BY MICHAEL SIMON
IF YOU’VE EVER been writing an email on your Android phone and wished there was a way to send or request money without switching to the Venmo, Square, or Google Wallet apps, your prayers have been answered. Rolling out today via a Play Store update, Google will now allow you to easily attach payments (go.pcworld.com/gmailpay) to Gmail messages.
While the feature has been available in the Gmail web client for several years, it’s new to the Android app. And it’s not limited to your contacts that have a Gmail address, nor do they need to have the Google Wallet app. As Google explains, “Recipients are able to receive IM or request money right from the email itself—without having to install another payment app. They can even arrange for money they receive to go directly into their bank account. Either way, it’s completely free for both of you.” To use the new feature, tap the paper clip icon as if you were attaching a file and you’ll see two new options: Send Money and Request Money. Tap the one you want and you can select an amount, payment source, and write a note, which will then attach to the body of your message. Then you can simply send your message as you normally would. On the receiving end, you’ll simply tap the Claim Money link and it will transfer the funds directly into your Google Wallet account. (If you don’t have an account, you’ll need to go through the sign-up process.) The feature is currently rolling to Android phones (go.pcworld.com/ gmailap) but is limited to the U.S. version of the Gmail app. There’s no word on when it will come to iOS or international users. If you haven’t gotten the new version yet, you can test it out by side-loading the Google signed APK from APK Mirror (go.pcworld.com/gmailapk).
You’ve got money! While this isn’t a problem that was begging for a solution, it’s certainly a feature we’ll use every now and again. And now we’ll have an easy way to pester all of the friends who owe us money.