Snapchat released an update to its popular ephemeral messaging app today that enables “Snapcash,” a new service that allows friends to send money alongside their disappearing photos and messages.
It’s the result of a partnership between Snapchat and Square, which is powered by the Square Cash mobile payment system. Users type a dollar amount into a messaging session, and the app will offer them the option of turning that into a transfer. The transaction-enabling update is already live in Snapchat’s Android app, with iOS users getting it soon.
People who are concerned about Snapchat’s security (which makes sense, given the company’s spotty track record) will be happy to know that all of the payment data is stored by Square. That’s good news for the payment company as well, since it means that people who are using Snappish can transition to using Square Cash with their friends who aren’t on Snapchat.
Snapcash’s launch comes at a time when the mobile payment space is heating up. Facebook is gearing up to offer payment support in its Messenger app, and companies including Paypal, Square and Venmo are all trying to be at the forefront of allowing friends to exchange money.
If this feature takes off, it could be a boon for Snapchat, which is still figuring out how to make money. The service saw its first advertisements last month, and is almost certainly looking for other forms of revenue as well. The terms of the deal between Snapchat and Square aren’t known.
To commemorate the update’s launch, Snapchat created a promotional video that’s…let’s just say calling it “ridiculous” is an understatement.