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There has been a dramatic shift in the way people handle their finances over the past decade. With the widespread adoption of smartphones and other devices, consumers are now more likely to use digital wallets to pay for goods and services. Experts expect this trend to continue as technology advances. Some applications take this revolution further by empowering users with various tools that can do much more than pay for items.
Enter Cash App
Cash App is one of the most popular digital wallets and peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps. With an account, you can use it to quickly and securely send and receive money, set up direct deposits, save money, spend money, and invest in stocks and Bitcoin. You can also earn cashback or free Bitcoin and even file your taxes at no extra expense!
The company has made it possible for users to do all of these things from their mobile devices, making it a convenient and user-friendly option for those looking for a one-stop solution for their financial needs. Little wonder Cash App has become the go-to payment option for many people.
What is Cash App?
Cash App is a financial platform and mobile wallet app similar to Venmo, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, and Zelle. It works as a daily banking solution for individuals but also provides services for businesses.
Formerly known as Square Cash, Square Inc., the app launched in 2013, co-founded by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey. It was later renamed Cash App.
It's important to note that Cash App is not an actual bank but a financial platform that partners with banks. These partnerships allow Cash App to provide banking services and debit cards insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
Cash App is currently available in the U.S. and U.K. only.
How Does Cash App Work?
To sign up with Cash App, download the app, enter your name, ZIP code, and your email or phone number, and that's it! You will create a username, known as your $Cashtag, that others will use to pay you or request money. Or, they can search by name, email address, or phone number.
Once you've created your free account, you need to connect Cash App with one of your existing bank accounts to start using most of its services. Then, you will be able to transfer money between your accounts and send and receive money.
When you receive money, you can either keep the funds within Cash App or transfer them to your linked bank account(s). There is a small fee for instant transfers, but standard transfers (which take 1-3 business days) are free.
Many Cash App users get a free Cash Card, which is essentially a Visa debit card that can be used in stores or as a digital wallet to make purchases.
You must be 18 or older to use all of Cash App's features. However, users as young as 13 can create an account and request a Cash Card (parental approval is required to access some features).
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Although Cash App is free to download, there are fees for certain services.
Is Cash App Safe?
Cash App uses encryption, secure servers, and fraud detection technology to protect your data and money. Overall, it's safe to use, but that doesn't mean it's invincible. As a user, there are things you can do to minimize security risks.
First, because “Cash App” is a common term, be careful when you first download and set up your account. There are some legitimate-looking knock-off apps, so be sure you're using the Square Inc. Cash App.
Second, online scams often use Cash App's brand to lure people in with promises of making a quick buck. One example is cashappearn.com, which most users have reported as a scam. If something sounds too good to be true, it likely is. Information about known scams and how to avoid them are available on their website.
Third, Cash App payments are instant and are usually difficult to cancel. Cash App monitors accounts and occasionally cancels potentially fraudulent charges. However, it's up to you to make sure you send money to the right person. If you make a mistake or fall for a scam, you can request your money back using the Request button. Unfortunately, that's all you can do.
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Make sure you use a hard-to-guess sign-in code and PIN. Never share these with anyone. Cash App Support will never ask you to send a “test” payment or purchase or download programs that allow remote access.
Take advantage of their additional security measures, including:
- enabling two-factor authorization
- using Security Lock, where each payment requires your passcode
- disabling your Cash Card if you're not actively using it or if it is lost or stolen
- enabling text or email notifications for every payment
How to Make Money with Cash App
Despite the scams, there are a few legitimate ways to make money with Cash App.
1. Refer New Users
One of the easiest ways to make money with Cash App is their referral program. When you refer a new user to Cash App, you will earn a $5 bonus if they use your invite link. The invitation bonus is a great way to make some extra cash. It's also a great way to get your friends and family to start using Cash App.
2. Enter Cash App Fridays Giveaways
Every Friday, Cash App runs giveaways or sweepstakes through its Twitter and Instagram accounts. Recent giveaways range from $25 discounts to Bitcoin deposits worth more than $40,000! Be sure to follow them and enter if you're eligible for your chance to win.
3. Cash App Investing
For as little as $1, you can start investing in fractional shares of stock without paying any commissions through Cash App Investing.
You can track stock prices in real-time, monitor your investment portfolio in the app, and create a list of companies to follow so you stay informed about their performance. If the stock does well, you can make money. However, investing comes with risks, and you could lose money instead, so only to invest what you can afford to lose.
Cash App Investing is available to U.S. residents only who are over 18.
4. Buy & Sell Bitcoin
In addition to investing in the stock market, Cash App users can buy, sell, and send Bitcoin. There may be a small fee for buying and selling Bitcoin, but Cash App will list the fee before you complete your transaction. Sending and receiving Bitcoin is free. Like stocks, the value of Bitcoin is constantly changing. Although investing in Bitcoin is considered high risk, cryptocurrencies are unlikely to disappear overnight, and Bitcoin is the biggest of them all. If you're willing to take the risk, it could pay off, depending on when you buy and sell.
You can also choose to get “paid in Bitcoin,” where a portion of your direct deposit will automatically be invested in Bitcoin without paying fees.
5. Earn Free Bitcoin with Bitcoin Boosts
Rather than using Cash App's Cash Boost to get discounts on your purchases, you can choose to earn free Bitcoin through Bitcoin Boost. The amount you will automatically earn depends on the purchases you make.
Once you've earned Bitcoin, you can sell it for cash or keep it, hoping that its value will grow.
That is an easy way to earn free money and a great way to learn more about investing in cryptocurrency.
6. Send & Receive Money for Free
There are no extra fees when you use Cash App to send or receive money, which is one of the reasons why it is such a popular app. Whether you are borrowing money from friends or family, lending someone money, or getting paid for things like your side hustle, Cash App is the simplest way to do it.
The app is also convenient because it is linked to your bank account and allows you to transfer money with just a few taps.
How to Save Money with Cash App
In addition to making money with Cash App, there are a few ways it can also save you money.
1. Cash Boost Instant Cashback
With your Cash Card, you get access to Cash Boosts, which are instant cashback discounts that you can use to save money at the supermarket, restaurants, stores, and when shopping online.
You can only use one Cash Boost at a time, but they are easy to activate within the app and are easy to switch. Click “Save with Boost,” scroll through the current exclusive offers, and add the Boost you want to use. Then, use your Cash Card to make your purchase, and Cash App will deduct the discounted amount from your balance.
2. Save ATM Fees
When you set up a direct deposit for your paycheck of $300 or more each month, Cash App will reimburse your ATM fees. They also count Unemployment Insurance deposits if you are currently out of work.
3. File Your Taxes for Free
In 2020, Square, Inc. acquired Credit Karma Tax and renamed it Cash App Taxes. This service allows Cash App users to file their taxes from their phone or computer at no extra charge.
Bonus: Get Your Paycheck Early
With Cash App, you can receive your paycheck up to two days earlier than you would with most other banks. Although this isn't specifically a way to save money, it is a great perk if you need access to your money right away.
As you can see, there are several different ways to make and save money with Cash App. Whether you're looking for a convenient way to send and receive money, invest, or get paid early, Cash App is a great option. And, if you're careful and aware of the potential risks, it is a safe and easy way to handle your finances.
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.
Amanda Kay, Employment Specialist and founder of My Life, I Guess, strives to keep the "person" in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes, and making a living. She focuses on what it’s like being in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and surviving unemployment while also offering advice and support for others in similar situations - including a FREE library of career & job search resources.