Google has integrated Google Wallet with Gmail to allow users to send funds as email attachments.
Gmail users will be able to send free payments from their Google Wallet balance or from their bank account, if it is linked to the mobile wallet, said Travis Green, product manager for Google Wallet, in a May 15 post to the Google Commerce blog. Those sending payments linked to a credit or debit card would have to pay a 2.9% fee.
Over the next few months, consumers 18 and older who use Gmail will start seeing a dollar sign appear on the emails they compose. If they are Google Wallet users, clicking on the icon will allow the user to establish a recipient and the amount of money being sent.
The receiver of the money does not have to have a Gmail account, Green says. The recipient clicks a "claim money" icon to have the funds placed in the recipient's Google Wallet account. The funds can then be moved to a linked bank account.
The feature will be available only through desktop computers, Green says. Google Wallet users can still send money and make payments through the wallet itself from smartphones or laptops.
Because Google is touting 425 million Gmail account holders, the search-engine giant is banking on the money transfer capabilities to encourage further use of the Google Wallet.
Google separately announced during its I/O event that it is adding a one-click checkout button for mobile websites that support Google Wallet payments.