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Snapchat and Square partner to create “Snapcash”

Snapchat and Square partner to create “Snapcash”

Snapchat and Square have teamed up to create a peer-to-peer money transfer system dubbed “Snapcash”. Snapchat said in a blog post announcing the new service, “The product you’re seeing today is fast, fun, and incredibly simple. After you enter your debit card, it’s securely stored by Square, who will swiftly process your payment and send cash directly to your friend’s bank account. Just swipe into chat, type the dollar sign, an amount (e.g. $11.25), and hit the green button.” There are over 100 million active monthly users already signed up to Snapchat, but to send money to a friend you must be over the age of 18, a threshold that should exclude a good portion of the Snapchat user based. Snapchat has already fallen prey to security breaches, leading many to become skeptical of the safety of the service. Earlier in the year, hackers leaked around 4.6 million usernames and phone numbers and posted them publically online. There was also a major photo leak involving tens of thousand users on Snapchat, some of which included nude photos. Snapchat said, “We set out to make payments faster and more fun, but we also know that security is essential when you’re dealing with money. Square has a ton of experience in this area and our teams have been hard at work to make Snapcash a great experience for everyone.” When creating an account, Snapchat users must first register for a Square Cash account. Bank account details are stored with Square, which has vastly more experience in the payments field. To give users more confidence in its service, Snapchat has agreed to be monitored by...
Is Bitcoin an investment medium or a payment system?

Is Bitcoin an investment medium or a payment system?

The title of this article is a question that I posed to a group of panelists discussing the future of digital payments at a recent Refresh Miami event. Mention Bitcoin to colleagues in your work place and you will hear responses expressing everything from confusion to enthusiasm to outrage. Generally speaking, Bitcoin is not well understood and on the eve of my visit to Money 2020, I wanted to unlock some of the mystery and intrigue around the cyber-currency. To do so, I sat down with one or two trusted sources on digital payments and e-commerce to learn more. It’s less important “who” they are than “what” they know. I’m choosing to keep their comments anonymous as most responses from Bitcoin backers carry a highly emotional component. Save for one very thoughtful response to a group of questions from @junseth which you can find here, what I mostly received were incredulous responses implying my lack of understanding of Bitcoin potential or my willingness to grip the inefficiency that exists in today’s payment system. Neither is true, and my earnest question was clearly the equivalent to poking a stick into the Bitcoin cage. Sitting down with my expert colleagues, here is what I learned: Bitcoin is a community-driven open source project conceived by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto and outlined in a paper published Nov 1, 2008 Satoshi Nakamoto is believed to own over 5% of the Bitcoins within the system – which at its peak was worth over $1 billion. Given the lack of transparency around his identity and level of control, our sources termed Bitcoin a purpose-built “business model”...
Boomers and Millennials square off over digital payments

Boomers and Millennials square off over digital payments

Earlier this week, our consulting firm Hanifin Loyalty engaged a service provider who presented an invoice to be paid via Square Cash. We managed to remit funds as requested but the transaction didn’t go down without a healthy debate between myself and my Digital Strategy Director about the efficacy and security of this new payment channel. Call it a debate between Boomers and Millennials on the changing face of the payments landscape, or just an illustration of the type of dialogue that needs to take place to keep the generation gap between Millennials and Boomers as tiny and manageable as possible. Either way, its clear that Millennials are making payment choices and are comfortable with a range of payment technology that still give Boomers pause for concern. Here’s a view into our discussion: Boomer: I don’t mind trying something new. I’m already familiar with Square as a merchant acceptance method and have a Square dongle myself. We routinely use PayPal and I’ve made Peer to Peer payments with Chase’s Quick Pay. But come on, is this one step too far? Millennial: Not sure what you’re worried about (haha). I’ve been using Square Cash for a while now. It is easy, secure, and most of my friends use it too. Remember that you reimbursed me for the office lunch last week using Square Cash? Boomer: You’re right, I did pay for lunch with Square Cash, but that was a $27 lunch. This is a much bigger invoice. What concerns me is linking an online app to my business debit card. Millennial: Maybe you just don’t know enough about it. It’s...

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