Square debuts Square Cash

Mobile payments startup Square's new Square Cash allows users to email one another money.

Square has already made a name for itself as one of the few -- if not only -- companies to crack the virtual wallet technological nut. Its Square Readers plug into an iPhone and iPad so that it can scan and accept credit and debit cards, making card payments an affordable option for small businesses, while its wallet app allows consumers to pay via their smartphones at companies that use the reader. Starbucks was so impressed that it now uses the two systems across its branch network in the US and Canada.

Now Square is going one step further with Square Cash. The feature, which quietly appeared on its website on Monday and which is currently by invite only, will allow users to email money to their friends' debit cards. Transactions will be charged at a flat 50 cents and will cost the recipient nothing.

When approached for further information by TechCrunch, a Square representative said: "We're excited to share Square Cash with our friends. We'll continue to invite others to try it out in the coming weeks." The statement essentially confirms that the feature is still in the early days of closed beta testing. But don't forget, Gmail started out as an invite-only beta product and today it is the world's most popular webmail service.

At Google's I/O conference on May 15, the company unveiled a new feature in its Gmail webmail service that will allow US users to email money as an attachment, provided that they are signed up to the company's Google Wallet service.