Google Wallet Lets You Send Payments Through Gmail
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
All eyes were on Google yesterday as they kicked off their 2013 I/O developers conference in San Francisco. While earlier reports claimed this conference would be slow on announcements, Google spent the day discussing updates to existing products like search and Wallet.
Google search will now include improved versions of Knowledge Graph and Google Now, as well as voice activated controls. As an extension of Google Now, this new search can use your Gmail inbox to find the best results. In addition to better search, Google also announced Google Wallet integration with Gmail. Now users can not only attach files to their email, they can also attach payments, even if the recipient doesn´t have a Gmail address. This process is free if the sender has their Google Wallet account linked to their bank account. Google Wallet has also been upgraded with Instant Buy APIs and Wallet Objects APIs which allow developers to build loyalty cards, boarding passes and the like.
For Google Wallet users, attaching a payment in Gmail is as easy as clicking the dollar sign in the new mail window, entering the amount, and clicking send. The sender will then receive a confirmation email immediately after.
“We’re rolling out this feature over the coming months to all US Gmail users over 18 years old, so keep an eye out for the $ icon in the attachment options,” writes Travis Green, a product manager for Google Wallet in a blog post. “You can also get earlier access if your friends have the feature and send money to you.”
Though the recipient isn´t required to have a Gmail address, they will be asked to either sign into their Google Wallet account or sign up for one to receive their money. Right now only laptops in the US are capable of sending money via Gmail and Google Wallet.
Google also aims to make the exchanging of money even easier with their new Wallet APIs. Their Instant Buy API, for instance, can be baked into native Android apps to process payments with just two taps.
“The Instant Buy API is designed for merchants and developers selling physical goods and services, who already have a payment processor and are looking to simplify the checkout experience for their customers,” writes Prakash Hariramani, a senior product manager with Google Wallet in a separate blog post.
These new APIs will make buying things online even easier for those with Google Wallet accounts. In an introductory video, a user is shown buying airline tickets with just two taps. The user´s information is verified with Google Wallet, meaning they only need to confirm the purchase before it´s pushed through.
Earlier it had been rumored that Google planned to go even farther with their Wallet offerings by announcing a tangible plastic Wallet card. This card would be linked with a Google Wallet account and essentially work as a credit card anywhere MasterCard is accepted.
According to ReadWrite.com, this product had issues leading up to the I/O conference.