What Bank is Cash App? [Does It Even Use a Bank?]

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A lot of users are curious about what bank Cash App uses. It’s a fintech app that utilizes banks as third-party support to be able to focus on their core product, the app services themselves.

Is Cash App a Bank?

If you’re asking this question, you’re on the right track, because at least you suspect that Cash App isn’t a bank in itself. And that’s true, Cash App is not a bank. It’s a mobile payment service developed by Square, Inc., a financial services and digital payments company.

Cash App allows users to send, receive, and request money from friends and family. It also provides features like direct deposits, a Cash App debit card, Bitcoin trading, and investing in stocks.

While Cash App provides many services that are similar to a bank, it does not have a banking license and is not subject to the same regulations as traditional banks. Instead, Cash App partners with banks to provide some of its services. For example, direct deposits on Cash App are made to accounts at a separate bank (more on this below).

In any case, you should always ensure you understand the terms and conditions of any financial service or app you use, including how your money is protected (again, we’ll cover this further down), any fees you might be charged, and how to get help if you have a problem.

What Bank Does Cash App Partner With?

The answer is technically a two-parter:

  • Cash App uses Lincoln Savings Bank for their direct deposit feature.
  • They also partnered with Sutton Bank for the issuance of the Cash App Visa Debit Card.

Rest assured that both Lincoln Savings Bank and Sutton Bank are FDIC-insured banks.

More About Lincoln Savings Bank

Lincoln Savings Bank is a bank based in Reinbeck, Iowa, United States. It was founded in 1902 and has since been providing various financial services to its customers. They offer a broad range of financial products and services including checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and a variety of loan products.

In addition to traditional banking services, Lincoln Savings Bank also offers insurance and investment services. They also serve businesses with business checking, business loans, and merchant services. For partnerships with other fintech companies, they have a specific LSBX division whose sole focus is in offering innovative banking services and solutions.

For their partnership with Cash App, the main service they provide is by helping to provide bank account numbers and routing numbers to Cash App users who wish to use the app’s direct deposit feature.

Other companies Lincoln Savings Bank partners with (via the LSBX division) or has partnered with in the past include:

  1. Betterment: They are a robo-advisor service providing recommendations for tailored, optimized investment portfolios. Lincoln Savings Bank offers checking accounts and Visa debit cards for Betterment’s everyday checking program.
  2. Qapital: They are an app designed to help users save money. Lincoln Savings Bank provides banking services for Qapital users.

More About Sutton Bank

Sutton Bank is an independent, community bank based in Attica, Ohio. It was founded in 1878 and has been serving various communities in Ohio for over a century. The bank offers a range of financial products and services that include savings accounts, checking accounts, loans, and various business services.

Sutton Bank is actually quite well known for its numerous partnerships with fintech companies, providing backend banking services to support innovative financial products and services. Sutton Bank’s role as a partner with Cash App in particular is to issue the Cash App Visa Debit Card.

Some of the other numerous fintech companies that Sutton Bank currently partners with or has partnered with in the past include:

  1. Square / Cash App: As mentioned before, Sutton Bank is the issuer for the Cash App Visa Debit Card.
  2. Chime: A popular online banking service, Chime provides mobile banking and fee-free overdrafts. Sutton Bank is one of the banks that back Chime’s spending accounts and issues its Visa debit cards.
  3. Yieldstreet: An alternative investment platform, Yieldstreet offers a wide range of unique investment opportunities. Sutton Bank provides banking services to Yieldstreet Wallet, a product that provides short-term, high-yield savings.
  4. Venmo: Sutton Bank issues the Venmo debit card, which allows Venmo users to make purchases using their Venmo balance anywhere Mastercard is accepted in the U.S.
  5. Point: A mobile banking platform, Point provides services like early direct deposit and overdraft protection. Sutton Bank issues the Point debit card.

I Need To Direct Deposit Into My Bank. How Do I Find Out My Banking Information on Cash App?

Most of the time, you won’t ever need to know your banking information to get things done on the app, as the app is chock full of features to pretty much do 90% of all the finance stuff you’ll ever need to do. But just in case you do need the actual banking information, it’s actually quite easy. Here are the steps you can follow to find out your banking information through Cash App:

  1. Open the Cash App on your iPhone or Android.
  2. Tap on the “Banking” tab (it appears like a building icon) on your Cash App home screen.
  3. Tap on “Deposits & Transfers”.
  4. Tap on “Get Direct Deposit Form”.
  5. On the form, you will find your routing number and your account number. This information can be given to your employer to deposit your paychecks directly into your Cash App.

Do I Need the Cash App Card to be FDIC-insured?

