Pay with Cash App

Connecting the Cash App and Square payment ecosystems

Product designer
Cash App, 2019 – 2021
Square product design, product, engineering, research, data science, customer support

Business problem

Credit card processing fees account for millions of dollars in lost profit for Square. Concurrently, Square sellers need to shoulder the burden of credit card fees, and occasionally charge extra for goods and services to offset the cost onto their own customers.

Business opportunity

Linking the Cash App and Square payment ecosystems offered a way to bypass any transaction fees. Customers could pay at Square businesses using the stored balance on their Cash App accounts. Connecting the ecosystems also provided an opportunity for promotions, discounts, and loyalty all within a single app.

Cash App keypad and Square register

Foundational research

Exploring the future of digital payments

The team went on a research trip to Hong Kong and Shenzhen to experience life in a society where almost every payment was made using a stored balance on an app (WeChat/Alipay). We were inspired by the ease of use, and how quickly anyone could send or receive a payment. It seemed every business, whether a stall at the farmers’ market or an international retailer, displayed a QR code for payment at check-out.

Learning from Cash App business owners

Back in the United States, QR codes were not yet as ubiquitous as they are in today’s post-pandemic world. Still, the team noticed a growing number of peer-to-peer QR code payments happening on Cash App with accompanying payment notes for categories such as haircuts, manicures, food & beverage, and professional services.

On a research trip to Atlanta, we visited small businesses who accepted Cash App as a form of payment. We learned from the businesses who used QR codes that it was a seamless way to pay quickly, with no risk of a misdirected payment. I designed and printed out some small placards with custom QR codes for other merchants to try, and they reported back on how easy it was for their customers to send a payment.


QR codes could provide an instant, frictionless check out experience for Cash App customers Square businesses, while completely bypassing credit card fees for either party.

Product strategy

Our team kicked off a collaboration with the Square point of sale team to enable payments funded by a user’s Cash App balance. There were many methods considered as ways to link the customer to the transaction, including Bluetooth, location-based services, and even RFID.

Our research provided us with a simple, secure solution which would become a core part of the design strategy: QR codes.

Designing across hardware

Square point of sale

I collaborated with the product designer on Square’s point of sale team to explore ways to introduce customers to this new payment method, and provide clear instructions. The screen real estate of the buyer-facing display (the small screen at a Square POS) was a challenging surface to design for given the amount of information already present.

We decided it was important to allow scanning before, during, and after the ordering phase of check out. This would remove the awkwardness that comes with inserting a credit card too soon or having to “wait for the blue light” to tap.

QR code placement exploration on buyer-facing display
Cash App account linking to transaction instance
Final QR code design on buyer-facing display

Cash App check-out flow

The payment experience for a Cash App customer needed to feel fast, satisfying, and comprehensive. Customers needed to be able to scan the code from either their phone camera, or in-app scanner quickly. I paid close attention to the animation of each component in the flow to make the experience speedy and reassure the customer got visual confirmation that the payment worked and communicated the next step to take.

Check-out experience animatic
Check-out animated prototype


These numbers are based on data collected from 2019 – 2023.
Cash App Pay has seen continued success and growth since.

All-time gross payment volume

$375 Million

All-time revenue


All-time transaction count


Cash App Pay is available at


unique Square businesses