Google is wading back into the crowded P2P payments arena, adding a feature to its Gmail Android app that makes sending friends funds as easy as attaching a file to an email.
Google first began letting US users send and receive money through Gmail on desktop back in 2013 but is only now bringing the feature to the Android (but not iOS) app.
US users simply link a card and then tap on the attachment icon and pick whether to send or request money. Recipients do not need a Gmail account and can have the money routed directly to their bank accounts.
The service is free to the tens of millions of US Gmail account holders, although it remains to be seen whether this is enough to help it gain momentum in a fast growing market dominated by PayPal’s Venmo and including Square Cash and bank-backed Zelle.