Google has added a new peer-to-peer payment feature to its Gmail Android app, marking its return to the competitive P2P space.
The service will now allow users of the Gmail Android app to send and receive money once a card is linked to the account.
The new feature will not be active on the iOS version of the app at present, but for US Gmail account holders the service will be free to use. The in-app service will allow you to send money to people even if they are not Gmail app users.
Google has some history in the P2P market, in September 2015, the Google Wallet had a re-launch in which it was rebranded as an app exclusively for P2P payments.
Google has offered desktop users of Gmail the ability to send and receive money since 2013, but upon return to the P2P space, there is stiff competition.
Paypal’s Venmo is a top contender payment platform in the space, which can also be used via a mobile app. This service stores received money as the “Venmo balance”, from which point the funds can be transferred at any time.
TransferWise is another prominent name; the platform allows global transactions to be undertaken while at the same time being a cost-effective option of international money transfer compared to other traditional means.
Facebook has even branched out into the P2P payment world after introducing a system within Facebook messenger that uses machine learning to initiate peer-to-peer payments. With the integration of this service, theoretically it is available to 1 billion users of the app, backing the initiative with an existing user base.
With social media and other platforms integrating P2P capabilities within their existing services, pressure on banks is increasing sharply in an area that they traditionally dominated.