Google Wallet: An Easier Way To Send Money

Google announced an update to their Google Wallet service yesterday. Soon it will be quicker and easier to send money to anyone in their updated mobile wallet app.

Mobile apps make transferring money much easier, faster and less expensive than before. By using an app, the hassle of finding an ATM, bank, money transfer agency or even writing a check is totally eliminated. One of the first apps available with the ability to send money to a contact, Google Wallet, has been around since its inception in September 2011.

Want to send someone cash for a Christmas gift, birthday gift, a purchase or anything else but don’t have their email? No worries, it’s a cinch.

Previously, to send money through the Google app, you had to have the recipient’s email address, which could be fairly inconvenient. In addition, you both had to have an account with Google Wallet. With the new update, all you need to send someone money is their telephone number in your contact list.

Send Money By Text

In the new version, to transfer money to someone, simply select their phone number within the app. According to SiliconeAngle, a secure link will be sent to the recipient by SMS. A click on the link will connect to a secure web page. Entering their debit card account number and a few other items on this site will allow the money to be sent to their bank account in just a few short minutes.

You can get this nifty new feature by downloading the updated version. According to the Google Commerce Blog, a new version of the app will be available within a few days in the App Store or on Google Play. The iOS version will be available first with the Android version coming soon after. At this time, the new service is only available in the United States.

The Google Commerce site was excited about the announcement.

“We’re thrilled with the great feedback we’ve received on the new Google Wallet app, and we’re working hard to make the experience even better.”

“We’d love to hear more about what features you want to see in Google Wallet.”

Several updates to this app have already been released in the last few weeks. One is a security feature which allows a finger tap to lock the app. Another is the ability to see the folks you often send cash to at the top of your list, so you are not forced to scroll through all of your contacts. The ability to add a second bank account to your profile has also been added.

Another handy feature, added late last year, is called “settling up made simple.” Basically, it lets you split a bill with your friends. You can “pick any charge, add the people you want to split it with, choose how you want to divide it up, and they’ll receive a request for their share of the total,” reports Fast Company.

Google Wallet is Secure

Google has put security rules in place for their mobile app. If you lose your phone, or if it is stolen, you can immediately disable access through their website. Google Wallet Fraud Protection covers “100% of verified unauthorized Google Wallet transactions reported with 120 days of the transaction.” However, you do have to be a United States resident and have a U.S. Address to qualify for this protection.

In addition, your full card account numbers are never shown in the app, which is protected by a PIN number. Google does advise you to add another layer of security by securing your phone with a personal passcode.

You can download Google Wallet here.

[Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images]