After Wallet was replaced by Android Pay as Google’s mobile payment framework, it remained as the company’s platform to send money to people.
Up until now, Google Wallet required an email address to send money to a contact, but now an update lets you do it through text message. Anyone in your contact list with a phone number can receive a text message with a secure link. All the recipient has to do is enter their debit card to claim the money and they’ll see it added to their bank account almost instantly.
Peer-to-peer mobile payments is already a crowded market, with the likes of Venmo, Snapcash, Paypal.Me, and even Facebook Messenger offering similar services. Google Wallet has been around for a while, and the new text integration will certainly make it easier for people to send money to their contacts.
It’s unclear how secure the link is and for how long the link will remain active. We’ve reached out to Google for comment and will update this post when we hear back.
Recently, Google Wallet added improved contact suggestions, showing you contacts you often send money to first; a feature that lets you lock the app with a tap of a button; and the option to add a second bank account. The company brought its peer-to-peer mobile payments service to iOS in September.
Hopefully the company’s branding change doesn’t confuse too many people with Android Pay, and perhaps the ability to send money through texts may push more people to favor Google Wallet over other services.