Gmail users will soon see a dollar-sign icon among Gmail attachment options. Just hover over the attachment paperclip, click the $ icon to attach money, enter the amount and press send.
Users will need to have a Google Wallet to send and receive money, and Google Wallet Purchase Protection covers them 100% against eligible unauthorized payments, says Google Wallet's Product Manager Travis Green in its official blog, May 15.
Google is rolling out the feature over the coming months to all U.S. Gmail users over 18 years old, and initially will only be available on desktop computers.
"It’s free to send money from your Google Wallet Balance or directly from your bank account. You can also pay with your credit and debit cards for a low fee of 2.9% per transaction (minimum $0.30). Receiving money is always free," says Google Wallet.
Google Wallet has been working since May 26, 2011 with more than 300,000 MasterCard PayPass merchant locations, as a mobile payment system that allows its users to store debit cards, credit cards, loyalty cards, and gift cards among other things, as well as redeeming sales promotions on their mobile phone. Google Wallet uses near field communication (NFC) to make secure payments fast and convenient by simply tapping the phone on any PayPass-enabled terminal at checkout. Visa joined the system later on September 20, 2011, known as Visa payWave.
Google Wallet has not yet gone mainstream, says Mashable, because of consumer resistance to mobile-based transactions and lack of retail deployment. As with Google+ though, Google is using its huge Gmail footprint to help further the technology's acceptance.