Square App provides simple and effective credit card processing for merchants and recently entered the realm of personal finances with a fury. Square’s first foray into the area of individual money management was the Cash App, a simple mobile program that allowed people to send money to family and friends quickly and easily. Most recently, Square introduced the new Cash Card, a debit card that allows individuals to access their Cash funds at any merchants that accept VISA debit.
The Cash Card is brilliantly easy to use. Simply load the card with money using the app, and then swipe it anywhere you would normally use a credit card. You can then track everything with the simple Cash App, and use your Cash Card as you would normally for daily purchases.
Always on the lookout for ways to improve my financial management, I recently took to using this Cash Card as my primary daily carry card. There were several reasons for this change.
First, I have total control over the card and can track usage easily on a simple-to-use app. Many other credit card apps have been bloated with extra functions I don’t need daily.
Second, the load-as-you-go methodology limits my losses in the event of having my card number stolen or hacked. It also tends to limit my spending and help keep me on an allowance.
Third, it has no interest or fees, making it free to use.
Forth, the card looks cool: it is a flat black with simple graphics that you design yourself. No other marking or labeling is presented on the card, making it elegant and an instant conversation piece. I consistently get comments on “what a cool card” it is.
Most amazingly, Square recently added the Card Boost, a free and frankly unprecedented reward program that provides cash bonuses for using your cash card. For example, Chipotle, Subway, Whole Foods and others give automatic discounts for using the card. While this isn’t terribly innovative or exciting, the Coffee Shop boost is. This boost gives a $1 credit toward each transaction at any coffee shop. I’m not sure who is paying for these boosts, but I do appreciate it every time I drive through my local Dutch Brothers.
Even with all of this goodness, I think there is untapped potential available from the Cash App/Card combo for families. Since anyone with a phone can download and use the app, theoretically anyone can get a Cash Card. This would allow children have to have simple payment card that parents can instantly send money to via the app, that is safe and does not have the issues associated with using a traditional debit or credit card. I have personally been using the Cash Card in my own family, and it has been incredibly convenient to send cash to family members that they can instantly access with their card.
At present, the only caveat is Square’s term’s of service which limit users to eighteen years of age. I suspect, however, as the Cash Card becomes more popular, Square may change that policy to accommodate children, and may even build-in a parent-child relationship into apps that allow them to link Cash accounts together. Overall, the Cash App card is an awesome financial innovation for individuals looking to simplify and control their financial life.
After having lived with the Cash card for a few months as my primary spending card, I have found only one issue, and that is at gas stations. Most of the time when you pay at the pump they usually pre-authorize $150 on the card regardless of whether or not you need that much gas. The workaround to this is to carry a separate card for gas, or to keep at least $150 on it when you go for gas, or to walk inside and pay inside. This, however, is a minor issue, considering how great this card is.