As early as in May 2013 news surfaced that you would be able to send money directly through your Google Gmail-account, and since around this time, Google Wallet have been more or less integrated into Gmail for the web. Now, though, Google takes the next step and rolls out a new integration for your android devices.
By doing this, Google challenges PayPal, Venmo and Skrill to name a few – after launching a feature to both send and request money directly via the Gmail app on your phone or tablet. What’s great is that people who don’t even have a Gmail address will be able to receive money through this service.
Furthermore, users can also choose to get the money transferred directly to their preferred bank account – and Google points out that all these measures are completely free of charge. What’s worth mentioning, though, is that the new option is currently only available in the United States, either through the web or Android app for Gmail. But if the launch is successful, we can most likely see a launch overseas – as the web function to send money via Gmail have been around in Great Britain for quite some time now.
The user experience has been designed to transfer the money goes to just as easy as attaching a file. To access this new feature, simply click on the attached icon and then select the amount you wanna send. The receiver of the money then clicks on the attachment with the actual sum.
To make the process as seamless as possible, the entire process takes place directly in the Gmail app – you do not have to have Google Wallet installed – and you can decide that the money you receive through Gmail app goes directly to your bank account.
In case you’re typically the one receiving payments for group dinners, or you want to pay back that bet you lost to your friends at the live casino, shared bills and the like; you can also tweak the feature’s settings to send the money straight to, or from your bank account.
So whether you’re already set up with Google Wallet for money transfers or not, there’s real utility to being able to attach money or a request to be paid right through the Gmail app, rather than using your web browser when you get home. Now your friends have even fewer excuses to not pay you back for that dinner!
Tech site TechCrunch also writes that the main purpose of this new function apparently is to challenge money transfer apps – such as PayPal, Skrill, Venmo and Square Cash. Meanwhile, Google is hardly alone in developing opportunities for the money transfer directly in communication applications – Snapchat provides such opportunities in Snapcash and Facebook has a similar feature in Messenger.