COVID-19 Relief: Payments Giant Square to Add Feature Allowing Users to Directly Access Stimulus Funds from their Cash App Accounts

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) confirmed on April 10, 2020 that it would be providing a tool for eligible American citizens and residents who don’t normally submit tax return documents, so that they can get access to government Coronavirus (COVID-19)-related stimulus funds.

Soon after the IRS made the announcement, payments firm Square (NYSE:SQ) said that it would add a new feature that will let customers directly access the stimulus funds from their Cash App accounts.

The IRS’s software tool will be available beginning on April 17, 2020.

According to a press release, the US government will begin sending stimulus payments and checks to eligible American residents within the next few days.

Jack Dorsey, CEO at Twitter and Square (who recently committed $1 billion or about 28% of his own wealth to fight the Coronavirus), tweeted:

“Get your $1,200 even if you didn’t file a tax return in 2019.”

Square’s management noted:

“Cash App now offers routing and account numbers that you can use to deposit your stimulus payment directly to your Cash App balance. To find them, tap the Banking tab on the bottom left of your Cash App home screen. If you don’t see them, you can get them by activating your free Cash Card.”

Last month, Square’s Cash App experienced increased Bitcoin “engagement,” which may be attributed (at least partially) to the economic uncertainty created by the global Coronavirus outbreak, and subsequent lockdowns and shutdowns of businesses ordered by state and local authorities in the US.

Amrita Ahuja, CFO at Square said (last month):

“Adoption and engagement of fractional equity investing in Bitcoin has accelerated in recent weeks given recent market interest and volatility.” 

In late March 2020, Square and Venmo’s parent firm PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) held discussions with the US government about potentially using their applications to provide much-needed stimulus payments to American citizens, following the Coronavirus outbreak.

The new service proposed by Square and Venmo aims to serve people who might not have a bank account or it may be difficult for them to access modern financial services.

According to reports, Square and PayPal held discussions with the US Treasury Department regarding this issue. They talked about how the Cash App and Venmo’s Fintech services may be used to get funds to US citizens, which would be a lot faster than sending out cheques.

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