The Square payments platform now encourages users to deposit their COVID-19 stimulus payments through its Cash app for faster and easier access to funds, in case someone doesn’t have access to a traditional bank account. The app has started showing users a pop-up window explaining how to go about depositing payment without having to wait for a paper check in the mail, and a Square spokesperson told The Verge that the company is trying to make their Deposits work “more accessible” by highlighting it.
Like a bank account, you can obtain a route and account number directly through the Cash app to receive deposits. Square launched this feature in early 2018, allowing you to set up a direct deposit to receive paychecks.
Many people do not have or cannot purchase a bank account, and the Cash app offers a quick way to access deposits (physical stimulus checks are supposed to take longer to arrive). You will need to sign up for a Cash Card to set up a route and account number. Once you do that, you will need to submit your bank information to the IRS. If you filed a federal income tax return in 2018 or 2019 or don’t normally file a tax return, but still want the money to go to the Cash app, the company says the IRS will release a tool on April 17 to update your direct deposit information with a new account.
Cash App competitors, like Venmo and its parent company PayPal, offer similar services, allowing you to use their platforms and establish direct deposits with them without a bank account. As with the Cash Card, you will need to apply for and obtain approval from a Venmo Card or PayPal Cash Card to use those features.
Square CEO Jack Dorsey has been trying to involve his company in the delivery of stimulus payments. Two weeks ago, Dorsey tweeted, “US Government: Help us.” Today, he promoted the instructions for the Cash app to get direct deposit payments without “needing a bank account.” Using the app can certainly speed up the process for people who cannot access a bank account. Of course, it also helps Square, sending new users and depositing large sums of money into accounts on its platform. (The Cash app makes money from transaction fees for certain services it offers for businesses and individuals.)
Last month, the United States Congress passed the Coronavirus Economic Aid, Relief and Security Act, a $ 2 billion stimulus package aimed at providing financial relief to citizens experiencing financial difficulties amid the new pandemic of coronavirus. Stimulus checks are now in the process of a direct deposit into the accounts of US citizens, but that automatic deposit requires that you have made a certain amount of money in 2019 or have filed a federal tax return. For those who don’t fall into those categories, Square now offers the Cash app as an alternative to having money in your hands in a timely manner.