One night a while back in NYC, I was sitting in a bar with a bunch of my friends and noticed this girl with a bunch of her friends. She was beautiful (I mean, beautiful), and we were doing that glancing eye exchange back and forth, knowing that neither of us were going to approach each other until the crowd thinned out. At the same time as a few of her friends left, my friends decided to split the bill and call it a night. My plan was to talk to her on our way out the door and then offer to stay. Well, it didn’t turn out that way. My friends were paying cash, and I was the only one who didn’t have any American dollars on me (yeah, friends can be really picky about accepting the right currency). I grabbed my coat, ran to the nearest ATM (about a thousand blocks away), and by the time I got back, I looked over to where she had been sitting… and she was gone. Not to try to turn this into a John Cusack movie or anything, but, hey, it was definitely a missed opportunity.
For those of us who travel between countries all the time and/or who don’t want to spend more time trying to find an ATM than being in the right place at the right time, I offer the solution that works best for me. I’ve linked my American debit card to an app on my iPhone called Square Cash when I’m in the States, and through the app, I can transfer money in real time to my friends, photographers, stylists, anybody really (whether they have a Square Cash account or not). My favorite vape shop in LA is set up on Square, and I have even paid for my short-term rental apartment in NYC that way. One of my friends wanted to go to a concert, and we wanted seats together, so I just Square Cashed the money to him to reserve our tickets. Super simple, and it avoids that awkward discussion when you see someone again and know the first they’re going to say is, “Dude, where’s my money?” It took me just a couple of minutes to set up the app on my iPhone 6 (just link your Visa, MasterCard or Discover card), and it’s exceedingly safe (128-bit encryption and passcode required). Square Cash has honestly saved me a world of pain in both personal and professional situations when I was carrying either zero cash or a bunch of euros.
To set up a Square Cash account, you can go to their website here or download on your phone.
Photography :: Paige Campbell Linden
Location :: Ludlow Hotel, NYC