Which of these two payment service giants is the better option?

PayPal has been around for such a long time now. It’s hard to even remember when it first emerged and changed the game forever. Square came along a bit later. It was also a major game changer. Square revolutionized point of sale systems for small business owners everywhere and quickly became a recognized symbol.

Both of these companies have apps that let you pay your friends, or request payments.

But which does it better? We’ve tested them out side by side to compare and see which comes out on top. Here’s what we found:

PayPal - Left, Cash - Right
PayPal App – Left, Cash App – Right


PayPal


First Impressions:

As of October 2017, the PayPal app is a feature-rich experience. Its interface as well-designed and easy to navigate. Among its more attractive features are the abilities to order ahead or pay in-store with your PayPal account–if the establishment supports PayPal, that is. We found the app to be a bit glitchy on pages where map features are available, but otherwise the initial impression is a good one.


Cash


First Impressions:

When we first launch the Square app, we’re struck by its simplicity. For its purpose, this is a very good thing. If you already have your account set up and ready to go, the first screen the app takes you to is a place to type in an amount. You’ll proceed from this screen by choosing either the “Request” or “Pay” button. Navigating to settings or transaction history isn’t the least bit confusing. While we don’t seem to have the kind of extra features present in the PayPal app, Cash’s  simple approach is somewhat refreshing.




PayPal


Transactions and Fees:

Processing a transaction with PayPal is pretty easy. You press “Send Money” or “Request Money” to start. From there, you go through a couple of screens to select the recipient and amounts. And of course, payments can be made whether or not you have a PayPal balance as long as you have a bank account connected.

There are some fees involved if you are sending money to someone. If you have a direct bank account connected to PayPal, fees to friends and family are waived. If you’re hooked up to a debit or credit card instead, you’ll be charged a 2.9% fee.


Cash


Transactions and Fees:

As we’ve already covered, Cash sends you straight to the amount selection screen right when you launch the app. This makes for a pretty intuitive user experience. They’ve made the process so easy that each transaction is just a brief visit to the app interface; as simple as sending a quick text.

There are no fees when sending money to another person. And like PayPal, you don’t have to have a Cash balance as long as you have a bank account connected.  There is a 1%  fee for the person receiving payment however, but only if they choose to have the money instantly deposited into their bank account.


Final Verdict


While both PayPal and Cash serve the same purpose and feature well-designed easy-to-use interfaces, we’ve got to give it to Cash on this one. Their approach to transactions feels just a bit more streamlined, and they charge less fees. And while Cash doesn’t come with as many features as PayPal, when it comes to just sending or receiving money, it is faster, easier, and cheaper!

 

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Posted: October 15, 2017