By Emily Bary
Block Inc. seems positioned to drive more links between its various offerings with a new feature that lets users automatically invest the spare change from Cash Card debit purchases in the stock market or into bitcoin.
Block, which houses the Square merchant business and the Cash App mobile wallet, said Wednesday that Cash Card users would be able to round up the amount of any purchase and opt for the balance to be invested into a preferred stock or bitcoin. Block /zigman2/quotes/205989440/composite SQ -5.11% sees the move as an attempt to make investing more approachable to its users.
“For first-time investors, getting started can feel daunting and complicated,” Ryan Budd, the head of Cash App’s financial services, told MarketWatch in an email. “At Cash App we’re focused on making our financial products easy to use and accessible to everyone.”
Various other services, including Acorns, have also tried to make it easier for people to put spare change toward investments.
While the Cash App began as a platform for users looking to send money to friends, it has evolved into a broader hub for personal finance. The Cash Card debit card links to a user’s account and allows for the purchase of in-store or online items. The Cash App also has a stock-trading platform on which people can buy fractional shares of equities or bitcoin through an interface that Block maintains is appealing to regular people, in part due to an emphasis on company logos rather than ticker symbols.
Block saw more than 15 million monthly active users of its Cash Card product during March. Additionally, four million accounts either traded or held stock on the Cash App platform that month.
The round-up announcement suggests that while there is likely overlap between users of those two services, the company sees opportunity to drive further links between them.
“We’re excited when our products can work together like this to provide great value and ease for our customers,” Budd told MarketWatch. He noted that the round-up feature will also be compatible with the Cash App Boost program, which lets users choose from a rotating array of rewards, such as 15% off a purchase at Shake Shack Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209397077/composite SHAK -5.90%