Ever found yourself short of cash, or felt embarrassed about not paying off a debt promptly?
Well, Google wants to come to your rescue. Not content with being the world’s biggest and most successful search engine, Google has recently announced that it now wants to dip its toes into the competitive world of cash transfers, by expanding the reach of Google Wallet’s integration with Gmail. The service was made available to users in The United States back in 2013, and will now be rolled out here, and will be available to all UK Gmail users over 18 years old in the coming weeks, with the £ icon making an appearance in the attachment options space.
What will this mean for users in the UK?
Well, people in the UK will now be able to quickly and securely send money to friends and family in the UK directly within desktop Gmail – even if the recipient doesn’t have a Gmail address.
How will this new service work?
Well, sending money via Gmail works in pretty much the same way as sending an attachment. To use the service users will need to set up a Google Wallet account – a free mobile payment and digital wallet that securely stores a user’s credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, loyalty cards and offers. Cards are then linked to the digital wallet, and payments can be made for online purchases and in shops using the phone’s contactless NFC chip. Once installed, a pound (£) sign will appear in the same bar used to send attachments. Then you simply attach electronic cash to an email.
How will the service work?
Google Wallet accounts can be linked to bank accounts to let users transfer cash between your ‘virtual’ Google funds and your bank account. Users can also request money in Gmail by hovering over the attachment paperclip and clicking the £ icon to attach the request to a Gmail message.
Before the service can be used, first-time users will need to set up a Google Wallet Balance account linked to their debit card or bank account to receive their money. After that, money can be kept in the Wallet Balance for future sending, spending, or transfer into the user’s bank account.
Is it secure?
The new cash transfer service is protected by a fraud monitoring service, and the Google Wallet Fraud Protection Guarantee. People can also lock their Google Wallet using a PIN, in addition to a screen lock.
Announcing the new UK cash transfer service in a blog post, Google wrote:
‘We’re excited to make this feature available for Gmail users in the UK. This means people in the UK will now be able to quickly and securely send money to friends and family in the UK directly within desktop Gmail.’