With the rapid multiplication of payment apps, one could have thought that they were all out on a mission to exterminate cash, or at least gain a big chunk of its market share (see PayPal’s “There’s a New Money in Town” campaign or Visa and MasterCard’s openly anti-cash campaigns, for example). In 2016, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and President Emeritus of Harvard University, who now sits on the board of directors of Square, has called for abolishing the $100 bill.
That trend seems to be shifting, or rather, one of the sector’s big players, Square, appears to know how much consumers value cash by making it more accessible to its users. Indeed, the P2P mobile payments app started by launching a Cash Card last May that has now evolved to become a full-on ATM card (previously it could only be used to carry out in-store purchases). Square users are now able to retrieve cash from any ATM – free of charge – directly from their Square account.
If US consumers have been using bank branches less, ATMs still remain very popular. In fact, 61% of Americans withdraw cash at least once a month, according to a TD Bank study. Also, for people that don’t own a credit card or only have access to a transactional bank account, this means they will finally have the option to choose between cash transfers or cash withdrawals, depending on the situation.
Access to cash via the Cash Card is a key component of Square’s growth plan – and its efforts have been bringing their fruits. In fact, the payment app’s user growth rate nearly doubled this summer from June to August and this new feature has already been warmly welcomed by Square users.
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