SnapChat Enters the Personal Finance Space With Snapcash

SnapChat Enters the Personal Finance Space With Snapcash

What's more satisfying than a hilarious selfie of your BFF and her kitten? A selfie of your BFF and her kitten... with 50 bucks attached.

It might sound like the stuff of dreams, but rest assured, it's reality. Just last month, the photo messaging app Snapchat partnered with the mobile payment company Square to launch a brand-new product called Snapcash.

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The service allows users to instantly transfer funds to their friends' bank accounts via the very same app that lets them send disappearing photos (no, the money won't vanish along with the image). The way it works is pretty straightforward: any Snapchat user who is at least 18 years old can enter his debit card information, type a dollar amount into the Snapchat message box and send money to friends by pressing a single green button.

While Snapchat's foray into person-to-person payments has already generated a lot of buzz, it's still unclear whether Snapcash will actually catch on and, if it does, who will be its primary users.

Some people say that Snapcash could appeal to consumers that other person-to-person payment services, like Square Cash and Venmo, failed to pick up. That's because Snapcash has a pre-established consumer base: Snapchat's 100 million monthly active users, 81% of whom are under 25. While Square Cash and Venmo target the same tech-loving demographic as Snapcash, they also market themselves as personal finance apps. Snapcash, however, could take hold with teens and young adults who might not otherwise consider using a money management tool.

On the other hand, Snapcash's convenience and über simplicity could attract customers who already use mobile payment apps on a regular basis. For those looking to streamline their finances and speed up the payment process even more, Snapcash looks like a highly enticing option.

Of course, some people worry about the potential ramifications of monetizing the selfie, which might allow users to exchange risqué photos for instant cash. Others are wary of Snapchat’s past security problems—although the fact that all account information is held by Square might help assuage those concerns.

One thing's for sure: the sound of the cash register ka-ching is slowly fading. Money may soon have a new noise, and it'll sound a lot like a Snap notification.

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