Square Cash gets approved for business

Square Cash is now open to small businesses via Cash Pro, which is powered by a new product called a $Cashtag (dollar sign included).

Via Square

Square is looking to make its peer-to-peer money transfer service Square Cash fit for business.

The San Francisco-based payments player announced Monday that Square Cash is now open to small businesses via Cash Pro, which is powered by a new product called a $Cashtag (dollar sign included).

First released in 2013, Square Cash began as a competitor to PayPal's Venmo, offering free P2P money transfers via website or mobile application. Although Venmo has maintained a majority share of the P2P transfer market, Square Cash has grown its annualized payment volume to around $1 billion.

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Now with the introduction of Square Cash for Business, Square is looking to tap into the field of SMBs and non-profits that commonly accept cash and checks for payments or donations.

If you're scratching your head at the idea that checks are still a thing -- or better yet, a thing worth building an entire product around -- Square estimates that around 13 billion checks are written every year to the tune of $1 trillion.

"Whether you're a landlord, a lawyer, a dogwalker, or an interior decorator. We think everyone should have access to a fast, affordable way to get paid, without the inconvenience or lack of security of cash and paper checks," Square said in a news release.

The Cashtag comes into play as part of the business angle because it allows the user to disassociate payments from any personally identifying information, like an email address or phone number. Square is charging businesses a 1.5 percent fee for the service, which is a little more than half the 2.75 percent it charges for payments via its signature dongle or POS devices. Non-business money transfers will remain free.

While it is unclear whether Cash Pro will result in any real revenue for the company, Square's renewed focus on P2P payments is certainly timely. Just last week, Facebook entered the P2P space with a new money transfer feature in its consumer-focused Messenger product.