Sending money electronically isn't a new idea.
In fact, back in the year 2000 PayPal made it easy to send money electronically to anyone in the world with an email address. Since that time, lots of electronic payment processing companies have sprung up allowing people to send money digitally, including Google Wallet. Essentially, with Google Wallet you're able to attach money to an email the same way you would attach an image or a file.
As Google is of the world's biggest email provider, this can offer users a highly convenient way to transact. It also points to the ability for businesses to make very convenient digital payments to customers around the world. There is a transaction limit of $10,000 USD (approximately $10,820 AUD) per day. Any unauthorised transactions are also covered by Google Wallet Purchase Protection.
In order to send money through PayPal, users are required to first register a PayPal account. This is where Google strives to make sending money digitally a little easier. As long as you have a Gmail address, you're able to send money using the facility. You don't need to have a Gmail account to receive money – just an email address.
Mobile banking apps are becoming increasingly common among people with smartphones. The ability to log into your bank account and make payments via your mobile phone makes banking more streamlined and efficient for many people.
Google's own Android mobile platform comprises the vast majority of the market, with iPhone sitting at approximately 17% of the smartphone marketplace.
As more people move to using Android technology, Google has led the push for more mobile manufacturers to integrate Near Field Communication (NFC) technology into their phones and it's what makes it possible for Android users to wave their phone in front of a retail outlet's payment receiver to make payments for goods or services using money from their Google Wallet account, or a linked bank account.
This is great news for retailers, as they're able to improve the speed of the checkout process for customers buying online. Eventually, Google will also roll out the Android "Instant Buy" Application Programming Interface (API) to allow retailers to accept payments from Android users with the app installed.
Application Programming Interface (API). This specific how some software components are meant to interact with each other like a library that includes specifications for technical routines, data structures and variables.
Near Field Communication (NFC). A set of standard designed for smart phones to form a radio communication with another smartphone (or similar device) by touching or bringing them together. This includes features like contactless transactions, data exchange and Wi-Fi.
Integrated loyalty programs
Google is working hard to allow users to integrate some loyalty programs through their Google Wallets Objects API. Lots of partners have already begun integrating their rewards programs and loyalty programs with Google Wallets, including The Body Shop, Marriott Rewards, Alaska Airlines and BJs Restaurants, with plenty more to come.
Fees and charges
There is never a charge to receive money through a Google Wallet transaction. Fees are charged to the sender, based on the amount of money you send. If you choose to use a debit card or a credit card to make your payment, you'll pay a transaction fee of 2.9% of the transaction amount.
If you make a payment from existing funds in your Google Wallet account, or if you choose to link your bank account to your Google Wallet account, transactions are free.
Of course, Google Wallet isn't the only digital payment option available. Many small businesses have already been taking advantage of the Square Cash service to allow them to make payments digitally.
They're working hard to establish a similar digital payment process to Google Wallet, where it's possible to send payments to anyone with an email address. You are encouraged to link a debit card to your Square Cash account, so any payments made come out of your own funds.
Square Cash's fees are currently set at $0.50 cents per transaction for those sending money. There are no fees charged for receiving money through Square Cash email payments.