to the company’s site.
But if you actually authorize sending money to someone (to the wrong person, in the wrong amount or to a recipient for merchandise that isn’t as promised), you’re not protected, says Tetreault.
Can Cash App users earn credit card rewards and loyalty points?
Cash App has a rewards program called “Boost.” It allows you to link Cash App deals to your Cash App debit card. (You can select just deals at a time.)
When you make a purchase, the discount is automatically deducted from the purchase price – like a coupon. The card also gives $1 off for purchases at coffee shops.
Use these services – any peer-to-peer services – only with people you know and trust.
Do I need extra security while using Cash App?
Cash App allows you to add a PIN code or fingerprint ID to make payments. (The PIN will be the same as with your Cash App debit card, if you have one, according to the company site.)
Patrick Jackson, chief technology officer for online privacy firm Disconnect, gives them good marks for security and encryption. “They take an extra level of added security,” he says.
That said, since you’re dealing with your money, you want to make sure you’re also using optional security features and good computer practices.
If you can’t get to your private network, skip public Wi-Fi in favor of your phone’s digital network, says Jackson, whose company assisted with Consumer Reports’ in-depth study of peer-to-peer payment offerings.
Tetreault echoes the recommendation to enable all available security options in the app and on your device.
“We recommend turning on the security features so that there’s a layer of protection,” she says. Also smart: setting alerts for transactions.
Also, even though you’re still technically on social media, think like a banking customer when you evaluate, select and use peer-to-peer payment services, says Tetreault.
“People are confident with the [social media-based] system because they use it with people they know and trust,” she says. Adopt the same strategy if you’re sending money.
Says Tetreault, “Use these services – any peer-to-peer services – only with people you know and trust.”