Google Introduces New P2P Payment Feature in Gmail Android App

Google Introduces New P2P Payment Feature in Gmail Android App

by March 16, 2017

Rolled out earlier this week through a Play Store update, Google has launched a new feature that allows users of the Gmail Android app to send payments as attachments. Previously, users could send and request payments only in Gmail on the web.

The feature, which is entirely free to use, lets (US only) users exchange money through their Android app. It works with anyone—not just people with Gmail addresses and doesn’t require to have Google Wallet installed.

Sending money in Gmail is as easy as sending an attachment: you simply need to tap on the attachment icon and choose whether you want to send or request money.

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Recipients can receive or request money right from the email itself without having to install another payment app. They can even arrange for money they receive to go directly into their bank account.

The peer-to-peer payment feature is currently available in the US only on Gmail on the web and Android.

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Google Wallet was integrated into Gmail on the web in 2013. Google Wallet is a peer-to-peer payments service developed by Google that allows people to send and receive money from a mobile device or desktop computer at no cost to either sender or receiver.

When set up, a Google Wallet account must be linked to an existing debit card or bank account in the United States.

Google has been moving further into financial services since the past few years. In 2015, the firm launched a free mortgage calculator which lets consumers compare mortgages from different finance firms.

Google Compare, its comparison site that served up deals for a range of financial products, including credit cards, mortgages and travel/home insurance policies, was closed last year due to unsatisfying revenue and activity. Google Compare has been active in the UK since 2012, but it only began to come together in the US in 2015.

The integration of Google Wallet into Gmail comes at the time when an increasing number of communication apps are looking to tap into financial services.

These include Snapchat, which launched Snapcash in 2014 to allow users to pay one another, as well as Facebook, which introduced its peer-to-peer payment feature on Messenger in 2015.

Tencent’s WeChat, China’s most popular messaging app, introduced its digital wallet service in 2013. WeChat Wallet connects with credit and debit cards and allows users to send money to one another as well as purchases goods online and in-store.

As of March 2016, WeChat Wallet had over 300 million users worldwide.