In the latest update to Google Wallet, you now have the ability to send money to friends and family via their email address or SMS. The update, which is in the Google Play Store and rolling out now, adds a key functionality to the app which by-and-large was replaced by Android Pay back in September. Wallet is now more focused on sending and receiving funds from individuals while Android Pay is focused on the retail point of purchase.
The update to Google Wallet is version 12.0 for those keeping score at home and is designed for Android phones. Prior to this update, the person you were sending funds to had to have an email address. You can still send funds that way if you want but if you only have someone’s mobile number, you can simply send them the funds to that number.
Google Wallet Sending SMS Funds Only Works In The US
If there is one thing that may not make some users happy is the new SMS fund sending only works in the United States at the moment. There is no indication when or if this ability will go past the
US borders but hopefully it will hit other countries in 2016. Also, in order to send funds, you have to have a bank account or debit card associated with your Google Wallet. You cannot send funds from a credit card. This isn’t unique to Wallet but something that you should keep in mind if you are setting things up for the first time.
Here are the mechanics of how the SMS funding works.
- Whoever you are sending to has to have a US number that you can receive a SMS message
- The person you are sending fund to mush have a Google collect the funds which will then be put into there Google Wallet balance
- The person who received the funds can enter their debit card information to do a transfer to their account or if they have a Wallet account, they can link their debit card or bank account associated with the Wallet.
- The person receiving the funds can do everything they need to do via the web. They do not have to have an Android phone or the app.
The ability to send funds via SMS in Wallet is certainly an alternative to other services like PayPal. If you need to setup an account to send or receive funds, you can go to http://wallet.google.com to get going.