US Treasury Approves Square as Coronavirus Stimulus Lender

Square, the bitcoin-friendly company behind Cash App, announced Monday it is participating in the U.S. government’s emergency Paycheck Protection Program.

Apr 13, 2020 at 6:08 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 8:28 a.m. UTC

The bitcoin-friendly company behind Cash App, Square, announced Monday it is participating in the U.S. government’s emergency Paycheck Protection Program. 

This $350 billion lending program for small businesses provides loans that keep employees on payroll for at least two months, as part of the $2.3 trillion stimulus package approved by Congress. PayPal and Intuit (maker of QuickBooks) are the other fintech firms included in the program.

Jackie Reses, head of Square Capital, tweeted that Square will work with Salt Lake City-based Celtic Bank to roll out the lending program this week.

“We will notify sellers when their application is available via Square Dashboard, starting with employers whose application data we can verify automatically,” she tweeted.

Last Friday, Square founder and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted that Cash App offers routing numbers so people who didn’t file tax returns can still accept stimulus checks. This long-standing feature has been used since 2018 to accept direct deposits from employers, even for those without a bank account.

Although the publicly traded Square has yet to release revenue statistics from Q1 2020, it would be surprising if Cash App didn’t profit from the surge in speculative bitcoin (BTC) trading in March. Bitcoin sales accounted for nearly half of the company's quarterly revenue in Q4 2019. Last year, Dorsey said he wanted to help bitcoin achieve “currency status.”

It’s clear different components of the Square empire will take complementary approaches to fintech. The Square Crypto team, a skunkworks unit not related to Cash App’s bitcoin efforts, released an open source Lightning development toolkit in January.

Overall, one might expect to see more nimble moves from the fintech giant as it adjusts to users’ changing needs during the coronavirus crisis.

“We should always maintain flexibility,” Dorsey told CoinDesk late last year. 

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