November 06, 2016
I have tried different hacks and different ways to save money and track all of my spending. I have even used some unorthodox methods before. Financial apps have always been something that is interesting to me.
I was recently at a restaurant with a bunch of people. We decided to let one person pay for the meal and then we would all send that person money for our share of the bill. Sounds easy enough, right? It was interesting to watch the group of ten people figure out this whole process. Some people used this app and some people used others. I had a preference which one that I liked. But, as always, I wanted to see what I was missing out on.
I made an account on Venmo, and I just didn’t get why there was a public feed for the transactions. The feed when I made the account was loaded with nonsense comments. “$5 for a great night last night” (I am censoring that) or “$10 for trump donation.”
I sent someone over a $1. The whole process with Venmo just took too long. The removal of the money from my account and the fact that all of this was public was weird to me. I didn’t find that information to be useful. I felt like I was missing something.
Google Wallet was once an amazing prepaid debit card that you can manage from your phone. Google has since transitioned the product to just a service to send and receive money.
Google transactions were almost immediate from debit card to sending. The money was an instant transfer to my account. It got the job done and it was fast. But the problem was that not a lot of people in my circle uses it.
Full disclosure, Square Cash is the app that I have used the most. But recently, Square has made a few changes. The biggest change is that they now charge a 1% fee for immediate deposits into your checking account. The only reason why this is a big deal is that if you are like me, you like having your money in certain spots, or if you have a $100 restaurant bill in your account, you want that money deposited ASAP to avoid any issues.
I found myself paying the fee and not waiting. There is no charge for next day deposits.
The other interesting thing that Square added is a virtual debit card. You can use your “Cash” balance to manage the card and provide the funds. The card was an awesome experience to use. I was able to use it for some internet orders, and my main cards were not subject to that type of input. You can look at it as a nice disposable way to get an online order up or hide the transactions from your main accounts.
Square also has a few business possibilities and a full web experience to send and request money.
Venmo has its own audience and set of features. I did a little research, and it seems people do love that feed. But I think Square wins in all areas; design and UI are just so natural and easy to use. I love the feature set and how the product does seem to be evolving.
Written by John Siwicki who lives and works building interesting things. You should follow him on Twitter