Makes use of Gmail service to rapidly grow
Last year we reported on Google’s quiet launch of a Gmail service that allowed users to send and receive money between one another using Google Wallet.This seemed to be a somewhat perplexing move, despite the fact that it was actually just another handy feature for Google Wallet users. After all, back then only Google Wallet users, or those who had been sent money, could make use of the service.
However, that’s all changed now thanks to a new update to the Gmail platform that enables all Gmail users to make the most of Google Wallet’s services.
It’s a gradual roll out for now – after all, could you imagine enabling such a service instantly to every Gmail user in the world? But it’s also the smartest move Google has ever done for Google Wallet.
In fact, in doing so, it’s become one of the largest money payments and transfer services around, with 425 million users ready and rearing to use the service. Granted, they have to activate Google Wallet to do so, but it’d done using their Gmail details so they just need to enter in their card details to participate.
If even a quarter of users made use of Google’s email money system, then it would become a serious rival to PayPal with it’s 110 million “active” users. If nearly every Gmail user made the most of Google Wallet’s offering, it’d push user numbers higher than that of payment-disruptor Square. Google has clout, and it looks like it’s just discovered how to make the most of it for Google Wallet.
of course, this doesn’t mean that more people will actually be accepting Wallet. But these increased numbers would make it a far more alluring prospect.
Still, Google doesn’t really care if people make use of its email money transfer system. That’s just a way to hook in new users and attain payments details to help grow the number of people who use the Wallet service. In reality it just wants to catch up to Apple’s gargantuan entrenched user base. It’s perplexing that Apple hasn’t moved into payments yet, but Google wants to make sure it can put up a fight when the inevitable actually does happen.
But should the likes of PayPal worry about this sudden expansion of Google’s user base? After all, Gmail users are also fairly receptive to Google’s own update emails, so when it’s finally fully rolled out, most Gmail or Android users will know that this feature exists.
Could this be Google’s ace in the hole?