Scenario: You and Ellen go in on a gift for Talia’s birthday. (Mani/pedis and an escargot dish, obviously.) Ellen puts the whole thing on her credit card, with the understanding that you’ll pay her back ASAP.

What to do?

Well, if you’re like us, your mind jumps straight to Venmo--which has long been our beloved method for making e-transactions. But let’s just say that Ellen is a Luddite and doesn’t have Venmo on her phone. What then?

Square Cash to the rescue.

Like Venmo or PayPal, Square Cash is a free app for securely sending funds (up to $2,500 per week) via your phone. But unlike its competitors, the recipient need not have Square Cash installed for it to work.

Here’s the deal: After syncing up your bank account info, simply plug in your pal’s email address and select the amount you want to send her. Ellen will then get an email with a link to download the funds, which she can do by providing a few details about her bank account. (All very, very safe.) At that point, the money will instantly move from your account to hers--totally free of charge.

Brilliant. Kind of like the “nails and snails” birthday idea, if you do say so yourself.

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