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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Lights out for Snapcash

Payments analysts are discussing the imminent demise of Snapcash, a mobile payment scheme that facilitates peer-to-peer payments within the Snapcash app. The service will be shuttered on Aug. 30, 2018, according to Snapchat representatives.

Rachel Huber, analyst at Javelin Strategy & Research, said she was unsurprised by the developments. “In our mobile #P2P scorecard, Snapcash was consistently behind top apps such as #Venmo and #GooglePay,” she stated in a July 23, 2018, tweet.

British technology editor and science reporter Andrew Griffin noted that Snapcash had seen an increase in adult content users who presumably were attracted by its anonymity and ease. In an Aug. 23, 2018 post in the Independent, Griffin wrote, “One of the key groups on Snapcash is a market for erotic content, with the feature being used as a way for people to pay people they follow and receive explicit pictures in return.”

Griffin additionally noted that Snapcash was co-created by Snapchat and Square and is similar in format and features to Square Cash, which will not be shut down. A software developer was the first to learn of Snapcash’s looming end-of-life during a routine development project. Snapchat confirmed the rumored demise of the in-app mobile payment scheme, noting that Snapcash was created in partnership with Square. “We’re thankful for all the Snapchatters who used Snapcash for the last four years and for Square’s partnership,” the company stated.

New payment projects afoot

In a July 10, 2018, news story in the Independent, payments analyst and journalist Anthony Cuthbertson suggested that Snapchat is working on alternative approaches to payments, noting its development of a feature than enables users to scan, identify and purchase items with their smartphone cameras.

“The ‘Visual Search’ engine – first spotted by an app researcher in the code of Snapchat’s Android app – would link users to Amazon listings straight from the app,” Cuthbertson wrote. “The feature, as noted by TechCrunch, would work by sending data to Amazon, Shazam and other partners, allowing Snapchat to presumably take a cut of the profits from any purchase made.” 

Cuthbertson and other media sources have noted that Snapcash never caught up with Venmo, PayPal and other leading in-app payments; he believes Snapchat will look for ways to expand beyond its current mobile app format. One plan, called Spectacles, will enable viewers to export videos in compatible formats that can be viewed outside of Snapchat.

More details are expected on Aug. 7, 2018, when the company reveals its third-quarter earnings. end of article

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