Payments platform Square is now suggesting users deposit their COVID-19 stimulus payments through its Cash App for faster and easier access to the funds, in the event someone doesn’t have access to a traditional bank account. The app has started showing users a pop-up explaining how to go about getting the payment deposited without having to wait for a paper check in the mail, and a Square spokesperson told The Verge that the company is attempting to make its deposits feature “more accessible” by highlighting it.
Much like a bank account, you can get a routing and account number directly through Cash App to receive deposits. Square released this feature back in early 2018, allowing you to set up direct deposit to receive paychecks.
A lot of people don’t have or are unable to acquire a bank account, and Cash App offers a quick way for them 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 routing and account number. Once you do that, you will need to submit your banking information to the IRS. If you happened to file a federal income tax return in 2018 or 2019 or you don’t normally file a tax return, but would still like the money to go to Cash App, the company says the IRS is releasing a tool on April 17th to update your direct deposit info with a new account.
Cash App’s competitors, like Venmo and its parent company PayPal, offer similar services, allowing you to use their platforms and set up direct deposits with them without a bank account. Like with the Cash Card, you will need to apply and get approved for a Venmo card or a PayPal Cash Card in order to use those features.
People need help immediately. The technology exists to get money to most people today (even to those without bank accounts). Square and many of our peers can get it done. US government: let us help. https://t.co/mVrpOpbp0b
— jack (@jack) March 26, 2020
Square CEO Jack Dorsey has been trying to involve his company in delivering stimulus payments. Two weeks ago, Dorsey tweeted, “US government: let us help.” Today, he promoted Cash App’s instructions for getting direct deposit payments with “no bank account needed.” Use of the app can certainly speed the process up for people unable to access a bank account. Of course, it also helps Square, too, by sending it new users and putting large sums of money into accounts on its platform. (Cash App makes money off transaction fees for certain services it offer stop both businesses and individuals.)
Last month the US Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, a $2 trillion stimulus package aimed at providing financial relief to citizens undergoing financial hardship amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Stimulus checks are now in the process of being direct deposited into US citizens’ accounts, but that automatic deposit requires you to have made a certain amount of money in 2019 or to have filed a federal income tax return. For those who don’t fall in those categories, Square is now offering Cash App as an alternative to getting your hands on the money in a timely manner.