Advertiser Disclosure
Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card and banking offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies and banks from which receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they appear on category pages. does not include all banks, credit card companies or all available credit card offers, although best efforts are made to include a comprehensive list of offers regardless of compensation. Advertiser partners include American Express, Chase, U.S. Bank, and Barclaycard, among others.

What is Cash App & How Does It Work?

Cash App is not a bank, nor is developed by or sponsored by or anything else “by” a bank. It’s a fintech app through and through.

This might sound confusing because, after all, you use Cash App to send and receive money. You might even get your paycheck direct deposited into the app, or more accurately onto your Cash Card debit card. 

But Cash App doesn’t handle that stuff itself. Its FDIC-insured partner banks, Sutton Bank and Wells Fargo Bank, do it all.

If you’re curious about how this works in practice, pull up a chair.

Is Cash App a Bank?

No, Cash App is not a bank. It’s a financial technology app developed by Block, Inc., a financial technology company.

Cash App’s main product is a mobile money management platform that you can use to send and receive money to other people and companies. 

Learn More about Cash App >>

What Bank Does Cash App Use?

While Cash App developed and manages the technology behind this product, it outsources core banking functions to its bank partners, Sutton Bank and Wells Fargo Bank

Sutton Bank issues Cash Apps debit cards and Wells Fargo covers the Cash Card account balances.

Cash App also offers access to market-traded securities and Bitcoin. This occurs through Cash App Investing, LLC, a subsidiary company of Cash App. Cash App’s bank partners aren’t directly involved in its investing services.   

How to Find Your Cash App Bank

Cash App’s bank partners mainly work in the background, but there are some situations where you’ll need to know your specific bank partner and the corresponding account and routing numbers:

  • To set up direct deposit from an employer or benefits provider
  • To set up recurring or one-time bill payments
  • To send e-checks (if the recipient doesn’t accept Cash App payments)
  • To connect your external bank to your Cash App (though you can also do this in the Cash App)

To find your Cash App bank name, account number, and routing number, go to the Banking tab in the app. The numbers should appear under your current balance. If they’re partially obscured, tap them to reveal the entire string.

Do You Need a Bank Account to Use Cash App?

No, you don’t need a bank account to use Cash App. Even if you have a bank account, you don’t need to link it to Cash App if you don’t want. The app will work normally without a connected bank account.

That said, if you want easy access to your Cash App balance, and especially if you want to use that balance to buy stuff in the real world, you’ll need a Cash Card. The Cash Card is free and doesn’t require a credit check, so you might as well.

How to Get Money Off Cash App Without a Bank Account

The easiest way to get money off Cash App without a connected bank account is to use your Cash Card as a payment method for purchases you would make anyway. 

Getting Cash App Money With a Cash Card

The Cash Card is accepted wherever Visa is, which is just about everywhere. You can use it as you would any other debit card or credit card, though unlike a credit card or debit card with overdraft protection, you can’t spend more than your current balance. 

If you’re using your Cash Card at a merchant that offers cash back on debit card transactions, choose the “cash back” option at checkout and specify how much you want. This cash amount will be added to the total transaction amount. Make sure your Cash Card balance is larger than the total amount, otherwise the whole transaction will fail.

Getting Cash App Money Without a Cash Card

If you don’t have a Cash Card or want to access your Cash App money without making a Cash Card purchase, you’ll need to transfer the funds to another Cash App user and have them withdraw the money on your behalf.

You should only do this with someone you absolutely trust, like a partner or spouse. Because they’ll need to withdraw cash from their bank, this method is almost certain to take longer than using a Cash Card or linking your own bank account. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re desperate.

How to Set Up Direct Deposit

Your Cash App can receive individual direct deposits up to $25,000 and daily cumulative direct deposits up to $50,000. You can receive direct deposits in Cash App from:

  • Your employer
  • Any government benefits provider
  • Any third-party payer, such as an insurance company
  • Any government revenue agency, including the IRS and state tax authorities

Cash App makes your direct deposit available as soon as it receives payment instructions, typically 2 days before they’d be available in a bank. So if your payday typically falls on Friday, your direct deposit should appear in your account on Wednesday.

