Google’s ‘Attach money’ feature for Gmail, launched in the US back in 2013, is now being rolled out to UK account holders. The feature transfers funds through e-mail from the user’s Google Wallet account.
Launched in 2011, Google Wallet is a pre-paid mobile payment service that can be linked to a user’s credit card or debit card. Payments for goods and services can be made for online purchases that accept Google Wallet payments, or even in shops that offer NFC transactions via smartphone.
In a blog post announcing the UK launch, Google said, “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.”
Got an Android device? Got 20 friends with Android devices that currently don’t have a Google Wallet balance?
Well send each of them a penny (20 cents) and you could easily get up to $100 in return.
Google has announced a referral program for Google Wallet, encouraging people to use the service. All you have to do is send a friend any amount of money and you’ll get $5 in return. You are allowed to do that up to 20 times, meaning you could easily convert 20 cents into $100.
You and your friends have to be in the US and the program lasts until the end of the month, or until Google racks up 20,000 referrals (which will probably be very soon).
Google Wallet for Digital Goods will be closed down, according to an announcement from the company.
The service which was primarily used as a system for in-app purchases, allowed users to pay for items online with their Google Wallet account. Google said that “industry has matured a lot” since they introduced the service, colluding to the fact that there now exist a cavalcade of different systems for in-app purchases that can do the job just as good or better.
Users who still use Google Wallet for Digital Goods will continue to be able to make purchases, that’s until March 2nd 2015 when developers will be forced to stop using the API.
Google is continuing working on Google Walletand a Reddit submission today started off a rumor that Google might be starting to accept Bitcoins as a form of currency to use within Google Wallet. Sadly however this rumor turned out to be just that, with a Google spokesperson releasing this statement in regards to the rumor posted on Reddit today;
“As we continue to work on Google Wallet, we are grateful for a very wide range of suggestions. While we are keen to actively engage with Wallet users to help inform and shape the product, there is no change to our position: we have no current plans regarding Bitcoin.”
So although the title of the submission on Reddit from user named JasonBored was called “Google confirms their payment team is working to incorporate Bitcoin”, it seems Google has no immediate plans to incorporate Bitcoin in to Google Wallet. Reddit user JasonBored claimed to have received an email from Google Wallet’s Senior Vice President Sridhar Ramaswamy which can be viewed below
So while this email, if it really is from Google Wallet’s Senior Vice President, Sridhar Ramaswamy and Google Wallet’s payment team seem to be looking into Bitcoin for Google Wallet but there are no immediate plans for the online currency within Google’s current programs and software. However JasonBored apparently was also asked by Google’s Vice President of Payments to engage in a Google Moderator post titled “What would I want Google to do with Bitcoin”. So while for the time being anyway, it looks like Google has no plans to roll out anything to do with Bitcoin, but they do seem to be entertaining the idea about the virtual currency.
It looks like the Google Wallet Card has been officially released. The prepaid debit card lets Google Wallet users make payments with their Wallet balance at ATMs, banks, and any business that accepts MasterCard Debit. You can request your own card as long as you’ve verified your identity, and Google says it should arrive within 10 to 12 days. Shipping is free, and there are no activation fees to get started with the card. From there, the Google Wallet Card can be used for purchases both online and in physical stores just like any other debit card, and you’re also able to withdraw cash from ATMs nationwide.
Your Wallet security PIN doubles as the debit card’s PIN when buying things, and Google has set a maximum limit of spending per day to $5,000. The Google Wallet Card was rumored to arrive earlier this year, but reports say that the project was put on hold by CEO Larry Page.
Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information Images courtesy of The41st
Google is reportedly shutting down Google Checkout, the payment service that never really took off as it was always overshadowed by PayPal. In the next 6 months Google Checkout will be totally scrapped in favour of a sole focus on Google Wallet. The exact date for receiving (or sending) the last payment by Google Checkout is November 20th 2013.
Existing users of the Google Checkout service will be switched over to the Google Wallet service but this does not offer a true alternative in itself. This is because Google Wallet does not provide payment processing but a authentication and a front-end for buyers.
For merchants selling using Google Checkout, they are encouraged to switch to alternative payment processing methods like Braintree, Shopify and Freshbooks – all of which Google have arranged a special discount with for moving Google Checkout users.
For more information about what the Google Checkout closure could mean for you, see here.
Google has certainly been busy of late with a huge flurry of announcements made at its Google I/O press event. The latest feature which caught my eye was the fact Google are integrating their Google Wallet service into Google Mail. Essentially what this will allow is for people to send money to others via their Gmail.
Google is perhaps looking to get competitive with other electronic money sending services such as PayPal. Even PayPal doesn’t allow you to send money attached to an email so what Google is doing is certainly quite unique and innovative.
The new feature allows you to send money to anyone, including those without a Gmail account. You may be worrying about security but Google says it has that all covered with secure encrypted servers, fraud monitoring of transactions and Wallet Purchase Protection covers “eligible unauthorised transactions”.
If this system works and isn’t abused by email account hackers then I can see this really taking off. Although it is yet another thing that our smartphones can now do, which surely spells disaster if we ever lose it because their is money at stake. However, we should probably have faith that Google will honour its security promise of refunding unauthorised transactions.
What are your thoughts on Google Wallet and Gmail integration?