If you’re thinking about using Cash App for any of these purposes, there are a few things you should know. Below, you’ll find an in-depth review of the service, including how it works and how to open an account.

As its name would suggest, Cash App is primarily a smartphone app (available on the App Store and Google Play). It’s also accessible through browsers like Chrome and Safari. In many ways, Cash App functions like a traditional bank account. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll get an account number and a routing number. So you can deposit cash, set up direct deposit with your employer, and get a debit card (called a “Cash Card”). However, it’s important to note that Cash App is a financial platform – not a bank. The company partners with banks to provide banking services (like issuing debit cards and setting up direct deposits). When you’re ready to transfer money from Cash App to your bank account, you can initiate a deposit through the app or your browser. Standard deposits are free and usually take two to three days to process, while instant deposits come with a 0.5% - 1.75% fee (minimum of $0.25) and arrive in your bank account right away. If you’d prefer to pay for goods and services using your Cash App balance, you can do so by using your Cash Card – both online and at brick-and-mortar stores. Or, if you’re buying from a merchant that uses Square, you can open Cash App and scan the QR code on their point-of-sale system or on their website. From there, you can initiate payments, deposit money, and cash out your balance into your traditional bank account. If you have a Cash Card, you can use it to withdraw money at ATMs and make mobile payments with Apple Pay or Google Pay. You can also use your Cash App account to buy stocks and Bitcoin. If you’re feeling extra generous, you can even send stocks to your loved ones as a gift. Cash App charges $2 per ATM withdrawal made with a Cash Card (on top of any fees the ATM owner charges). However, if you’ve received at least $300 in direct deposit payments into your account, the company will reimburse three ATM fees per 31 days (up to $7 per withdrawal). There’s no cost to use the investing component of Cash App’s platform, but you may be charged a small fee when buying or selling Bitcoin. You can improve the security of your Cash App account by setting up two-factor authentication, requiring a PIN to transfer funds, and turning on notifications for account activity. If your card is lost or stolen, you can disable it to prevent fraudulent charges.

Venmo: For the most part, this PayPal-owned app is pretty similar to Cash App. Both platforms let users pay and request money from others, use a debit card, set up direct deposit, and make online and in-store payments. However, Venmo does offer social media-like functionality (such as likes and comments on payments) and purchase protection – but it’s only available in the US.Zelle: Zelle works directly with major banks (including Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America) to process same-day payments between its users. If you bank with one of its partners, you can make payments directly from your online banking account, so there’s no need to download the Zelle app.PayPal: Established nearly 25 years ago, PayPal rules the online payment space. It includes far more bells and whistles than Cash App, including the ability to make international payments, create and send business invoices, and pay for purchases in installments.