New security concerns were raised after Snapchat launched a feature that allows users to send cash within the app, according to media reports. On Reddit, users named Snapcash â€œthe future of cam girls,â€ saying the service will also be used to pay for online prostitution.
To ease security concerns, Snapcash is powered by credit card processing and business solutions company Square. The service handles the back-end details of the new feature, including debit card number storage. According to the company, no financial information will be stored on Snapchatâ€™s servers, which have already fallen prey to hacking attacks in the past.
We set out to make payments faster and more fun, but we also know that security is essential when you’re dealing with money,” Snapchat representatives said in a blog post. “Square has a ton of experience in this area and our teams have been hard at work to make Snapcash a great experience for everyone.”
The feature will only be available to users in the United States who are over 18 years old. As with Facebook and other networks, users can give any age they want. This could also allow cyber-criminals to lure children into sending cash without parentsâ€™ knowledge.
In January, over 4.6 million Snapchat accounts were compromised, and hackers leaked usernames and phone numbers on the Internet. A couple of months after the incident, Snapchat settled with the US Federal Trade Commission over allegations that it misled users over data collection and failed to inform them that their messages could be saved, according to the BBC. The company agreed to be monitored by the FTC for 20 years.
Founded in 2011 by then 23-year-old Evan Spiegel, Snapchat now has around 100 million monthly active users. The messaging app allows the sharing of videos and images that “disappear” after a short period of time, usually just a few seconds.
Hereâ€™s the launch video of the new Snapcash feature: