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Square Wallet Review

Overview

Square Wallet

Square Wallet

Updated 5/26/2015: Square has removed Square Wallet from the iTunes App Store and has publicly stated that the service is no longer a priority. At this time, Square Wallet is not an active product.

Square Wallet (squareup.com/wallet) is a free mobile wallet application offered by Square. Like LevelUp, PayPal, or the now-defunct Google Wallet, Square Wallet allows customers to pay at eligible stores using only their smartphones. All a user needs to do is download the free Square Wallet app, link his or her credit card, provide a photo, and activate the app in a Square Register-enabled location. The cashier will see the customer’s username and photo in the Square Register, and the customer can then pay by simply stating his or her username to the cashier. The Square Wallet can only be used at stores that utilize the Square Register point-of-sale system, which means that only Square merchants can offer this service to customers. Square made a splash in late 2012 by signing an agreement with Starbucks to enable all of its stores to accept Square Wallet payments.

Square Wallet Pros

From a customer’s perspective, Square Wallet provides an easy, secure payment method that allows for discreet tipping and eliminates the need to deal with card readers. The service also automatically detects perks that are available to the customer, such as loyalty programs and active sales. Customer reviews praise the fact that users don’t have to hand their phone to the cashier or wave the phone over a scanner of some sort, since the Square Wallet can communicate with the cloud-based Register system from a user’s pocket.

For a merchant, accepting Square Wallet can have several benefits. Customers can use the app to see which nearby businesses accept Square Wallet payments, so this feature may give merchants the edge over non-Square-enabled competitors. Additionally, the use of a phone to make payments provides a seamless payment option that eliminates potential issues with cash handling or card readers. Since Square Register allows merchants to promote loyalty programs or special deals to Square Wallet customers, merchants can encourage repeat business. Best of all, though, is the fact that Square Wallet acceptance is free with the Square Register. There is no additional commitment necessary for a merchant to try it out.

Square Wallet Cons

Most Square Wallet complaints have been posted by customers who experienced slow or failed payment attempts through the app. Customers report a low number of Wallet-compatible stores in their area, employee confusion over how to accept Square Wallet payments, slow or inefficient processing that holds up lines, and occasionally not seeing a “tip” option when they want to tip a server. These reported issues may improve as more stores begin to accept Square Wallet and teach their employees how to use it. It is also possible that some of these complaints are due to the fact that Square Register cannot accept Square Wallet payments on a smartphone. Employees must accept Square Wallet payments through a Square Register-enabled iPad.

Customers also report a long load time when trying to check in at a Square Register location. Square Wallet offers an automatic check-in feature that alerts cashiers the second a Square Wallet user steps into the store, but customers have noted that this feature drains phone battery at a rapid rate.

Aside from these device-related hiccups, Square Wallet also has the issues that come with being tied to Square’s merchant services. Merchants who wish to offer Square Wallet acceptance will need to sign up for both the Square Register and credit card processing through Square. While Square is known to have transparent transaction rates (2.75% swiped, 3.5% plus $0.15 keyed), the company also suffers from a very high volume of complaints related to poor customer service and a pattern of withholding funds. Our review of Square currently awards the company an overall rating of “D,” and most merchants are not advised to sign up for Square simply to be able to accept Square Wallet payments.

Bottom Line


Square Wallet Review

Rated 3.5 out of 5 Stars
Reviewed by Phillip Parker
Updated on 2015-05-26

In concept, Square Wallet represents a free, streamlined, smartphone-only mobile payment option for customers. The service has a lot of potential for innovation and is a nice benefit afforded to existing Square merchants. However, it appears that many users are experiencing issues with disrupted function and low availability among merchants at this time. These issues may resolve themselves as Square Wallet gains traction, but individual experiences will probably vary for some time. Additionally, merchants should not consider signing up with Square just to be able to accept Square Wallet at this time, since Square currently does not offer live customer support and has a high volume of online complaints. Taken on its own merits (independently of Square’s flaws), Square Wallet currently receives a “B” rating.

This review was originally published on 11/13/13 and was last updated on 5/26/15.

