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Indiana students get cash for photos of their ID cards

Square, Inc. promo rewarding participation in marketing campaign

A new viral marketing campaign from popular point-of-sale systems provider, Square, Inc., is paying Indiana University students for their participation in a social media driven promotion. The promo requests that students download Square’s Cash App, snap a photo of their student ID card and send that photo to a specified phone number in exchange for a small cash reward.

As reported by the Indiana Daily Student, word has spread to students via social media recently, primarily on their Twitter feeds. The promotion promises easy money by downloading the app and texting a picture of their Crimson Card, the Indiana University student ID, to a specified phone number. The promotion began in November, but Square only recently started pushing the initiative on social media in January.

Despite sounding like a scam, the promotion is in fact being put on by Square, Inc. as a means to entice students to download and use the Cash App. Square, known for its point-of-sale solutions, has launched its own money sharing service in the form of Cash App. Similar to other money sharing apps like Venmo, Cash App users can send and receive money from others, as well as direct deposit funds to their bank account and purchase Bitcoin.

“It’s purely a way for us to get as many folks at Indiana University to use the Cash App and sign up,” said Tyler Doremus, Cash App growth marketing lead, in an Indiana Daily Student interview. “The incentive that we’re offering is we’re sending them money.”

Doremus also told the Indiana Daily Student that the phone number that students text the photo of their ID card to is attached to a real person whose full-time job is to facilitate the cash payments. The company has allotted $200,000 to give to IU students alone, of which there is roughly $150,000 left.

According to Doremus, the promotion is working as the company has seen rapid growth over the last month, and there is potential to expand the marketing strategy to other universities. Cash App is also incentivizing student referrals, giving small amounts of cash for each fellow student that downloads the app and participates in the promo.

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