The arrival of Android Pay meant that Google Wallet‘s existence has become redundant. But rather than retire an already existing, not to mention already used, brand, Google decided to give Wallet a different raison d’etre. It has repurposed it to become a peer to peer money transfer platform, something that, to be honest, could have also been part of Android Pay anyway. Now Google is expanding its capabilities and ease of use even more by allowing people to send money to anyone who has a mobile phone number.
Not everyone has an email number and not everyone gives out theirs, even to friends. Chances are, however, you do have your friend’s phone number at the very least. In the past, Google required that recipients have an e-mail address. Now it is removing that limitation.
With the updated Google Wallet app, users can send anyone money using only their phone number. Recipients will get a text message with instructions, which basically involves entering their debit card account. Google promises that within minutes, the amount will be available in their bank account. You can bet it will also come with an invitation to join Google Wallet as well.
This new feature would seem to preempt Apple’s plans. The Cupertino-based tech company was said to also be planning to launch a P2P money transfer system that will leverage its iMessage platform. Unlike Google’s, however, it will be tied to Apple Pay as well.
The update to Google Wallet is available for both Android as well as iOS apps but the new functionality will, of course, be limited to particular markets, which basically means the US at this point.