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Square Cash Review

Overview

Square Cash

Square Cash

Square Cash (cash.me) is a personal cash transfer service launched by Square in October 2013. Like Venmo and Google Wallet, Square Cash allows individuals to directly send cash amounts to each other via email or within a dedicated mobile application using a linked debit card.

The process for making email payments is simple: when filling out an email, write the recipient’s email address in the “To” field, “[email protected]” in the “CC” field, and the dollar amount being sent in the “Subject” field. Any additional notes concerning the transaction can be included in the body of the email. Square will then send an email asking you for your debit card number. Providing your debit card number completes the account setup process. Alternatively, you can download the company’s Square Cash app from the iTunes or Android app store, and the app will walk you through this process. An email will be sent to the recipient’s email address immediately, notifying them of the payment, and the transaction will process within two days. All transfers through Square Cash are processed for free.

Square Cash Features

  • Peer-to-peer cash transfer
  • Deposits within seconds
  • Push, email, and text notifications for account usage
  • Fingerprint and CVV verification
  • Cash Pro option for businesses

Square Cash Video Introduction

Related: Best Credit Card Processing Apps for Real Businesses

Square Cash Pros

Square Cash is incredibly easy to use and costs absolutely nothing. Anyone with an email address and debit card can sign up for it and begin sending money to friends quickly. The service advertises that it takes only seconds to make a deposit, but users should plan on a one- to two-day deposit window just to be safe. Square Cash can be accessed from any device that sends emails, making it widely accessible for all users. Square initially holds users to a processing limit of $250 per week, but this amount can be increased to $2,500 by providing additional personal information to Square and linking to your Facebook account. Square Cash’s pricing, easy setup, and payment delivery are very competitive as a total package within the cash transfer market.

Square Cash Cons

Square Cash currently has an overall rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars in the Google Play Store and a five-star rating in the iTunes App Store. The major concern throughout most Square Cash reviews is the potential security hazard posed by the email component of the service. Since it’s linked to the user’s email address and requires no PIN or additional password, Square Cash is only as secure as a user’s email password. Someone who obtains access to a user’s Square Cash-linked account can easily send themselves money, although this amount will be limited to either $250 or $2,500. This risk can be mitigated by users who change their account settings to require entry of the card’s CVV code. Square has stated publicly that it provides top-of-the-line fraud protection for its users and is capable of reversing fraudulent payments, but there are no public accounts at this time of Square responding to an account breach. It is reasonable to assume that Square’s liability is likely limited when it comes to fraudulent transactions, and a savvy hacker would probably be able to reroute funds before Square could reverse them.

Square recently launched a feature called Cash Pro that is intended for business owners who wish to collect payments through Square Cash. Cash Pro enables merchants to direct customers to a payment page using a “cashtag,” which is simply a link to the merchant’s dedicated Square Cash profile. Customers can pay at this page using a debit card regardless of whether they have a Square Cash account. Cash Pro costs 1.5% per transaction, which is very competitive compared to traditional merchant accounts. However, users who process large payments regularly through Square Cash have reported that Square will sometimes attempt to reclassify their accounts as “Cash Pro” accounts if the company believes that users are conducting business transactions through the app. This increase in cost seems to put both parties in a difficult position, as users insist that they should be entitled to the free service while Square unilaterally requires a 1.5% fee on transactions that were previously free.

The primary concern with the service, however, is the fact that Square provides virtually no live customer support. In the event of a fraudulent payment, it is unlikely that a Square Cash user will be able to reach an account representative in time to reverse the payment. Since Square Cash collects sensitive personal information, including a user’s debit card number and bank information, users may be wary to hand this information over to an entity without live support. In fact, nearly all negative reviews of the service cite concerns over security or privacy.

Related: Best Multi-Currency Merchant Account Providers

Bottom Line


Square Cash Review

Rated 4 out of 5 Stars
Reviewed by Phillip Parker
Updated on 2015-05-26

Square Cash offers a simple, free peer-to-peer cash transfer service that is a worthy competitor to apps like Venmo. The service’s ease of use may have come at a slight cost, however, since there is very little in the way of customer service for users. The convenience of Square Cash should be weighed against its potential risks.

This review was originally published on 11/13/13 and was last updated on 5/26/15.

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