Google Wallet has been transformed into a P2P payments app but its impact will be blunted by only working in the US.
The Android version of the refashioned app launched a few weeks ago and now Google has followed up with a version for Apple users.
The new Google Wallet enables users to send money to anyone in the US with an email address, even if the recipient does not have the Wallet app. Users can send funds directly from debit card, bank account or Wallet balance. Users can also cash out from Google Wallet directly to their debit card. The service is free.
However, the service does not enable money transfers outside the US. Similarly, Facebook launched a P2P payments service in the US but has yet to expand it internationally. Money transfer is viewed as a means to provide stickiness for existing subscribers, as well as attract interest in developing countries.
Users can order a physical Google Wallet card from inside the app. The card can be used to spend the balance on payments in stores, or withdraw it from an ATM.
Mobile point-of-sale payments have migrated from the wallet app to the recently launched Android Pay. Support for loyalty cards, gift cards and offers has been removed from the wallet app.