Square lets you send money using e-mailSquare Cash launches as a free way to send money to anyone over e-mail, Isis hopes to lure more customers with free smoothies, and the Start button returns this week in Windows 8.1.
It's time to start sending money through e-mail. I'm Bridget Carey, and this is your CNET Update. The company, Square, launched an incredibly simple way to send money over e-mail to anyone in the U.S. for absolutely free. This service is called Square Cash. And it doesn't require either person to set up any Square account. All you have to do to send money is to address an e-mail to the recipient, put the amount of money in the Subject line, and the key is to CC the address email@example.com. The body can say anything you wanted to. Now, if this is your first time doing this to send or receive cash, Square then sends you a follow-up e-mail asking for your debit card. And then, voila. Square will use that account for the transaction. And future e-mails sent this way will use the same debit account. The most you can send is $2,500 a week. And the money should arrive in a day or two. So, why is this free? Square is trying to raise brand awareness and to grow popularity to take on competitors like PayPal. Square's main success has been with those square-shaped card swiping devices. They attach to smartphones and tablets to allow any merchant to accept plastic. Mobile payments are a competitive area right now. And companies will do anything to win-- even give away one million free smoothies. Yup. A service called Isis is expanding nationally, and hoping to get attention for its mobile payment technology by giving away free Jamba Juice Smoothies to customers that pay with their smartphones using the Isis Mobile Wallet. It can only work with some smartphones that have an NFC chip, which stands for Near Field Communication. Isis is owned by Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, and it competes with Google Wallet, which works with Sprint. The Windows 8 Operating System is getting an update this week. The latest version, 8.1, will arrive as a free update for current Windows 8 users. And it'll have some new settings that should bring some relief to people who miss old features like the Start button. Now, this new Start button on the desktop isn't exactly the same. But clicking it will bring you back to the last menu, and a right-click lets you access some of the traditional options like System Settings, Device Manager, File Explorer, Search, and of course, shutting down the computer. Also in this update, you can boot the computer straight to Desktop mode and skip the colorful tiles. Windows 8.1 also lets you set the default app to what you wanna use for a web browser, e-mail client, music or video player and some other programs. To get the details on these and other tips, check out our How To for getting started with Windows 8.1. That's your tech news update. For more details, head to CNET.com/update. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey.