UK Google users can now transfer money through Gmail
- 2nd February 2015
- Innovation & Technology
Gmail users in the UK will soon be able to attach money to an email to transfer funds.
Soon to be rolled out across the UK will be the Send Money in Gmail feature that will allow those with Gmail accounts to attach funds to emails and transfer it with a simple click of the button. It will work even if the recipient doesn’t have a Gmail account; you just need to link your debit card or bank account to Google Wallet.
Whether you’re reimbursing your friend for drinks down the pub, or chipping in for your share of the utilities, sending money will be made even easier when this free service comes to users over the next few weeks.
The service had already been launched in the US and was planned for a global launch, however, we can’t help but notice the timeliness of this announcement as Apple recently let slip the wider launch of Apple Pay is imminent.
Battle to become lead mobile wallet is heating up
It’s the latest foray into the payments market from an online giant, as other recent attempts to break into this sector includes Snapchat’s Snapcash and Twitter’s partnering with the French bank BPCE in order to transfer money over the social network. Not to mention, the failed attempt from Amazon, where the online retailer announced it was pulling the plug on its mobile payments app a mere six months after it was launched.
The mobile payments battle is hotting up and while Google has yet to confirm whether or not they intend to launch a point-of-sale (POS) service, this move could be preparing the UK market for a Google Wallet-based method to pay at the till. Since there are many more Gmail users than Google Wallet users in the UK, at the very least this will increase the number of people that actively use Google’s mobile wallet service.
Bigger tech firms look to acquire smaller innovative firms
It seems Google is getting serious about the mobile wallet race - which Apple has taken the lead in - as it has already been in talks this year to buy the mobile wallet group, Softcard. The stimulus for this drive for the broader adoption of mobile payments all started with the launch of Apple Pay, which allows iPhone 6 users to pay for items with their smartphone.
Since the creation of Google Wallet back in 2011, a vast number of varied mobile finance startups have emerged, some of which are now being eyed as potential investments by the larger corporations due to their innovations that could be easily absorbed by the larger tech companies. These smaller firms include the likes of: Venmo - targeted at smaller payments; Mozido - for linking prepaid MasterCards with mobile wallets; Dwolla - cheap money transfers; and Paydiant - a rival of Apple Pay.
Retailers will benefit most
While the ability for consumers to purchase items with their phones will be a huge convenience, it’s merchants of all types who stand to benefit the most. If mobile wallets became commonplace then all retailers would likely see a reduction in costs and a potential growth in revenue.
“[Reduced costs] may be accomplished by lowering fraud loss and/or payment processing fees — the latter of which is often cited by merchants as the biggest expense after labour,” said Michelle Evans, senior consumer finance analyst at Euromonitor International.
“In addition, mobile wallets may be able to move more consumers through the line more efficiently and thus drive revenues,” she added.
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