Google has integrated its wallet service with Gmail so users can send money to other users within the email service, an initiative that could give a much-needed boost to its efforts in the payments market.
And the company has also announced Google Wallet Objects API which will enable developers to integrate loyalty, offers, memberships and season tickets into the wallet.
The Gmail service is currently only available from the desktop, although funds can be transferred from phone or laptop between wallet users, according to the Google Commerce blog.
Google will be hoping that adding the Gmail feature will drive popularity of the wallet (signing up is necessary to access the Gmail capability).
The Gmail service is free to send money from a user’s bank account but involves a “low fee” if a credit or debit card is involved.
Google did not say when the service will be available as a mobile service. The blog post was written by Travis Green, a product manager with Google Wallet.
The feature will be introduced over coming months to all US Gmail users over 18 years old. Money is sent as an attachment by clipping on a “$” symbol, entering the amount and then send.
In terms of Google Wallet Objects API, the change should enable users to save items such as loyalty cards directly to the wallet.
The company is currently staging its I/O developer conference (pictured). Announcements are expected later this week relating to Google Wallet.
One announcement not on the agenda for the developer event is a physical payments card, an idea that has been ditched, at least for the time being according to a leak last week.
Leveraging the popular Gmail service is a sign of how Google can pull up its efforts in mobile payments, a market where so far it has made only limited progress, by hitching it to a more popular service.