In an update that is coming to the Google Wallet app for both Android and iOS, Google will be giving users the ability to send money to any person in their contact list through their phone numbers.
Users can get the new feature by updating to the latest version of the Google Wallet app through the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.
The update, announced through the Google Commerce Blog, gives users the choice to send money to a certain phone number in their contacts. The recipient then will get a text message that contains a secure link. Upon accessing the link, the recipient will be asked to enter their debit card details to claim the money that was sent. The money will arrive at the recipient's bank account only within minutes.
Android news website Android Police confirmed with Google that for now, the feature will only be for users in the United States.
Previously, users sending money through Google Wallet did so through e-mail addresses. The expansion of the app's features to also include phone numbers as a possible channel increases the options for both sender and recipient. Another good thing about the new option is that the recipient does not need to have the Google Wallet app installed, as the secure link that confirms the transaction is sent through SMS.
The previous update for Google Wallet added improvements to contact suggestions, a security feature that allows users to lock the app with just a tap of a button, and the option to link the app to a second bank account.
Google Wallet should not be confused with the newly launched Android Pay. While Android Pay is a mobile payment system, Google Wallet has been refocused as a peer-to-peer payments app.