In an upcoming update to the Google Wallet app for Android, Google will let you send money to anyone in your contacts list with a valid phone number. The new feature was announced on Google's Commerce Blog, and for now is US-only, which we have since confirmed with Google.
The new feature works by sending a secure link over SMS to the contact you select, which leads to a web page where your contact can enter their debit card details to claim the money. Google says, once transferred, funds should be available in the recipient's account "within minutes."
The new version of the Wallet app with this feature will be available in the coming days, and the Play Store listing for Wallet does show it was updated yesterday, but we've yet to get the APK for the new version. It will also be available for iOS within a similar amount of time.
The new Wallet app with SMS money transfers is now available - you can get it at the APK Mirror link below. Here is exactly how this feature works.
- You can send money to any US number via SMS message.
- The recipient must have and sign into a Google account to claim the money, which will then be placed in their Wallet balance.
- The recipient can then enter their debit card info on the spot to do a transfer or, if they have Wallet set up, put it directly into their linked bank account or debit card already associated with the account. You can do this 100% in the browser.
- Bonus: the Wallet app now has a toggle to auto-accept any funds you receive via SMS.
So, all speculation about not needing a Google account is unfortunately bunk, but it's still convenient if you're sending to someone who probably has a Google account but don't have that someone's email address.
- Google Wallet v12.0 - APK Mirror
- Google Commerce Blog