Google have integrated their Google Wallet service into the Gmail mobile app; this allows users to exchange money with anyone, even those without a Gmail account. The whole process is as easy as attaching a file to an email and can be completed in just a few taps. You don’t even need to have the Google Wallet app – first introduced in 2013 – installed on your phone.
Google have marketed their latest concept as a free and easy way to transfer money, much in the same way that you can reliably and safely share files and photos. The feature works by the user tapping the attachment icon and selecting whether they would like to send or request money; it’s that simple. So why did this straightforward system take so long to materialise?
Are Google playing catch-up with the competition?
Transferring money through the click of a button may be old news, with cash now rarely exchanging hands amongst the tech savvy, so could Google be playing catch-up following the release of their new Gmail feature?
With so many messaging services now offering users the option to send and request cash, it seems that Google was being left behind. Snapchat and Facebook have already jumped on the bandwagon in the US, while WeChat is rapidly taking China by storm, boasting over 700 million active users. The level of competition only intensifies when you consider that the likes of PayPal, Venmo and Square Cash are also available, albeit without the messaging capabilities.
It seems that Google’s goal is to encourage Gmail users to exchange money quickly and easily within the confines of the app, whether that be splitting a bill at a restaurant or planning a trip with friends. Having already cornered the email app market, leaving the likes of Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL for dead, Google will hope this latest release, currently available in the US on web and android devices, catches on, even if they have arrived a little late to the party.