Cash App Review: Is it Better than PayPal?

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The Cash app used to be called Square Cash from the Square Inc. company and it’s a mobile payment service where users can send and receive cash quickly.

It’s been around since March 2015 and as of December 2018 has about 15 million active users sending and receiving cash and bitcoin.

On the other hand, PayPal has been around about 20 years and has about 287 active accounts active – although I could not find how many of these are personal accounts as opposed to business accounts.

Today I’m going to compare Cash App & PayPal.

Table of Contents

Getting Started with Cash App

Here’s how you open an account:

  1. Download and install the Cash App
  2. Open the Cash App and enter your phone number or email
  3. You’ll receive either a text or email with a confirmation code, enter this in the prompt window
  4. Enter a debit card in the prompt window
  5. Create a Cashtag name – a username your friends will use to send you money ($username)

You’re now ready to use the app. Cash app also has a website as well.

Getting Started with PayPal

To get started with a personal account:

  1. Either download the PayPal app or go to the website
  2. Enter your email and create a password
  3. Fill out your personal information – name, address, and phone number
  4. Enter your credit or debit card information (optional)
  5. You can choose to link your bank instead
  6. Confirm your email address

Sending Money

Let’s look at how the two services allow you to send money:

Cash App

  1. Open the App
  2. Type in the dollar amount on the keypad on the main page
  3. Tap the Pay button at the bottom
  4. Choose a contact or enter their Cashtag username (They must be a Cash app user)
  5. Add a note if you want
  6. Tap Pay at the top and wait for the confirmation popup – you may need to enter your PIN, a confirmation code, or your fingerprint to continue.
  7. Tap Done.


  1. Log onto your Account (or open the app)
  2. Click Send Money
  3. Enter the recipient’s email (or cell number) and the money amount
  4. Make your payment selection – Goods & Services or Friends and Family (fees are different)
  5. Review your choices and click Send Money

The difference between the two is that Cash App can only send to other users on the same app, while PayPal can send to any email or mobile number.

Requesting Money

Now, here’s how you receive money from the two different platforms:

Cash App

  1. Open up the App
  2. Type in the amount of money you’re requesting
  3. Tap the Request button at the bottom
  4. Select a contact or type in their Cashtag username
  5. Type in a reason for the request (if you want)
  6. Tap Request in the top corner
  7. When you receive a notification that it’s been sent, tap Done


  1. Sign in to your account or open the app
  2. Click Request Money
  3. Enter the email or cell number of the person you’re requesting money from and the amount
  4. Select whether you’re requesting for Goods & Services, or from a Friend or Family (fees are different)
  5. Verify the information then click Request Money

Again, Cash app can only request from other users while PayPal needs an email address or mobile number.

Refunding Money

When there’s been a mistake or a cancellation, how does each money manager handle refunds?

Cash App

  1. Open the app
  2. Tap the Notification icon in the upper corner
  3. Tap a Payment to get details about it
  4. Tap Received to get more options
  5. Tap Refund to return the money
  6. Tap OK to confirm this action


  1. Log in or open the app
  2. Click History
  3. Click Details next to the transaction you want to refund
  4. Click Issue a Refund
  5. Enter the refund amount and click Enter
  6. Review the information and click Issue Refund

Both apps have a fairly easy refund process, except PayPal cannot refund any Friends and Family payments.

Connecting to your Bank

Of course, we’d like to have easy access to our bank account, but how easy is it with each system?

Cash App

  1. Open the App
  2. Tap Settings, then Bank Account, then Link Bank Account
  3. Enter all the Bank account information requested
  4. Click Continue

Cash app will only accept cards and accounts that accept both deposits and withdrawals, so pre-paid cards and PayPal are not accepted on Cash App.


  1. Log in or open the app
  2. Go to Wallet, click Add Bank Account
  3. Enter all the bank information requested
  4. Review your information and click Add Bank Account
  5. You’ll need to verify your account by checking your account for two small deposits made by PayPal and entering them in the verification page. This can take a while to happen, depending on your bank.
  6. If added from your PayPal app, you’ll receive a confirmation code that you’ll need to enter in the verification box.

You cannot use the same bank account on 2 different PayPal accounts, nor will PayPal accept online-only banking or prepaid cards.

Now that you’ve got your bank account linked to the platform, how easy is it to withdraw from those accounts?

Cash App

To withdraw money from your cash app you have 2 options – instantly, or 1-3 days. The difference is there’s a fee for instant withdrawal while the other option is free.


To withdraw money from PayPal it takes anywhere from 1 to 7 business days depending on your bank. Some banks charge an electronic transfer fee for this so check with your bank on this.


Here’s the messy part, how much are fees?

Cash App

The only fee Cash App charges are for “instant” withdrawal of cash to your bank account. This fee is 1.5% of the total amount. So, for a $100 instant payment, it’ll cost $1.50 and you’ll get $98.50 into your bank account.


Receiving money on PayPal incurs a fee of 30¢ plus 2.9% of the amount (for USD accounts). So, for a payment of $100, you’ll be charged $3.20 and you’ll get $96.80 into your bank account.

Bonus Features

Here’s the fun part, what does each money platform have in bonuses and extras?

Cash App

  • $5 refer a friend bonus – get $5 for each friend that signs up for a Cash App account.
  • Boosters for shopping at certain places (10% off Chic a Fila, $1 off any coffee shop, 5% off Whole Foods, etc.)
  • Has its own Debit card
  • Option to buy Bitcoin


  • Can request a Debit Card
  • Accepted on many Online and offline Payment systems
  • Many options if you have a website or blog – payment buttons, donate buttons, affiliate program and more.


I use both Cash App and PayPal.

I receive my paycheck from a company I’m an independent contractor with and I choose the 1-3 day withdrawal payment option and the money is in my bank account the next day with no fees.

I have a business account on PayPal and send invoices to my clients. I am charged the payment fees each time I receive a payment every week.

Lastly to answer the question is Cash App better than PayPal? For personal use, I would say yes Cash App is better, but for large business accounts, PayPal offers more safety features such as payment protection and dispute resolution.

If I had to choose one, I’d go with Cash App for the no fees, bonuses, and ease of use.

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