While Google has shifted its focus to Android Pay for contactless payments, Google Wallet has needed to reinvent itself somewhat as a peer-to-peer payment system. With the latest update, it’s become a whole lot easier to send money to your friends, family and contacts.
From today, the updated app on both iOS and Android will let you send money to anyone on your contact list, even if you don’t have their email address. You can send money to them using their phone number, and it’s secure and fast.
When you send money to a phone number, the recipient gets a text message containing a secure link. Once they click on the link, they input their debit card details to claim the money and the funds are available in their bank account within a few minutes.
Before today, you could send money to contacts, but you could only do so by using an email address.
This is just one of several new features added to Google Wallet in recent weeks. It’s clear then that the company is working hard to make it a useful app, and one that isn’t made redundant by the arrival of Android Pay, or competitor payment systems like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or *coughs* Walmart Pay. Those improvements include:
- Improved contact suggestions, so you see the people you send money to most often first
- A security feature that lets you lock the Google Wallet app with the tap of a button
- The ability to link a second bank account
You can download the latest update for Android from the Play Store over the coming days. At time of writing, the latest version isn’t there yet, but it should land very soon.