Snapchat’s ‘Snapcash’ lets you send money to friends via the app

As if there weren’t already enough ways to empty your bank account, Snapchat has gone and launched Snapcash, a new addition to the ephemeral messaging app app that lets you send money to friends in just a few taps.

Snapcash has been set up in partnership with payments service Square, and can be used by anyone over 18 with a debit card and U.S. address.

In a blog post unveiling Snapcash, which is similar to other money-transfer services offered by PayPal and Venmo, Snapchat described its new feature as “fast, fun, and incredibly simple” to use.

Before you wave bye-bye to your cash, or hopefully welcome some from another user, you’ll need to enter your debit card details.

After that, to send cash, it’s a simple matter of swiping into chat, typing the dollar sign, entering an amount, and, finally, hitting the green button that appears.

Aware that it hasn’t had the best headlines when it comes to matters of security, Snapchat is keen to reassure potential users of its new service, promising that Square “securely stores” your debit card details and safely processes payments.

“We set out to make payments faster and more fun, but we also know that security is essential when you’re dealing with money,” the startup said in its post. “Square has a ton of experience in this area and our teams have been hard at work to make Snapcash a great experience for everyone.”

For now, the new feature works for Android users only (with this update), though iOS users of Snapchat should also get it soon.

Related video: Snapchat could gain a valuable foothold in mobile payments

Launched in 2011 by Stanford University graduate Evan Spiegel, Snapchat has grown fast and now has around 100 million monthly active users. Its popularity has spawned a slew of similar apps – Facebook’s Slingshot and Instagram’s Bolt among them – and led to multi-billion-dollar acquisition offers.

However, Spiegel is continuing to steer the Snapchat ship independently, and has recently started to explore ways to develop the service. Last month it introduced ads in an effort to generate some revenue, while it’s also thought to be in talks with media firms with a view to introducing content such as news snippets as well as video clips of TV shows and movies.

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