Popular web-based transaction service Paypal now has another formidable foe on the rise in terms of mobile payments: Google. Starting March 14, Gmail will make it easier for users to send or request for payments directly inside the app.
Gmail Payments Arrives On Mobile
Such a feature can already be done on Google Wallet via Gmail for Desktop, but only now has Google been able to port it over to the mobile app itself. It works simply enough: payments are treated as attachments, so sending money is akin to attaching a document, photo, or video. Simply touch the attachment icon, choose "Send money," enter the amount, write up an optional memo, and Gmail takes care of the rest.
Sending, Receiving Payments Via Gmail Comes At No Cost
Those on the receiving end won't even need a Gmail account or have the app installed; the transaction follows through just as well, and the money can even be transferred directly to the recipient's bank account.
"Whether you're splitting a dinner bill or planning a group trip, you now have a fee-free way to work out the details and settle up without ever leaving the Gmail app on Android, just like you can already do on the web," Google announced in a blog post.
Sending money using gmail comes with no charges for both sides, which makes this method a notch more attractive than popular money transaction rivals Venmo and Square Cash, both of which have fees set in place for a range of functions.
There is however, one caveat: folks outside the United States can't take advantage of sending or receiving payments via Gmail yet, and Google has neither offered word on a possible global release, nor hinted at an iOS release.
Anyhow, integrating Wallet features directly with Gmail makes Google's goal clear: to expedite payment services using an interface that's already familiar with a plethora of users. The feature could be useful when discussing plans that involve money, such as trips, gift-finding, or asking for donations.
Other Payments-Based Apps
Gmail, however, isn't the only app making inroads in terms of payment services: Snapchat also offers the ability to pay friends via Snapcash, Facebook has a similar feature integrated inside Messenger, and WeChat also offer mobile payment features. Similarly, messaging platforms, such as the aforementioned Messenger, offers a range of payment bots, which are third-party integrations to facilitate money-related features.
While Gmail isn't at its core a messaging platform, it's still stands as one of the most popular email client apps globally in terms of its user base, which usurps that of Yahoo, Microsoft, and others. It's also interesting to note that since its introduction in 2013, it took long for Google to port the payments feature to Gmail for Android, which could indicate that such a service wasn't heavily used to foster a demand for it to be released on other platforms. It's a welcome arrival at any rate.
The Gmail app is available for free on the Play Store. Have you tried the app's payment features? Feel free to tell us your experience in the comments section below!