The founder and CEO of Square Inc, Jack Dorsey, believes that his company’s crypto-friendly payments application Cash App can distribute America’s stimulus package more efficiently than the U.S. government.
Square contacts U.S. Treasury regarding stimulus distribution
“People need help immediately,” Dorsey posted. “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.”
According to anonymous sources cited by CNN Business on March 27, both Cash App and fellow payments platform Venmo have reached out to the U.S. Treasury to discuss how they can assist in disbursing the funds.
Distributing stimulus through banking system risks neglecting the unbanked
Catherine Coley, the CEO of Binance.US, warned that by using existing means of payment to distribute the stimulus package, the U.S. government may “neglect” those who lack access to financial services.
Coley warned that “the existing rails oftentimes neglect those that may not have bank accounts or may not be able to go and visit their brick and mortar bank in times like these crises.”
Electronic Transactions Association argues payment platforms can mitigate COVID-19 risks
On March 19, Jodie Kelley, the CEO of the trade body representing payments companies, the Electronic Transactions Association penned a letter to the Whitehouse warning of the impracticalities and risks associated with using the banking system to distribute the stimulus:
“Many Americans do not have a bank account at a traditional financial institution. Upon receipt of a stimulus check, they would need to rely on expensive cash checking services to access their money.”
The letter added that using “electronic payments options helps Americans reduce the chance of exposure to the virus by avoiding handling cash,” adding that digital distribution will also help maintain social distancing measures.