Gmail app update makes sending money as easy as attaching a photo

Google has announced Gmail users can now freely send and request money from contacts directly from the Android app.

The new functionality, which leverages payment methods already tied to Google Wallet, can be as easy as sending an email attachment.

The feature is only available in the US for now, but can be even be used to send money to people without Gmail accounts.

All users need to do is click on the attachment icon and select Send Money. They’ll then be able to choose an amount and hit Done. The amount will appear as an attachment within the email.

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Recipients will be able to claim the cash directly from the email received when the money is sent, which means there’s no need for them to install an additional app. There’s no cost for either user.

In a blog post on Tuesday, the Gmail team wrote: “You can already reliably and safely share photos and files on the go with Gmail. Starting today, you can share money, too.

“Whether you’re splitting a dinner bill or planning a group trip, you now have a fee-free way to work out the details and settle up without ever leaving the Gmail app on Android.”

The functionality is already available via Gmail.com, but there’s no news on the rollout for the iOS Gmail app or an international expansion yet.

Which apps and services do you use to quickly split dinner bills or settle debts? Share your favourites below.