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Snapchat Unveil Money Transfer Feature 'Snapcash'

Snapchat Your Cash Stash

Snapchat have announced Snapcash. Where you send your money to your friends. Through Snapchat. Seriously.

Forget about drunkenly sending your mates a picture you shouldn't have, be more worried about accidentally sending them that payday money you’ll be burning through this Friday. The ever growing in popularity Snapchat, where you send friends pictures or videos which they can only view once for just a few seconds, have unveiled a collaboration with Square, a payment processing firm. Snapcash will initially only be available in the United States to users who are over the age of eighteen and have a debit card.
To use Snapcash, users simply need to enter their details into Square’s servers. Then, when typing a message, enter an amount and the app will recognize the dollar symbol and present you with a green button so you can ‘make it rain’ just like in Snapcash’s promo. Unfortunately, the money stays where you send it and doesn't vanish after 10 seconds.

With this, Snapchat hopes to make sending money ‘fast, fun, and incredibly simple.’ Though I’m not quite sure what aspect of parting with my money could be fun, different concerns are stacking up in regards to Snapcash’s security. In the past, Snapchat has been the target of a barrage of hacks and security leaks. In January this year, up to 4.6 million different Snapchatter’s account names and phone numbers were posted online due to hack by a group calling themselves ‘SnapchatDB’. Days prior to the hack, Snapchat announced that such a feat would be ‘theoretically impossible’ and that account names and phone numbers couldn't be linked. Oops.
In May, the world collectively panicked over that one risqué picture (or more, I’m not judging) everyone has sent as Snapchat agreed to be monitored by the US Trade Commission (FSC) over allegations that users had been misled over data collection and that their ever so secret snaps could actually be saved after all.

Lastly, in October, Snapchat found themselves once again in the security breach headlights as hundreds of thousands of accounts were compromised. Nude pictures were leaked online and began circulating in the depths of 4chan while hackers threatened to release multitudes more. Dubbed ‘The Snappening’ named after Reddit’s ‘The Fappening’ in which countless celebrity’s iCloud accounts were compromised and leaked online.

Huge concerns grew due to a large number of the user base of Snapchat being under the age of 18 which made the majority of leaked images indecent images of children. To be fair to Snapchat, this time it really wasn’t all their fault as this leak was due to people using third party apps such as ‘Snapsaved’ which saves pictures for users. Using these third party apps is prohibited by Snapchat in their terms of service and Snapchat claims that they always search the App Store and Google Play for third party apps and, more often than not, have them removed.
Nonetheless, in the face of nearly a year's worth of security breaches, Snapchat still feels ready to step into the money transfer world. In an attempt to calm some of the concerned users, Snapchat wrote on their blog that their new partners at Square have ‘a ton of experience in this field’ Well I guess that’s good then. We can regain our faith in Snapchat through a different company. I think I share similar reservations with critics of this venture at the moment.

Snapchat has always been as much a private way of communication as well as a sharing one and having to check through the different security breaches to see if my information had been leaked never proved to be a fun endeavour. Also, with mobile banking becoming more and more streamlined, it seems that Snapcash will just be left in the dark as a gimmick much like Snapchat’s chat function. Yes, it does really have a chat section, just swipe left on a friend. Bet you never use it, either.

Snapchat was founded in 2011 and now has over 100 million users. Though I’m not sure why this is the route creator Even Spiegel wants to go for such a popular picture sharing app, Snapchat has to move forward one way or another.

For now, I think I’ll just stick to my mobile banking app and sending a fourteenth picture of my dog for the day. Yes, she really is that adorable. No, all my friends don’t hate me for it. Yet.

Tom has just graduated from University of East London in Creative and Professional Writing. He loves writing and is currently interning as content writer hoping to go further. His other loves include Arnold Schwarzenegger films and his dog. Follow him @TomAtSMF

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Snapchat Unveil Money Transfer Feature 'Snapcash' Reviewed by Tom Welby on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 Rating: 5
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