Google is integrating Gmail with Google Wallet so that users can send payments as a mail attachment, even if the recipient doesn't have a Gmail address.
To send money through Gmail, the user composing the email has to hover over the attachment paperclip, click a $ icon to attach money to the message, enter the amount, and send the mail, Travis Green, Google Wallet product manager, said in a blog post on Wednesday. The recipient will receive an email confirmation that the money was sent immediately after.
The service is free if the user's bank account is linked to Google Wallet or a Google Wallet balance is used to make the payment. Payments can also be made with linked credit and debit cards for a flat fee of 2.9 percent per transaction, for a minimum of US$0.30.
Users will have to be signed in or get a Google Wallet account to send or receive money through Gmail. Although not required to have a Gmail address, the recipient will also be prompted to sign in or sign up for Google Wallet to accept the money. Sending money with Gmail and Google Wallet is only available in the U.S.
The Internet giant is rolling out the feature in the coming months in the country to users over 18 years.
Receiving money is always free regardless of the funding source the sender chooses, Google said. After the money is received, it can be deposited into a bank account or used anywhere Wallet is accepted.
Sending money through Gmail is currently only available on desktop. Another way to send money is by clicking a 'send money' button in Google Wallet online at wallet.google.com on desktop or mobile, Google said.
Google has also launched its Google Wallet Instant Buy Android API to facilitate selling of physical goods and services on native Android apps with a two-click checkout option. The application programming interface is designed for merchants and developers who already have a payment processor and are looking to simplify the checkout experience for their customers, Google said in a blog post.