Gmail users will soon be able to send money to others through e-mail.
The service will work through a combination of Gmail and Google Wallet and will allow users to attach money to their messages just as if they were attaching a file, a photo, or anything else to a message. Mashable reports that according to Google, the transactions will be completely secure, and will come with a 2.9 percent fee per transaction.
The announcement of allowing money to be sent through Gmail was more or less buried amongst the many other announcements Google made at its I/O Conference Wednesday, but the new service will roll out to users over the next few months. Some are suggesting that one way to get early access will be to have someone who currently has the feature send you money (perhaps you could coax a friend working at Google, if you have one, to do so.)
Of course, it will take time to see if there is widespread adoption of the service. There are already a number of ways to transfer electronically to other people, whether it is through mainstays like Paypal, using money transfer features through banks, or other third-party methods. It could be argued that none of the existing services for sending money to friends are “quick and slick”, however, and as a result there is some opportunity for Google to change the game. That said, Google Wallet still hasn’t seen widespread acceptance as a mechanism for mobile payments, for various reasons including adoption of technology infrastructure in brick and mortar stores and the possible reluctance of consumers to switch to mobile payments. Whether users will flock to sending money through Gmail is yet to be seen, but if anything, it is yet another bold move from Google to become more a part of people’s day-to-day routines.