Last week, the smash hit photo messaging app Snapchat unveiled a new feature: Snapcash. Snapchat has partnered with Square to add money sending features to Snapchat. To use this feature, you must be 18 years old, and you must link your debit card to your Snapchat account. If you’re already scratching your head, I don’t blame you; I was also confused when I first saw this. In my opinion, there’s two main problems with this feature.
The first problem is Snapchat’s implementation. I haven’t actually used Snapcash, but from what Snapchat said, it seems all you have to do to send money is type a dollar sign and then an amount, such as “$20,” in a message. This must be done from the text-only messaging screen, photo captions don’t count. To me, this seems to make it too easy to send money. Imagine you’re talking to a friend, and you casually say something like, “Today I was at the store going to buy such and such, but it was $100, so I decided not to.” As far as I can tell, you’ve just sent that person $100. I think the send button changes color to indicate that you’re about to send money, but in my opinion there should be at least one other confirmation prompt. What this actually reminds me of is Amazon.com’s one-click ordering. It’s convenient, but you have to be very, very, careful.
The other problem I have with Snapcash is a more basic one: it just doesn’t make sense. Messaging is great, and so is sending money, but I don’t see any overlap here. I’ve never thought to myself, “You know, it’d be really great if I could send money over Snapchat!” I commend Snapchat for trying to add features to their service, but I think they may be looking in the wrong place. Then again, maybe I’m wrong. Who knows? This could be good after all. For now, though, I’m just not sure I get it. ••