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Square Cash Could Be the Fast-Growing Fintech Company's Best Long-Term Catalyst”

By Motley Fool Staff – Updated Sep 5, 2018 at 4:48PM

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Square Cash recently surpassed Venmo as the most-downloaded payment app.

Square (SQ 3.01%) Cash has become a massively popular payments app, with more than 33 million downloads and 7 million active users.

In this clip from Industry Focus: Financials, host Shannon Jones and contributor Matt Frankel discuss Square Cash's stunning growth and where it could go from here.

A full transcript follows the video.

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This video was recorded on Aug. 31, 2018.

Shannon Jones: Let's turn our attention to the last of the big three. I would consider this one of my favorites. That's Square. That's ticker symbol SQ. That with its Square Cash app. Matt, what can you tell us about Square?

Matt Frankel: I'm with you, I love the company itself. In terms of the Square Cash app, it launched in 2013, right around the same time that PayPal acquired Venmo. As I mentioned, it just hit more downloads than Venmo. It's been downloaded 33.5 million times. There's about seven million active users, which is a pretty big number for such a young industry.

Square Cash has a few unique features. It has Bitcoin integration. Square Cash users can use the app to buy Bitcoin, which is really unique. Square has taken the lead in terms of cryptocurrencies among all the peer-to-peer payment apps. It has an adjacent debit card similar to the Venmo MasterCard called the Cash Card.

While Venmo uses a social media type feel to enhance the user experience, Square is doing some different things. One of them is called the Cash Boost rewards program, where users can get a rebate at certain retailers or restaurants for using the Square Cash app or paying with the Cash Card. That's really caught on so far. Cash Card use has tripled since just December. This is growing at an extremely rapid pace. Square has made it clear, through their actions and their words, that they are willing to invest tons of money into this in order to get it to where it needs to be.

I mentioned that I'm pretty sure Square Cash is losing money. Their Cash Boost program, for example, they're funding completely by themselves. But if the growth justifies it, then from an investor standpoint, it's definitely a good move. Square Cash could widen its lead over Venmo, in terms of downloads. I would not be surprised at all to see that.

Jones: I agree. I could certainly see growth outpacing there. I think what's interesting too, you mentioned Bitcoin. Customers now can buy and sell Bitcoin directly from the Cash app. What's interesting to me about that is, even though Bitcoin's price has fallen quite dramatically since topping out late last year, the app's downloads have continued to rise triple digits. When I last looked early this summer, it was up nearly 153%. I think the launch into Bitcoin, very interesting, very smart. I know Jack Dorsey really believes that Bitcoin will be the currency of the future and that we will be using everything, paying for everything with Bitcoin. We'll have to wait and see if that ever becomes true. But, I do think, in terms of innovation and their ability to invest where it matters, will really pay off for Square overall.

Frankel: Yeah, definitely. I wouldn't go so far as to say that Bitcoin is the reason that Square has surpassed Venmo now, but it definitely gives it its own customer base there. Anyone who wants to send person-to-person payments and is also interested in cryptocurrencies, that's their only choice. So, it definitely gives them a steady flow of customers that, eventually, over time -- if Jack Dorsey's right, especially -- will turn into a big revenue stream.

Jones: Yeah. Key word is "if" there, Matt.

Editor's Note: The original podcast airing and transcript incorrectly stated that Venmo transfers were not instantaneous. Venmo recently introduced the ability to transfer from a Venmo balance to a bank account, within minutes, using an eligible Mastercard or Visa debit card for a $0.25 flat fee for each transfer (Square charges a percentage-based fee for instant transfers). This has been corrected within the transcript and the Fool apologizes for the error.

Matthew Frankel, CFP owns shares of Square and has the following options: short December 2018 $90 calls on Square. Shannon Jones has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends MA, PYPL, and Square. The Motley Fool has the following options: short September 2018 $80 calls on Square. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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