No, you don’t need to have the Cash App Card to have FDIC insurance. The Cash App card, which is a physical debit card issued by Sutton Bank, doesn’t determine FDIC insurance for your funds. The FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) insures deposits up to a certain amount in banks, not in payment apps or on specific cards. However, if cash is sitting in the app itself and not yet deposited into your bank account, it technically isn’t FDIC-insured. Here’s how it works:

  1. When you receive money through Cash App, those funds are held by Cash App and are not FDIC-insured.
  2. If you use the direct deposit feature on Cash App, the funds are deposited into an account at Lincoln Savings Bank (Cash App’s banking partner for direct deposits), and those funds are FDIC-insured up to the legal limit, which is $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank, for each account ownership category.
  3. The funds in your Cash App are only FDIC-insured once they’ve been transferred to an FDIC-insured bank. If you link an external bank account that’s FDIC-insured to your Cash App, and you transfer your funds to that account, those funds would then be insured by the FDIC.

As outlined above, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures deposits held in bank accounts, not specific cards or services.

So, if you have cash on your app that isn’t deposited, this is probably where you are the most vulnerable when it comes to keeping your money safe through Cash App. If for some reason there is a catastrophic failure from Cash App or the bank itself, and your money hasn’t yet been deposited into the actual bank account, there is no telling what might happen. It’s such a low probability event, but if it does happen, the results could be devastating depending on your financial situation.

This uncertainty may be a potential downside to using the Cash App for certain users, but if used responsibly, risks can be minimized.

How Do I Set Up Direct Deposit on my Cash App?

Great question! Now that you’re aware of how your money is protected, you might’ve decided that setting up direct deposit would be a great way to ensure FDIC insurance. Here’s how you do so:

  1. Open the Cash App on your iPhone or Android phone.
  2. Tap the “Banking” tab on your Cash App home screen (it appears like a building icon).
  3. Tap “Deposits & Transfers”.
  4. Tap “Get Direct Deposit Form”.
  5. Fill out your employer information, the amount of the deposit, and tap “Get Form”.
  6. You’ll receive a completed direct deposit form that can be given to your employer. This form will contain a bank routing number and a new account number that your employer will use to send the direct deposit to. It’s the account number for Lincoln Savings Bank (Cash App’s partner bank for direct deposits).
  7. Provide this form to your employer to start receiving direct deposits to your Cash App.

Please note that it might take 1-2 pay cycles for the direct deposit to begin after you’ve submitted your request to your employer.

Also, be aware that Cash App allows users to receive paychecks, tax returns, and other transfers from the government, but they do not currently accept international payments.

Does Cash App use the same bank(s) for Plaid Users?

Yes, Cash App still utilizes Lincoln Savings Bank for Plaid users. There is also no FDIC risk with Plaid since the service does not itself hold any of the money, but rather, simply facilitates transfers between banks in a convenient and secure manner.

Do I Need a Bank Account to Use Cash App?

No, you do not necessarily need a bank account to use Cash App. You can use Cash App to send and receive money without a bank account. However, without a bank account linked, you have limitations. For example, you won’t be able to withdraw money from your Cash App to a bank account. Instead, you would need to spend the money directly from the Cash App or use the Cash App card (a debit card that is associated with your Cash App balance) at compatible ATMs and businesses.

Also, to “cash out” and send money from Cash App to a traditional bank account, or to set up direct deposit, you will need a linked bank account.

In summary, while a bank account isn’t necessary to send and receive money through Cash App, it does allow for more flexibility and features.

Where Can I Use My Cash App Cash Card?

The Cash App Cash Card is a Visa debit card, which means you can use it at a variety of locations that accept Visa. This includes physical retail stores where you can make purchases directly. It’s also useful for online shopping, as many e-commerce websites accept Visa as a payment method. The Cash Card is handy for dining as well, as it can be used at restaurants that accept Visa, both for dining in and ordering food online. Additionally, the Cash Card can be used to withdraw cash from ATMs, though it’s important to note there might be fees associated with these withdrawals. Beyond physical stores and ATMs, the Cash Card can be utilized to make payments on digital platforms and apps that accept Visa. The spending limit on your Cash Card is tied to your Cash App balance, so you can only spend the amount of money you have in your Cash App account.

Things to Consider Before Deciding to Use Cash App

  • Ease of use: Cash App has a simple interface, making it easy to send and receive money.
  • No fees for basic services: There are no fees for sending or receiving money, getting a Cash Card, or setting up direct deposit.
  • Investments: Cash App allows users to invest in stocks and Bitcoin directly from the app, which can be a convenient feature if you’re interested in these types of investments.
  • Lack of FDIC insurance: Funds held in Cash App are not FDIC-insured. However, if you use the direct deposit feature, those funds are held in an account at an FDIC-insured bank.
  • Customer service: Some users have reported difficulties reaching customer service for resolving issues.
  • Security: Cash App uses encryption and fraud detection technology to protect transactions. However, there are always risks with online transactions and storing sensitive data on mobile devices.

Final Thoughts

Cash App, developed by Square, offers a convenient way to manage and transfer money, allowing users to send and receive payments, invest in stocks and Bitcoin, and even receive direct deposits. Its associated Visa debit card, the Cash App Cash Card, can be used widely wherever Visa is accepted, making it a handy tool for everyday transactions.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that although Cash App provides many features similar to traditional banking, it is not a bank itself and funds held within Cash App are not FDIC-insured until they’ve been completely transferred to an FDIC-insured account or received via direct deposit.

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