December 16, 2016
By Jim Daly
Alphabet Inc.’s Google unit has updated its Google Wallet to enable the person-to-person payments service to work on desktop computers and laptops using any browser.
A screenshot of a Google Wallet transaction.
Google Wallet dates back to 2011 as a mobile-payments and P2P service, but in September 2015 Alphabet transferred the purchasing functionality to its Android Pay mobile wallet and converted Google Wallet into a narrowly focused P2P service for Android and iOS mobile devices. Wallet users could send money to anyone with a U.S. email address via MasterCard Inc.’s MasterCard Send platform.
Google earlier this year said it would discontinue a MasterCard debit card called Wallet Card to tap the Wallet balance for in-store purchases, and would add new features to the P2P service over the course of the year. Google highlighted some of those Thursday in a blog post.
In addition to email addresses, a user can now send money to a recipient’s phone number, and recipients “can quickly transfer the money to their bank account—all without installing an app,” the post says.
Users also can set a debit card or a bank account as a default payment method, and any funds received will go automatically into that account. “You can also request money on the Web and your friends can pay you back without leaving their browser,” according to the post.
Google’s email service, Gmail, also enables P2P payments.
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