Recently launched by Snapchat, Snapcash is the new way to “make it rain” for your friends and family by sending them money through the app. Yeah, that doesn’t sound like a bad idea at all.
First off, before we get into how bad things can get with our patented slippery-slope fallacy, I’d like to point out that the novelty of Snapchat is that “snaps” are not supposed to be saved without the author’s knowledge, and there are multiple apps that allow for that.
Hell, at one point, you didn’t even need an app — apparently back in January of 2013, if you screen shot a snap while holding your finger down on the screen, the notification letting the other person know you took a picture of it wouldn’t send, which leads me to my first conclusion:
Snapchat’s security sucks and someone is going to hack it pretty soon to take all your cash-money.
It literally makes no sense to trust a company with literally the shoddiest of security with your hard earned cash. If someone can create an app that completely subverts the company’s main point of existence, there’s a problem if that company suddenly starts handling money.
The details of your account are held by Square, which is a company with a good reputation for protecting data, but Square also has a very bad reputation for withholding funds.
When a transaction is flagged, Square will either contact the merchant to obtain additional information about the merchant or the transaction, or it will simply deactivate the user’s account. This deactivation allows Square to publicly claim that it does not hold its merchants’ funds because the withheld funds technically belong to deactivated Square merchants rather than active Square merchants.
The combination of Snapchat’s bad security plus Square’s own issues don’t spell good things.
If the government wants your data, Snapchat will give it to them
When it comes to protecting your data and privacy, Snapchat is ranked pretty freaking low. As a matter of fact, on the EFF’s Who Has Your Back list for 2014, Snapchat ranked at a single star out of a possible five stars because they have a publicly published law enforcement guide.
Now the guide covers everything except Snapcash because it didn’t exist yet. Theoretically, when it comes to money, the government likes to know where it’s all going, and obviously records are going to be kept. If you’re someone who errs on the side of paranoia, this has disaster written all over it.
What’s the refund policy like?
The problem with this is the lack of refund policy. According to Mashable, “… once you send money to someone via Snapcash, there’s no way to cancel the transaction.”
I haven’t been able to find the policy on what happens if you want to dispute a transaction once it’s received, but I perceive that it’d have to be difficult to prove on either side that the money was well spent.
Kids are dicks.
We’ve already seen a bevy of apps get bombarded with lawsuits over parents who have been babysitting their kids with free-to-play games that aren’t actually free.
The childish nature in which one makes it rain looks just enough like a game that an 8-year-old may not be able to tell the difference. With a max of $250 a week that may rise to $2500 a week, it’s good to keep in mind: Kids are dicks.
Drunk-you is equally as bad as kids.
Drunk snaps are a thing and god help us, it could be damn lucrative to be drunk and getting money to be even more drunk and stupid, but there’s a line that will inevitably be crossed.
Somewhere out there there’s a drunk Snapcash waiting to happen, and when it does it won’t be pretty.
Sexting now has a price tag.
Something tells me there’s going to be a sudden surge of lonely singles seeking some company. I’ll leave whether or not this will destroy the app’s viability up to you.
Who the hell are you giving your money to?
This technically applies to all things transaction related, but I thought I’d point out how fraud is definitely going to be a thing. From false donation Snapchats attached to burner phones to the hottie who doesn’t exist, if someone nefarious wants your money and can pull a fast one to get it, they will.
People are inherently gullible, so considering the refund policy (or lack thereof for that matter) watch your money.