I’m relatively new to Cash App. My teenage daughter asked me to download the app as a means of sending her money when she was in a bind. I was relieved I could do so. Turns out, I use the app much more these days, not just in emergency cases.
No doubt that payment apps, like Cash App and Venmo have been proven to be super convenient this year. No longer do you need to carry cash in your wallet. No longer do you need to make the time to get to an ATM or bank. No longer do you have to wait for the money to be deposited. Instant payment magic, right? Sure seems like it. But along with this magic, comes more fraudulent sorcery we need to be made aware of.
Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and leader of Square recently posted an article, "Fast fraud’ on payment apps becomes epidemic in pandemic,” expressing that the company’s Cash App has seen a spike in reviews mentioning fraud or scam. “In the pandemic, people have flocked to instant payment apps like Cash App, PayPal’s Venmo and Zelle as they have wanted to avoid retail bank branches, and online commerce has become more ingrained,” he states.
Payment apps have gained popularity due to their ease of use – and set up. All you need is an email address to create a Cash App and a phone number for Venmo. That ease, however, also opens doors to more fraud. Fraudsters can set up accounts and request payment from other users which isn’t possible with traditional bank payments.
It’s important to be aware of how vulnerable we all are when we use these services in place of banks. Dorsey states, “Payment apps have long had fraud rates that are three to four times higher than traditional payment methods such as credit and debit cards, according to data from the security firms Sift and Chargeback Gurus.”
Until banks offer a better payment experience, I’m going to keep on using Cash App. But the next time I feel pressed for time to make that payment, I think I’ll stop and take a few extra seconds, double check the account I’m sending the payment to and ensure the payment was received by the person to whom it was intended. No tricks for me.