Google adds P2P payments option to Gmail Android app as it targets the growing mobile P2P money transfer market
Google adds P2P payments announcing that Gmail users in the US can now send and receive money via the Gmail app on their Android devices. The ability to send money via Gmail has been available since 2013, but only through the desktop version of Gmail.
To send money via the Gmail Android app, users simply tap on the attachment icon and choose whether they want to send or request money. Recipients can receive or request money from the email itself, or arrange for money to go directly into their bank account, without having to install another payment app. The transfer function is free, and recipients don’t have to have a Gmail account.
As Google adds P2P payments option to its Gmail Android app, it joins a crowded market. New dedicated P2P providers, social media platforms and technology companies have entered the mobile P2P transfer market at a rapid pace. Market leader Venmo leads the pack, processing $17.6 billion in P2P payments in 2016, a 135 percent increase from 2015.
Social media giants like Facebook and Snapchat have also entered the market, along with the world’s most recognized technology companies. Apple, for example, is now investigating how it could enable hundreds of millions of iPhone users to perform P2P payment transactions through its iMessage service.
Overall, with many new competitors entering the market supported by vast and well- established millennial user bases, banks have started feeling the pressure and begun to fight back. Nineteen banks, including Bank of America Corp, Capital One Financial Corp, JPMorgan Chase, US Bancorp and Wells Fargo have teamed up to make Zelle, a P2P payment feature that integrates into banking apps. Zelle lets users instantly send and receive P2P money transfers using the existing contacts on their mobile device, regardless of where they bank.