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Square Cash now lets you pay nearby friends over Bluetooth

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Square Cash for iPhone now lets you send money to nearby friends over Bluetooth Low Energy. Assuming you and a friend have Bluetooth turned on, nearby people now show up inside Square Cash's Send / Request money screen. According to the company, being able to pay friends sitting at your dinner table — without adding all their emails — was a top request.

Square Cash began as a tool to pay friends over email, but quickly expanded by adding its own mobile app, and even letting you send money via text. It's worth noting that Square Cash doesn't actually send money over email, Bluetooth, or text — it's only signaling your intent to send it. In reality, the app works much like Venmo and other services, but with a simpler interface. Venmo, for example, asks you to cash out after every few transactions before money is funneled to your account, a key differentiator between the two apps.

Recent rumors point to both Facebook and Snapchat working up peer-to-peer payments services of their own. As the battle for your mobile wallet heats up, Square and others are doing anything they can to lock in users and make sharing as fast as possible. With Bluetooth capabilities, you don't even have to type a friend's name to send them money. You just type $20.00, tap their name, and hit Send.

Update: an earlier version of this article stated that the Bluetooth feature also worked on Android. A Square spokesperson said the company hoped to someday bring the feature to Android, but offered no timetable on when that might happen.