money

All posts tagged money

[Video] Cash by Square App – Easiest Way to Send Money?

Cash by Square App – Easiest Way to Send Money via BrothaTech.comI don’t carry cash. Normally I don’t run into trouble without cash with the only exception being when I go out to eat with others. It seems as if I’m the odd man out because everybody else has cash. In those situations, I usually either take all the cash from my friends and put the entire bill on my card, or we all circle who’s paying what on the bill and let the waiter figure it out.

It’s those times where the new Cash by Square app will work the best for me. If you’re not familiar, Cash by Square will let anyone send money via email – No extra fees or no Square account needed. All you have to do is link your debit card and any money you send via the app will show up in the recipient’s account in approximately two days. The recipient will need to link their debit account to recieve the money.

The app simply populates all the email fields with the correct information to ensure everything goes smoothly, but the entire transaction is done via email.

1. Enter the email address you linked to Square in the “from” field
2. Enter the email address you want to send money to
3. Add “Cash@Square.com” in the CC field
4. Add the amount of money you want to send in the Subject field
5. Add a note to recipient in the body

…Or you can use the free Cash app (for iOS and Android) and it will automagically populate the From, CC, and subject field, you will just have to add a recipient and a note in the body.

Check out my walk-through video of Cash by Square

In other words, if you can send an email, you can send money using Cash by Square. This puts Square squarely (see what I did there) in competition with PayPal, where you can also send money to anyone, but you do need a PayPal account and the PayPal mobile app. With Square, all you need to do is link an email address and debit card, no account or app needed. Oh, and most importantly, not fees.

The service is free to use, I’m assuming Square sees the value in having a ton of email addresses and debit cards…Hopefully they will only use that information as to figure out how to eat at PayPal’s market share.

Let me know what you think? Will you switch from sending money via PayPal to Cash by Square?

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GoBank Banking App Lets You Skip The Traditional Branch

Would you bank exclusively from your smartphone?

I got the chance the answer that question when the folks at GoBank reached out and asked me to check out their service (currently in beta). The ability to replace my traditional “branch” with a virtual service intrigued me, and since I hardly ever physically go to my bank, I agreed to open up an account.

I was using a local bank back up in Maryland for my allowance personal spending account and never switched when we moved to Atlanta over a year ago. So I said “why not” and took some of my money to open up a priority membership GoBank account to try it out.

“Well, we movin’ on up…”

If I haven’t already stated the obvious, GoBank is an online/mobile-only banking service. The concept is not new, as there are several banks that currently offer online-only services. What sets GoBank apart from the others is the feature-packed mobile app for iOS and Android that gives you all the banking functionality you need in the palm of your hand. Other banking mobile apps are merely complimentary to the online or in-person service. GoBank wants the mobile app to be your first, and possibly only form of interaction with the bank and your money.

GoBank Membership fee scale

Let’s clear the air for all you scary So-and-so’s. Money deposited is FDIC insured and GoBank doesn’t gouge customers with overdraft or penalty fees to compensate for the lack of brick an mortal branches. You simply pay a membership fee in whatever amount you feel is fair….For realz – You can elect to pay $1-$9/month. Now, GoBank is a bank, so they do have fees, but nothing out of the ordinary. The most you will pay is $9 for a custom or replacement debit card. You may also cough up $2.50 in the form on an Out-of-network ATM withdrawl fee, in addition to the fee from the ATM operator. Again, not out of the ordinary.

mapGoBank ATM map GoBank ATM List

GoBank has partnered with other banks and credit unions to offer free in-network ATM services. I’ll admit, they weren’t on every corner like our everyday, family banking establishment, but I was surprised at the amount of locations available. I would say they had more than most credit unions and there were plenty within five minutes of my house. Honestly, I pretty much use plastic all day anyway – I keep a $50 bill folded up in my wallet in case of an emergency, and any business that doesn’t accept credit/debit really doesn’t want my business anywayz, so the ATM locations really wasn’t an issue for me.

GoBank is a full-service mobile banking service. You can make deposits either by entering another debit card number, or snapping a picture of a check within the app. You can also set up Direct Deposit for your J.O. I will admit, it took contacting GoBank customer support to complete my initial deposit because they are very strict about your mailing address (rightfully so). I live right on the border of two cities. Depending on…whatever, my address could be in either of those cities. GoBank wasn’t feeling the address my regular bank had versus what I was trying to enter, and subsequently shut it all down.

