Sending money electronically isn't a new idea.
Google Wallet is currently available in Australia for Android and iOS devices. Back in the year 2000, PayPal made it easy to send money electronically to anyone in the world with just an email address. A lot more electronic payment systems have been created since then, including Google Wallet which lets you attach money to an email as easily as you would an image or a file.
With Google being the world's biggest email provider, this is an entirely new way to transact. It also gives businesses a new way reach their customers around the world, and make exceptionally convenient digital payments as needed. There is a transaction limit of $10,000 USD per day for bank transfers, and $2,500 per transaction with debit card transfers. Any unauthorised transactions can also be 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's scale gives them an edge. As long as you have a Gmail address you're able to send money through Google Wallet, and the recipient doesn't need a Gmail account at all – any email address will do.
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 is streamlining banking and making everyday transactions that much more efficient.
Google's own Android mobile platform comprises the vast majority of the market, with iPhone and other devices taking a smaller share.
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. This is 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.
Retailers are taking full advantage, and have been using it to improve their checkout speeds offline. To further help merchants, Google has also rolled out the Android "Instant Buy" Application Programming Interface (API) which lets retailers transact with customers who use Google Wallet, while keeping information secure in a cloud-based format and further streamline their own processes.
Application Programming Interface (API). This specifies how different software components are meant to interact with each other, like a library of technical specifications. Having this available means more people can start using The Android Instant Buy API to interact with Google Wallet.
Near Field Communication (NFC). A way for smartphones and similar devices to transfer information wirelessly, simply by bringing them near to each other.
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 and loyalty programs, including The Body Shop, Marriott, and a number of Airlines, restaurants and more.
Fees and charges
There is never a charge to receive money through a Google Wallet transaction. Instead, fees are charged to the sender based on sum and type of transaction.
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 are also taking advantage of the Square Cash service for their digital payment needs.
Square Cash works a lot like Google Wallet, making it possible to send payments to anyone with an email address, from linked bank accounts or cards.
Square Cash's charges fees for some transactions, but lets you send money to friends and family without fees.