After the launch of Android Pay, Google decided to turn Google Wallet into a peer-to-peer payment service that connects with your debit or bank account and allows you to send cash to anyone in the US. But now, Google is removing the limitation that required anyone who receives money to have an email address - the latest update makes it possible to send funds to a person using just their phone number.
Sending money to someone this way means that they don’t need to give out their email details or even have Google Wallet installed on their smartphone. Recipients receive a text message with a secure link, which they can access at their convenience. Clicking on it will let them enter their debit card details to claim the money, which Google says will be transferred to their bank accounts “within minutes.”
Other than the usual “bug fixture and visual improvements,” the feature is the only new addition the update brings. The app has had a number of other updates in recent weeks, including improved contact suggestions (letting you see the people you send money to most often first), a security feature that locks the app with one tap, and the ability to add a second bank account.
Apple is also said to be looking at the possibility of creating a peer-to-peer mobile payments service that will somehow be integrated into iMessage, the company’s propriety messaging service. Unlike Google’s offering, however, Apple’s upcoming service will be tied to its contactless payment system, Apple Pay.
The Google Wallet update is available now for the Android and iOS apps. The new feature is only available in the US.