November 17th was a big day for Snapchat – Snapcash, the first product created in partnership with another company, was launched on the market. This peer-to-peer payment feature (available only in USA) enables its users to send money through the simple messaging app. The ease of functioning is the greatest benefit of Snapcash. The first impressions of Android and iOS users that tried it are generally positive, but given the shady security history of Snapchat, the hesitancy of the online community is completely understandable.
How does Snapcash work?
Snapchat is already known as a convenient messaging app that enables its users to share images and videos that “disappear” in few seconds. With the Snapcash feature, the app is being transformed into a payment service that enables the users to enter their banking information into the services of Square Cash. Sending money has never been easier: all you need to do is type a private message with the amount of dollars you would like to send. The app recognizes the dollar sign, so you’ll immediately see a green button that allows you to complete the payment. The amount of money you can receive is currently limited to $1,000 per month; and the maximum amount of money you can send to a single friend through this service is $2,500 per week. Snapcash only works when tied to Mastercard and Visa. In case the friend doesn’t sign up within 24 hours to accept the transfer, the cash will be refunded to the sender’s account. If you have already used PayPal or Venmo as payment services, then you’ll certainly find your way around Snapcash, with the difference that this new service is even easier to use.
Snapchat promises that with this feature, payments will be made faster and “more fun”. Since the system is securely processed by the well-known Square, there is a certain belief that this feature will be safer than Snapchat’s messaging adventures. Unfortunately, ‘The Snappening’ scandal is still too fresh and the world vividly remembers how over 90,000 private photos and videos leaked online. Money transfers are a serious matter, so the users are wondering whether or not Snapchat is capable of protecting their cash and privacy. Naturally, the news of Snapchat’s money-sending feature was met with disbelief, mockery and many raised eyebrows.
The biggest flaw of Snapcash is that mistakes are not allowed. Once you send the money to someone, there will be no way to cancel the transaction. The app is pretty neat and shows you a transaction history from the menu, but doesn’t offer many security settings. The only thing you can do for greater safety is set the app to require the security code of your card for each payment you process (highly recommended at this point!). The fact that Snapchat only covers the messaging part of the transfer and the financial aspect is secured by Square does provide a certain level of security. According to the Twitter and Reddit communities, the service is unlikely to experience great success, but we can only wait to see how things develop from this point on. Once the idea of sending money through messaging becomes more natural, Snapcash users might enjoy the efficient, private way of processing financial transactions.