Once I got all that squared away, I deposited a little dough just to play around with the service. They sent me a svelte black Visa debit card for purchases and ATM withdrawls, and I was on my way. Probably the coolest feature is the ability to check your account balance without even logging in. I did a little Vine to show you how easy it was to check my account balance.

BALLIN’

GoBank has some nice money management features as well. There is a “Money Vault” feature where you can add money to the vault and thus, hide it from your overall balance. GoBank also lets you set reminders for upcoming deposits and bills so you can build an actual budget based on what’s coming in and what’s going out. By tracking all your income and expenses, you can use the “Fortune Teller” feature to view the actual status of your account before you make a questionable purchase.

GoBank Money Vault GoBank Budget

GoBank Fortune Teller GoBank Fortune Teller Details

Kevin Hart Bank Account

GoBank quickly lets you send money to friends and family by entering the amount, the recipient’s contact information (choose between mobile number, email address or name – will search your phone’s contacts, or connect to Facebook and it will send them a private message) and you’re done. GoBank will send them a message with instructions on how to get the money and will email you to notify that the money has been sent. The recipient has 10 days to retrieve the money or will automatically get sent back to your account.

GoBank Send Money GoBank email verification

Like I stated earlier, these features you could probably find at another bank in some form or fashion; but, GoBank offers all this functionality from your smartphone. Other bank’s mobile apps, even the big names (rhymes with Rank of America) don’t have nearly the mobile functionality that GoBank has.

Will I transfer ALL my accounts and ALL my money to GoBank? Probably not – You would have to ask Mrs. Tech our family CFO that question. But I can see GoBank working great for late teens, college-age kids, and single folk in their early-to-mid twenties using GoBank exclusively. Since they are the virtual generation, it’s a great tool to manage their finances on the go. I could also see parents creating accounts for their kids as an easy way to montior their older children’s spending without being too helicopter-y. Personally, I feel comfortable continuing to use GoBank solely as my “Blowin’ Money Fast” Fund.

GoBank is still in beta, but is currently trickling out memberships to interested parties. Check them out and let me know what you think – Would you do all your banking online?

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[Tell 'Em Why You Mad] Mobile Credit Card Readers

Girl Scouts with credit card readers

Found this image on Facebook and just had to share it with my readers. It’s funny, but it brings up a good point I’d like to make. If a little girl selling cookies can swipe a credit card to complete a transaction, why must I hunt around for an ATM when I patron your carwash, babershop, food tuck, beauty salon, or booth at my local trade show/expo, barbeque grill in the Walmart parking lot on the weekends, or [insert business that doesn't have a physical location here]

I just had this conversation with Mrs. Tech about our kid’s Daycare/Pre-K. They only take cash, check or money order…MONEY ORDER?!

#CmonSon

Companies like Square, PayPal and others are making it DEAD simple to take credit cards with low transaction fees that link directly to your bank account. All you need is a smartphone, a FREE app, and the credit card reader to use their service (that’s also free in most cases). So remind me why you can’t take my [plastic] money?

I don’t carry cash or checks…I’m certainly not going to a bank, grocery store or shady “Get Cash Fast…but pay 500% interest” spot to pay for a money order. So I’m cool with not patronizing your business if you don’t accept credit cards. I’ll go to the next spot. Are you, Mr/Mrs small business owner, cool with letting money walk out the door because you don’t want to invest 5 minutes to research accepting credit cards anywhere, or worse: Don’t want to pay the transaction fees??

So you choose to miss ALL my money because you don’t want to give up SOME of it to a company that makes it easier for you to accept ALL my money? Let that sink in for a second…

#TellEmWhyUMad

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Spending Quality Family Time – Tech Swear Jar

tech swear jar

As a family in this day and age, it’s safe to say we integrate technology into our daily lives quite easily. Even though our gadgets stay within arms reach at all times, we still try to spend quality time with each other – No tech allowed. We attempt to implement this family rule everyday during dinner time. Every once in a while, we all lapse and take a peek at an incoming text or email. Our kids are only four and two years old, but they want to invite some talking doll or gadget with a bunch of lights and noises to the dinner table. So we have implemented a trick as a reminder of our dinner table rule.

