The instant messaging and photo sharing app Snapchat has teamed up with payment processing company Square to allow users to send each other money.
Called Snapcash, the system allows users to enter banking information into Square Cash’s services. When they want to make a payment, they then type in the amount in dollars (e.g. $20) that they want to transfer in a private message to the intended recipient, the app recognises that this as a monetary figure and a green payments button pops up to ask if they want to tap and complete the payment.
The service will be made available to US users of the app who are over 18, and the company has emphasised that no financial information will be stored on its own servers. However, in light of several recent high profile security breaches at Snapchat, many people are wary of the announcement.
Earlier this year, Snapchat admitted that it had “misled” users over how their data was collected and the fact that messages, which disappear instantly, could be saved. As a result, the company reached a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and agreed to be monitored for 20 years. The company had already suffered embarrassment in January, when 4.6m user accounts were hacked and usernames and phone numbers stolen.
“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,” the company said in a blog post.
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