If you’re a keen Snapchatter, you can now use the app as a means of rapid payment. Powered by Square, the new Snapcash feature allows users to send money to each other in-app. The first time you attempt to send money, you will be required to enter your debit card details – and the same goes for people who want to confirm they have received money. After that, it is possible to literally swipe dollars into your friends’ accounts via private message.
Naturally, some critics have been sceptical of this new feature, thanks to Snapchat’s less-than-stellar record when it comes to security and privacy. Earlier this year, the company agreed to be monitored by the United States Federal Trade Commission for the next 20 years, following a series of allegations that it had misinformed customers regarding data collection and the fact that their ‘vanishing’ snaps could actually be saved.
Snapchat attempted to allay these concerns in the official blog post announcing the launch of Snapcash: “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.”
If Snapcash takes off, it could mean big bucks for brands hoping to capitalise on Snapchat’s vast user base. The company was relatively late to enter the advertising game, trying out a native campaign for the Halloween flick ‘Ouija’ just last month which erred in favour of customer experience over brand penetration.
Now that Snapchat has linked with Square, the company will have access to real-life information such as the customer’s address, enabling brands to craft targeted ads. And with Snapcash, companies could send out special offers to consumers with the potential for instant conversions.
Snapchat is currently piloting Snapcash in the United States, with users aged 18 and above.