Snapchat has joined with Square to enable users to transfer money via its photo messaging app, becoming the latest tech firm to move into mobile payments.

The Snapcash feature allows users of the app to register a debit card and send funds by typing a dollar sign and the amount into the messaging field. The service is currently only available to users in the US who are over 18 years old. 

Snapchat revealed in a blog post that it initially approached the mobile payments firm with a prototype of the Snapcash service, which agreed to build a full service.

However, the company acknowledged the security considerations of creating a payments service. Snapchat has come under scrutiny for a series of data security breaches and vulnerabilities in the past, with hackers able to steal usernames and phone numbers of four million users earlier this year.

“We set out to make payments faster and more fun, but we also know that security is essential when you’re dealing with money,” the firm said in a statement. 

“Square has a ton of experience in this area and our teams have been hard at work to make Snapcash a great experience for everyone.”

Snapchat is one of a number of technology firms moving into the payments space. While Google Wallet has struggled since launching in 2011, it has recently been joined by Apple's mobile payments service Apple Pay.

Facebook is also believed to be preparing a feature that will allow users to make transfers via its messaging service, and Twitter has partnered with French bank Groupe BPCE to allow customers to send money via tweet.

 

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