Google announced on Tuesday (March 14) that the Gmail app on Android will now enable people to send and request money from anyone, even if they do not have a Gmail address.
“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,” Sam Kansara, a product manager at Google, said in a blog post.
The new capability essentially allows a user to send money in the same way they would send an attachment in an email message.
Within an email in the app, users can tap on the attachments icon and then select to send or request money. The recipient of the funds can claim the money they are sent directly from the email without having to install a separate payment app, the blog post stated. The funds are then transferred directly to a selected bank account.
“We believe that experiences like this should be contextual. Users shouldn’t have to switch apps to complete an interaction where they just need to send or receive money,” a Google spokesperson told PYMNTS. “This integration makes it easier for users to be able to do things in a medium where they’re already communicating with others, so it’s logical to move the payment interaction there too.”
The feature is now available only within the U.S. on Gmail on the web or Android.
With the announcement, it looks as though Google is using the Gmail app to take on other P2P payment apps, such as Venmo, PayPal and Square Cash.
“Users in the U.S. have many options to choose from if they need to send money to others. One of the biggest influencers is the amount of effort required for both you and the person you’re sending money to. Integrating the experience with a service you and others already use and love will make it a more compelling experience,” a Google spokesperson added.