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Aug. 21, 2019, 6:57 a.m. EDT

Square just had its best month ever for Cash App downloads, analyst says

Square and PayPal are both trying to generate more revenue off their peer-to-peer payments apps

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By Emily Bary


Bloomberg News
Jack Dorsey‘s Square is increasingly focused on bringing in revenue from its peer-to-peer Cash App.

Square Inc. continues to gain steam with its consumer-facing Cash App.

The company saw its highest-ever volume of Cash App downloads in July, according to Instinet analyst Dan Dolev, with 2.4 million users adding the app. The Cash App lets consumers send money to friends and spend their funds through an associated debit card.

Cash App downloads continued to eclipse downloads of PayPal Holding Inc.’s /zigman2/quotes/208054269/composite PYPL -2.33%  Venmo app, per Dolev’s analysis of third-party data. There have been 59.8 million Cash App downloads since inception, Dolev said, compared with 52.7 million Venmo downloads.

“The download gap between the two apps is at an all-time high,” he wrote in a note to clients.

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Both Square /zigman2/quotes/205989440/composite SQ -4.65%  and PayPal are increasingly looking to generate revenue off of apps that started as destinations for peer-to-peer payments. Though the companies generally don’t charge customers to transfer money to their friends, Square and PayPal participate in the economics of credit-card transaction fees when consumers use their linked debit card to make payments in stores or online, and the companies also make customers pay to instantly transfer funds to their bank accounts.

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The two companies disclose different metrics around their respective peer-to-peer platforms. Square generated $135 million in second-quarter revenue from the Cash App, excluding revenue made from Bitcoin-related transactions, according to the company’s latest letter to shareholders. PayPal said that Venmo processed $24 billion of payment volume in the second quarter and that the service’s new active users are engaging with Venmo’s monetizable offerings.

A PayPal spokesperson pointed to first-quarter statistics indicating 40 million monthly active Venmo users across the platform. A Square spokesperson declined to comment.

See also: Square unveils new debit card for small-business customers

Square shares are up 1.6% in Tuesday trading and PayPal shares are up 0.4%. Square shares have risen 16% so far this year, while PayPal’s stock has gained 29%.

/zigman2/quotes/208054269/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 101.22
-2.41 -2.33%
Volume: 7.26M
Oct. 18, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
48.13
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$119.10 billion
Rev. per Employee
$710,138
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/zigman2/quotes/205989440/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 60.45
-2.95 -4.65%
Volume: 7.91M
Oct. 18, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$25.82 billion
Rev. per Employee
$984,824
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Emily Bary is a MarketWatch reporter based in New York.

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