Gmail integrated Google Wallet lets you send money right away to scammers
Email attachments have been limited to files for as long as they have existed. This changes soon with Google's announcement that it will integrate the company's own Google Wallet payment service right into Gmail. The idea here is to attach money using Google Wallet to an email to make payments right away from the interface.
Update: The option to send and receive money with Gmail is still available. It is now available to users from the US and UK, and requires Google Pay, Google's current payment system.
Why would Google introduce something like that to Gmail? To push Google Wallet to a larger audience of course. That's the same strategy that worked when it started to plaster all of its properties with Google Chrome ads and Google+ links.
What about the user? While it is certainly comfortable to send money from within an email, it is not such a big step forward as many seem to think it is.
First of all, it is necessary that both parties have a Google Wallet account. The recipient does not need to have one right away, but to claim the money, an account is needed.
Then, adding a send money option to an email program can certainly be problematic. Think of all those phishing and scam emails that ask you for a small payment so that you can receive millions or even billions in return. We all know that those are scam, but there still seem to be some that never heard of Nigerian scams before, or any other form of scam for that matter. While Nigerians scammers can't use it right now, due to the US-only limitations, it may open the door for scams even further than before.
Gmail and Google Wallet Facts
- The feature will be rolled out to all Gmail users from the United States over the coming months that are 18 years or older.
- The only way to get access to the feature early is when friends send you money using the feature.
- Money that is not claimed after 14 days will be returned to the sender.
- The money will appear automatically in existing Google Wallet balances after you have claimed it.
- You can only send money inside the United States.
- The daily transfer limit is $10,000 and $50,000 per 5 day period. This includes money sent and money transferred in and out of your Google Wallet Balance.
- Sending money from a bank account or your Google Wallet balance is free. If you send money using a credit card, you pay a fee of 2.9% per transaction (minimum $0.30).
- You can transfer money you receive to your bank account, or spend it online. To add a bank account, you do need to verify your Google account.
I'm not saying it is all bad as I can see its practical use as well. Say you are planning a weekend trip with a couple of friends. To collect the money, you may use the send money feature which can be useful if you are all using Gmail anyway to communicate with each other.Â If someone uses another provider, things get complicated quickly though.
If you are using Gmail's web interface, are from the US and have a Google Wallet account, it may open up new possibilities for you, especially if you do not use Google Wallet on your phone.Advertisement