17
May
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A few days ago Google announced this crazy new feature that allows you to attach actual money to Gmail messages. We've discovered the feature is actually up and running, you just have to be invited!

To get invited, someone just has to send you some amount of money over Gmail - a penny will do fine. So, find someone who has access to it, give them your email, receive a penny, and you're in!

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If you happen to find someone who has access, and they send you a penny, you'll get an email like this. Clicking on "claim money" will take you to the special wallet site that gives you access.

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Non-US users (or people that Wallet just doesn't like for some reason) will see this screen, and be prompted for a social security number. Good luck tricking that.

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Once you get access, you'll have the option to link a bank account. You can choose to not send money with you bank account and use a credit card instead, but, after the promotional period, there will be fees for that. Transferring money from a bank account is free! Here's the full fee details:

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So after seeing that, a bank account sounds like a good idea. Let's do that.

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You'll need the usual routing and account numbers, and you're off.

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Then you'll need to wait a few days for the bank account verification to happen, but during that time you can take advantage of promotional fee-free credit card usage.

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Within the next 30 minutes, you should be fully enrolled in the program, and buttons will pop up in Gmail and on wallet.google.com. Gmail is super easy, just attach money like it's a file or picture, and hit send!

Right now, you can only do this through the web site. It's not supported by the Gmail or Wallet Android apps, though, a million years ago, I did find evidence of P2P money transfers in the Wallet app. Hopefully this rolls out to both of them soon. Until then, just bask in the amazingness that is Gmail money transfers.

Welcome to the future! PayPal should be worried.

Thanks to Craig Tumblison for the info (and my invite!)

Ron Amadeo
Ron loves everything related to technology, design, and Google. He always wants to talk about "the big picture" and what's next for Android, and he's not afraid to get knee-deep in an APK for some details. Expect a good eye for detail, lots of research, and some lamenting about how something isn't designed well enough.
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