Among the announcements made at Google's I/O conference on Wednesday May 15 was the ability to send electronic money via email through Google Wallet.
No more need to mail a check to a friend. If you have their Gmail address, you can send them your share of the rent electronically. Both the payer and receiver will need a Google Wallet account for the feature to work. If your Google Wallet is linked to a bank account then the service is free. Otherwise, if linked to a credit or debit card, then Google will charge a fee. At this point money can only be emailed via desktop, however those on mobile devices can do so through wallet.google.com. According to Google, the feature will be available to all Gmail users in the U.S. who are over 18 years old over the coming months.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the feature was announced on the Google Commerce blog while Larry Page was taking questions. For the feature, a dollar sign is placed between where the Google Drive and photo icons are located. Enter an amount and the money will get transferred to whoever you are emailing.
Google Wallet hasn't had a large user base up to this point, struggling to do well on Android devices. The company did announce some new APIs which should allow developers to add additional Google Wallet functionality. These include the Instant Buy Android API and the Google Wallets Objects API.
Check out the video below released by Google that helps explain the new feature.