If you need proof that we are a tech family, we have tech nicknames that I’ve used multiple times in my blog and on social media

Me: BrothaTech
Wifey: Mrs. Tech
Oldest Daughter: Lil’ Tech
Youngest Daughter: Tech 2.0

On the flip side, technology doesn’t run our entire lives. We use dinner time as our way to “disconnect”. Our typical dinner conversation goes like this: Everyday, Lil’ Tech tells us about her new friends, and discusses why she broke up with her old friends…just to be friends with them all over again the next day. “Busy” is always Tech 2.0′s response to how her day went; but, we do manage to dig out a new song or color she has learned. We just found out she knows her months of the year, so we are pretty geeked about that. Mrs. Tech talks about her co-workers how busy her day was (I wonder where the kids get their topics from). I talk about how crazy “fanboyism” is getting in the tech scene, or what new gadget or service I think our family can benefit from – No ulterior motives there…

We do pretty good forgetting about technology for that 30 or minutes or so during dinner…for the most part. There are times when I quickly respond to a tweet or blog comment. We try to get started with dinner around 6:30, but some times we have to wait on Mrs. Tech to “leave work at work”. The kids, especially Lil’ Tech does a good job of pointing out when we break the rules: “No texting during dinner”…She’s such a whistleblower.

For more accountability, we will be implementing a [tech] swear jar rule. We will sit a jar in the center of the dinner for everybody to see. If any of us gets caught “tech swearing”, we have to put money in the jar. When there are times when I think I absolutely must retweet that message, or when Mrs. Tech holds up dinner, or when the kids bring their own little gadgets to the table, the jar will be a reminder that dinner is not just a time to eat, but to spend time getting caught up on the day’s activities in hopes to grow closer as a family.

Haven’t figured out what we will do with the money if the jar gets full. We are open to suggestions.

As our kids get older and technology REALLY starts to play a role in their lives, hopefully our little dinner practice will be instilled in their minds so we won’t have to pry their smartphones (or whatever kids will be using in the future) from their hands just to have a conversation with them. They may even implement the tech swear jar as a rule for their own families later in life…

*Shudders at the thought of being a Granddad*

Be sure to leave a comment highlighting some of the ways your family breaks away from technology to spend quality time together.

This post was sponsored by Samsung Smart TV with Motion Control. Opinions are my own.

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Lil’ Tech Using LevelUp Mobile Wallet at ATL Taste of the Trucks

LevelUp Food TruckI decided to take my oldest daughter AKA, Lil’ Tech on a “Daddy Date” to the Atlanta Taste of the Trucks festival this past Saturday. To try and paint a picture, take a dusty parking lot, fill it with food trucks from around the city, state, or further, add some music, and Boom! you have a Food Truck festival.

One of the event sponsors was LevelUP, a mobile payment app that uses QR Codes as a mobile wallet. Users can quickly pay for goods/services and add a tip without ever pulling out a credit card. Many of the food trucks at the festival was using LevelUp, so since I love QR Codes, and food, I took Lil’ Tech down to the event to test it out.

LiL Tech Pretty Butterfly In addition to offering free admission to anybody who downloaded the app, LevelUp did hook a Brotha up with some free credits. They came in handy too, because Lil’ Tech’s food truck appetite was insatiable.

The food trucks were offering samples, so I did try some Hummus for the first time, but Lil’ Tech was not interested in samples, she wanted the entire meal. She ate candy, two pretty big hot dogs, a popsicle, more candy, flavored ice…and she’s only 4. Of course, she wouldn’t let us leave without getting her face painted. Needless to say, she had a good time on our date.

Just about all of the trucks we visited used LevelUp, so I decided to see how easy it was to use the service, so I shot a quick video of Lil’ Tech paying for her first of two hot dogs.

Yep, using the LevelUp mobile wallet is so simple a kid can use it…So I did just that and let Lil’ Tech make a payment with my Android smartphone using LevelUp at the Atlanta Taste of the Trucks festival. This is one of those no-brainer apps, so be sure to visit the LevelUp website for more information and to download the app. If you use it, be sure to drop me a line to let me know what you think.

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Back at Home with Outright Online Financial Software and iPhone App

Outright for iPhone update

Well its about time!

I should have stuck it out with Outright, but I was getting tired of all the duplicate transactions. So I bounced and tried another online financial service for my biz transactions. The other service was cool, but in my absence, I learned that Outright worked out the kinks, and added a mobile app in the process.

Say Word?

So now I’m back and Outright does a better job on the duplicate transactions, and I can’t wait to try out the mobile app (the real one) for the iPhone.

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