Mobile payment is becoming a hot topic in mobility and yet another players has thrown their hat into the ring, though it may not be one you expect. Snapchat, the image sharing platform best known for its epidemic levels of sexting is now going to allow users to send each other cash through their chat features. The technology is being developed through a joint effort between Snapchat and the San Franciso based Square; who are really the industry leaders at the moment for mobile payment. The payment will ultimately take place through Square’s backend while Snapchat in essence becomes the user interface.
Users (over 18 of course) will need to enter a valid Visa or Mastercard where it will be saved for future transactions. Once you have a credit card loaded up you can send money simply by using the “$” sign in a message. For example, you might write, “$15 for lunch”; once you’ve done that the app will recognize the dollar sign and change the send button into a green “SnapCash” button. Once you hit the button the money will be sent directly to your contacts debit card and the funds should become available within one or two business days.
Initially you will be allowed to send up to 250 dollars per week with the possibility of upgrading your service to increase that limit to $2,500. If you try to send over $250 in a week you’ll be asked to provide your full name, birthday and Social Security Number for verification. Likewise, you will be able to receive up to $1,000 in a month before being prompted for that same information. The service will be available in all 50 states but will be limited to the United States for the foreseeable future.
The plan has met with some critics some of whom have legitimate concerns over security. Just last month Snapchat was the target of a major hack in which hackers gained access to thousands of private SnapChat images. It remains to be seen whether SnapChat will be able to assuage the fears of potential users.