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Square CEO Jack Dorsey offers to help government deliver Covid-19 stimulus payments

Image by Cash App

Wed, 01 Apr 2020, 00:40 am UTC

Square and Paypal are in talks with the government to use their apps to help deliver Covid-19 stimulus payments to Americans who do not have a bank account.

On Friday, a $2 trillion stimulus package was signed into law to help millions of Americans financially amid the pandemic. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said over the weekend that recipients could expect to see the money deposited into their bank accounts within three weeks. Unfortunately, about 14% of Americans with an income under $40,000 do not have bank accounts and that’s when Square CEO Jack Dorsey offered to help.

“People need help immediately. The technology exists to get money to most people today (even to those without bank accounts). Square and many of our peers can get it done. US government: let us help,” Dorsey wrote on Twitter in response to a tweet asking if they could just receive the $1200 payment via Cash App.

The Electronic Transactions Association (ETA), which represents payments firms including PayPal and Square, has also been lobbying the government to take advantage of its services. In a letter sent to Mnuchin and President Donald Trump, ETA CEO Jodie Kelley proposed to use prepaid cards for stimulus payments rather than cheques which have to be mailed and then clear.

This approach also convenient and practical as electronic options remove the need to use expensive cash chequing services.

“Utilising many of these electronic payments options helps Americans reduce the chance of exposure to the virus by avoiding handling cash, shopping online, and maintaining social distancing by not entering branches or check-cashing stores,” she wrote.

In February, Dorsey released the Q4 2019 Shareholder Letter for the investors of Square. The report showed that Cash App made $178 million from bitcoin revenue between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31. Meanwhile, it’s non-bitcoin revenue was $183 million.

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