Is Cash App the Safest Money Transfer App?

Cash App is a legitimate platform that uses the latest encryption technology to protect users’ funds. A better way to characterize it might be that Cash App is as safe as any other legitimate money transfer app: PayPal, Venmo, and so on.

No money transfer app is 100% safe, however. And if you don’t have a Cash Card issued by Cash App’s debit card partner (Sutton Bank), your Cash App balance is not FDIC-insured. So if you don’t want to link your external bank account and immediately withdraw your Cash App balance whenever it exceeds $0, you should get a Cash Card as soon as possible.

Cash App’s security has two other gaps worth noting. 

First, your balance isn’t protected against fraud or deception, so you should never hand out your account credentials or let anyone use your account for any reason. 

Second, investments made through Cash App (including cryptocurrency investments) aren’t covered by FDIC insurance and are therefore less secure than your Cash Card balance.

More Cash App FAQs

You know now that Cash App is a financial technology platform, not a bank. You also know now that Cash App works with trusted banking partners to provide core financial services like a debit card and direct deposit. 

You might still have questions about Cash App’s features and functions though. We’ve answered some of the most common ones below.

What Does Cash App Cost?

Cash App is free to download, and it doesn’t cost anything to send or receive money with the app. Standard transfers to your connected bank account are free as well. 

Cash App isn’t 100% fee-free. You may be charged a fee for ATM withdrawals and Bitcoin transactions, and instant transfers to your connected bank account cost the greater of $0.25 or 1.75% of the transfer amount. That’s worth it if time is of the essence and you can’t wait 1 to 3 business days for a standard transfer to clear.

Does Cash App Have a Debit Card?

Yes, the Cash Card is Cash App’s debit card. It works just like any other bank-issued debit card and it’s accepted wherever Visa is.

How Do You Send Money on Cash App Without a Debit Card?

You can send money from your Cash App balance without a Cash Card or linked bank account. Just open the app and follow the prompts to begin a “Send” transaction. Specify the amount you want to send and the recipient, confirm that the information is correct, and complete the transfer. Done!

Be aware that while sending small amounts of money via Cash App is easy without a debit card, Cash App does impose relatively low transaction limits on unverified users. If you plan to send (or receive) more than those limits allow, you’ll need to get verified.

Does Cash App Have Any Transfer Limits?

Yes, Cash App has transfer limits. If your account is unverified, the limits are:

  • $250 in any 7-day period for outbound transfers
  • $1,000 in any 30-day period for inbound transfers

To verify your account, you need to give Cash App your full name, date of birth, and the last four digits of your Social Security number. You may need to scan your driver’s license s well.

Once that’s done, the outbound transfer limit rises to $7,500 per 7-day period and the inbound transfer limit goes away completely.

Is Your Cash App Activity Public?

No, your Cash App activity is only visible to you. If you’re a minor, your adult sponsor also has access to your account activity. This is notably different than apps like Venmo, where your account activity is public by default (though you can set it to private if you choose).

Are Cash App Balances FDIC-Insured?

Your actual Cash App balance is not FDIC-insured, so it’s best not to keep any funds in there for any length of time. Neither are investments or cryptocurrencies held in your Cash App account, but this is a drawback of all investing and crypto platforms rather than Cash App specifically.

If you have a Cash Card, its balance is FDIC-insured up to applicable limits (currently $250,000). That’s where you should keep your funds if you haven’t linked an external bank account or aren’t in the habit of zeroing out your Cash App balance whenever it’s greater than $0.

Final Word

To review, “what bank is Cash App” is a nonsensical question because Cash App is not a bank. It never was a bank and never will be a bank.

However, Cash App does offer basic financial services through two FDIC-insured bank partners: Sutton Bank and Wells Fargo. Sutton Bank administers the Cash Card. Wells Fargo Bank handles direct deposits from external payers.

So while Cash App is not itself a bank, it couldn’t function properly without its bank partners. 

There’s probably a lesson in there about how we’re all in this together, but honestly, who cares? I just want my direct deposit to clear on time.

Brian Martucci writes about credit cards, banking, insurance, travel, and more. When he's not investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, you can find him exploring his favorite trails or sampling a new cuisine. Reach him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.