The Story

March 17, 2015

Square Inc. – Banking Error or something more serious.

At this very moment, Square Inc. Is holding hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of consumer dollars because they reportedly are unable to determine who that money belongs too!

The worst part is they mask the error by “accident”. While using their free Square Cash service every sucessful transaction is validated and confirmed by sending both the money sender and receiver an email informing them the money was sent and received successfully. However, Square admits that in some rare cases, the money might never reach the intended payees bank account and the bank will send the money back to Square Inc. Logically Square Inc. returns the cash to the sender right? WRONG! Square Inc. Keeps the money because at that point, they admittedly lose all traceability as to where the money came from AND who the money was intended for.

I’ve been a huge square cash user/fan since the very day of its inception. Until this past month, the innovative peer 2 peer cash system has worked flawlessly. Like all great innovations pushing the technological boundaries, they tend to stumble and have their short falls.

Sadly, this short fall was discovered by myself after the error ocurred. This appears to be a HUGE banking error by Square Inc. and a repeating offender unadvertised by Square Inc. to the general public.

I’m still shocked that this error exist and they’ve told me on the phone, they have no way to solve it.

How many people are unaware that they are losing money at the cost of Square Inc. innovative square cash service and their lack of customer support?

How many thousands or millions of unclaimed cash is Square keeping to themselves?

I’m sure I am not alone in wanting to find out the answer to those questions?

I found this error because I only have a few square cash transactions a month and since I’m keeping a tight budget these days, $190 missing was easily discovered for me.

After a week went by post confirmation receipt from Square that the cash was being deposited “tomorrow”. I never saw it post to my bank and the sender confirmed the cash was withdrawn.

To further exasperate the error, square cash states on their help contact page they are available for phone calls 6am-6pm PST time, but provide NO PHONE NUMBER!

I started investigating via their help online ticket system and my initial inquiries to square cash came back with false information. They told me I never confirmed receipt of the money and to wait 14 days. I showed them an email confirmation sent from THEIR service validating cash was received and after 14 days my inquiry was escalated to management.

After nearly a month and numerous attempts to reach them on phone, my attorney requested they call me and they finally did.

Here is what I learned. When cash is sent to an individual and square sends that to a bank, Square Inc. Loses all traceability. If that money does not successfully get deposited into the bank account and the bank returns the funds to Square Inc. a few days later… Square Inc. has no idea who sent that money or where it was originally going.

They just….KEEP IT.

In conclusion, two things are happening, one Square Inc. Square Cash service is acting as a bank with almost no banking regulations applied to them or two, they are doing something highly unethical.

Did I stumble into a 2015 money scam or just a horrible banking error that is getting very little national attention to have Square Inc. correct the problem?

My guess is this company is simply unable to resolve the problem and are just looking the other way. Meanwhile they are holding thousands, maybe millions of unclaimed dollars and make it VERY difficult for consumers to get their lost funds returned to them.

As of today, I’m still missing $190. I’ve provided copies from Wells Fargo showing the transactions coming in and going back out to Square Inc. No one from Square Inc. has contacted me back.

Important lesson: always check bank account transactions with expected Square Cash transactions. It becomes difficult since Square holds the money for several days, but keep a weekly ledger between Square and your real bank account. Also, double and triple check that your bank acct. information is correct and up-to-date with Square Cash. Noting, square cash could assign you completely different square accounts for your email address and for your cell phone number! So when you update a bank account for your linked email address, you might have forgotten about the old account you closed that was linked to your primary cell number. (That is exactly what happend to me). Last, try to link all your email and numbers under one square cash account.

Kind of ironic that this story comes from the guy who created KiDebit mobile app to teach kids about money in a cashless society. It appears this is a huge win for the old timers holding strong to their hard cash in hand and avoid situations like this by avoiding the ‘virtual currency’. I worry about the uneducated early adopters and the cutting edge older generation adopters who might find it impossible to resolve this type of error. Especially since you can’t even pick up the phone and call them! One thing is for certian. Square Inc. Square Cash sercices did little to avoid this error, did nothing to inform me or the payer of this error and has only promised to resolve this error. If this was just $5 bucks, I might have never noticed or cared much about it. Those $5 losses around the world add up.

Is anyone else paying attention to this banking error!?

If not, they will now.


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