In social mediums, there’s nothing more ubiquitous than hashtags. It’s our method for tracking topics, making snide jokes, and even relaying a sub-story for a post. Piggybacking on that energy, Square is introducing something they call ‘$Cashtag’, which is just like a hashtag, except with the dollar sign ahead of your tag. Square’s main goal here is to allow businesses to get paid quickly and effectively, and without the need to adopt a particular payment scheme like Google Wallet/Android Pay or Apple Pay.
The point of Square Cash is to bypass the plastic altogether, as the entire payment process is now digital and contactless. When you set-up an account via Square Cash, you have the option to choose your $Cashtag. Anyone who owes you money can then hit your special website for Square Cash, which is now cash/me/(your cash tag). Mine, for instance, is cash.me/$NateSwanner.
With a payment processing site and identity set up, businesses (or those representing themselves in business, like artists) can direct payors to that portal instead of asking them to write checks. The $Cashtag is even usable in the Square Cash app for iOS or Android.
For businesses, the low 1.5% processing fee will be enticing. With $Cashtags, Square is also announcing Square Cash is now available to all businesses in the US. When Square Cash is used, the money is transferred between accounts, instantly; your cash, coming or going, never sees a holding account.
Sending cash to a friend via Square Cash still won’t cost you a thing.
Square is positioning $Cashtags as a marketing service, as well as a way to have a digital payment footprint in a cluttered mobile payment world. You can add your $Cashtag to a YouTube video, fundraising campaign, or whatever else you might want to raise money or otherwise get paid for. Like a hashtag, it provides a central service point for those who may want to support you.
Will $Cashtags work? Time will tell. It’s an interesting wrinkle for the payment space, but in the face of juggernauts like Google Wallet/Android Pay or Apple Pay, may struggle to find a footing no matter how easy or downright cool it is.