Send cash, not selfies.
The photo-sharing app Snapchat launched a mobile payment service through a partnership with SquareCash on Monday -- a bold move as the app attempts to ramp up its monetization resources.
The new feature "Snapcash" allows users to send and receive money instantly, just as they would a photo or video. When users tie their debit cards to the app, they type in a dollar amount and a green button will pop up allowing users the option to send that amount to a friend.
Simply put, the social app became a finance app with millions of users.
Though mobile payment services aren't new (think Venmo, Google Wallet and Apple Pay), Snapcash marks one of the first social media sites to embrace e-commerce in a seemingly effortless way.
Mainly used by college students and teens, Snapchat originally served as a way to send selfies. Now it's injecting itself into the mobile payment space and potentially millions of bank accounts. The transition alone has proven remarkable and speaks to the competitive environment of e-commerce and peer-to-peer payments.
Not only is Snapchat used for double-chinned selfies, news organizations and brands have used the company's live story and sponsored snap features to push their messages. The e-commerce feature only introduces a new angle to leverage the app.
For college students, Snapcash makes paying back your friends that much easier. One minute, send a selfie, the next, pay a friend back for the wine she bought you last week or your roommate for the utilities bill.
For Snapchat's large user base, personal finance will become more fun and instantly gratifying -- a perfect combination for Millennials.
Though many may ask themselves: Should I even trust Snapcash?
Snapchat lives in Millennials' phones as the home of potentially embarrassing photos, disheveled friends and sometimes even nudes. To think that this same guilty pleasure can hold the number of our bank account creates an unsettling fear that we will be stripped of more than just our clothes.
How can Millennials trust an app that prides itself on deleting unattractive selfies and safeguarding nudes with their debit cards and bank account numbers? Hasn't Snapchat faced privacy issues in the past? Last year alone, a Snapchat hack from a third party service stole more than 4.6 million people's usernames and numbers, all of which were published.
Also, to deal with privacy concerns, Snapchat is letting mobile payment company Square handle all financial information. The partnership gives more weight and security to Snapcash transactions and opens up an entirely new market to Square Cash.
If Snapchat earns the trust of its users, Snapcash just became one of the largest competitors in e-commerce and personal finance.