SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Smartphone app Snapchat on Monday began letting users in the United States send money to friends by simply typing dollar amounts into new “Snapcash” messages.
The new feature came from a first collaboration between Snapchat and Square, a mobile payments company headed by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.
“The product you’re seeing today is fast, fun, and incredibly simple,” Snapchat, which has been eagerly looking to boost revenue, said in a blog post. Those opting to use the new feature must store their debit card numbers at Square to carry out the transfers and users must be 18 years of age or older. However, about half of Snapchat users are reported to be 17 or younger. Financial terms of the alliance between Snapchat and Square were not disclosed. The new service was added as Snapchat works to boost the money-making capabilities of its popular app, which sees messages disappear shortly after being viewed.
Last month, Los Angeles-based Snapchat began weaving ads into the service. The new ads were the first paid content at Snapchat. Users have the option of ignoring ads, which automatically disappear after being viewed or within 24 hours, according to Snapchat.