Google Folds Wallet Support Into Gmail So You Can Send Money As Attachments

Posted: May 16, 2013 in Google, GT
Tags: , ,

Phew. Google just spent three hours or so showing
off new developer tools, APIs, service overhauls, and
the occasional gadget, but not everything the search
giant rolled out today got a turn under the spotlights at
the Moscone Center. Case in point: according to a
post on the official Google Commerce blog, Google Wallet support has been baked into Gmail, so users
will soon be able to send each other money by simply
shooting each other emails. In the coming weeks and months, a dollar sign will
start popping in Gmail accounts of people who
already use Google Wallet, and a quick click lets
users define the recipient and the amount they’d like
to send along as an attachment. Since all of these
transactions run through Google Wallet, the usual caveats are in place — sending funds from a
connected bank account is totally gratis, but those who prefer to pay with credit or debit cards are
subject to an additional 2.9 percent fee tacked on.
You also need to be over 18 to take part in the
funding fun, though. Google is far from the first company to tackle the
concept of sending money via email — JPMorgan
Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo rolled out a
method of transferring funds to people if you had their
cell phone number or email address two years ago,
but the setup process involved could be more than a little tedious if the recipient wasn’t a member of the
same bank. At this point, it’s too early to pass
judgment on Google’s approach, but the company
seems intent on making the process much easier on
all the parties involved, even if the person receiving
the money isn’t a Gmail user. More importantly, it’s possible that folding a level of
Wallet support into Gmail could see adoption of the
payment platform tick upward. After all, Google said
around this time last year that Gmail played home to
425 million users, and a considerable chunk of them
will eventually find themselves able to transfer money without many headaches involved. Google’s
announcement of its Instant Buy APIto streamline the
process of buying things from within an Android app
could certainly play a role in expanding Wallet’s
prominence. These developments may not seem as
downright prominent a push as, say, a Google- branded Wallet card that would solidify the service’s
presence in meatspace, but former Wallet chief
Osama Bedler is out, and that ship has sailed.


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