All about Cash App in New Zealand

Samuel Clennett
07.07.20
3 minute read

Cash App by Square is a quick, easy way to send and receive money, with just a few taps on your smartphone. You can use it to pay friends your share of pizza night, send a cash gift for your sister’s birthday or whatever else you like. Payments happen instantly, making Cash App a much better option than painfully slow bank transfers.

But Cash App isn’t available everywhere, nor is it the only service of its kind out there. Here, we’ll take a look at whether Cash App works in New Zealand along with alternatives you can choose from.

For example, get a Wise borderless account and you’ll get the same benefits as Cash App – fast transfers, the real exchange rate and a handy app to use – but with no limits on which countries you can use it in. But more on that later.

What is Cash App?

Cash App is a straightforward money transfer app for smartphones and tablets by mobile payment company Square. It was launched in the US before starting to take off among users in the UK.

It’s really simple to make or receive a payment. To send money, all you need is a debit card (linked to a working bank account) and the recipient’s mobile number.¹ Type in the amount you’d like to send, confirm the transaction and the recipient will get a notification that they’ve received some cash. If someone owes you money and you’d like to send them a gentle nudge, you can also use the ‘request money’ feature on the app.

As well as being so user-friendly, Cash App is popular because it offers the real exchange rate (with no mark-up) and zero fees on most payments.

The only exceptions are when you use a credit card, or when you make an instant (rather than standard speed) transfer to a bank account. In these instances, fees will be charged.²

The peer-to-peer app also offers an optional Visa debit card, which you can request with your account. This gives you the option of spending the money in your Cash App account on your shopping, or withdrawing it from an ATM. Alternatively, you can cash out your balance to your bank account, a process that takes a couple of days.

Is Cash App available in New Zealand?

One of the only drawbacks with using Cash App – and unfortunately, it’s a biggie – is that it’s currently only available in two countries. ³ Currently, you can only use it if you live in – or are travelling in – the US or UK. What’s more, Cash App doesn’t allow international transfers between these two countries. So, if you are a UK user, you can only send to others in the UK, not across to the US or anywhere else.

This means that at the moment, Cash App isn’t available in New Zealand. Time will tell whether Square decide to roll the app out to other countries worldwide.

What are some alternatives to Cash App in New Zealand?

You can’t currently use Cash App in NZ, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make local and international transfers. There are lots of great alternatives to try, including TorFX, OFX, PayPal and of course, Wise. All of these money transfer apps do work in New Zealand, so they’re perfect if you live, work, study or travel in NZ.

Let’s take a closer look at each:

TorFX

With this popular Android and iPhone app, you can send money in 40+ currencies and track your transfer in real-time. ⁴ Exchange rates are competitive and there are no added fees, but there is a minimum transfer amount⁵ and the app isn’t available in any languages other than English.

OFX

The OFX app for Android and iPhone offers transfers to a huge 190 countries worldwide. It’s not great for paying back friends or sending small amounts, as the minimum transfer is $250, and you can’t fund your transfer with credit card or cash. But OFX does offer better exchange rates than banks, plus a range of handy features such as rate alerts and tracking. ⁶

PayPal

The well-known payment app offers a simple, straightforward and reliable alternative to Cash App in NZ. However, it isn’t the cheapest way to send money internationally, as it doesn’t use the real, mid-market exchange rate. This added cost, along with PayPal’s usual fees and charges, can make it a little more costly than you’d like to wizz cash over to your friend in the US. ⁷

Wise

Wise always guarantees you the real, mid-market exchange rate on every transaction. This means no expensive mark-up on the rate, which even though there are small transfer fees to pay – the overall cost is often cheaper than other providers, and up to 8x cheaper than using a bank⁸. Fees are transparent, so you’ll always know what you’ll be paying before hitting ‘send’.

Get a Wise borderless account and you can easily manage transfers on the free Wise app, send to 50+ countries and hold up to 50 currencies⁹ in your account.

And like with Cash App, there’s a free debit card attached. With your Platinum debit MasterCard, you can spend money and withdraw at the real exchange rate¹⁰ – a handy, money-saving feature for both NZ locals and travellers visiting other countries.


In theory, Cash App would be a wonderfully convenient and quick to send money to friends and family in New Zealand and beyond. But unfortunately, it isn’t available in NZ just yet – if ever.

Luckily, there are lots of alternatives to Cash App in NZ to choose from, so you don’t have to put up with abysmal exchange rates and slow transfers from your bank. Just make sure you do your research and check out the full cost of the transfer before tapping ‘send’.


Sources used:

  1. Cash App
  2. Cash App Cost
  3. Cash App International
  4. International Money Transfers
  5. International Money Transfers Apps
  6. International Money Transfers Apps
  7. Wise Compare
  8. Wise
  9. Wise NZ
  10. Wise Multi-Currency Account

Sources checked on 25-June 2020.


This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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