Google puts another nail in cash's coffin

The company rolls out a way to send money to people as an attachment to an email message.

By Kim Peterson May 16, 2013 2:53PM
Image: Shredding money (© RubberBall/SuperStock)Say you want to repay a friend for your concert ticket. Or give your roommate half the rent money. Even in this electronic age, most of us handle these transactions the old-fashioned way, by handing over a check or cash.

Shouldn't we just be able to push a button instead?

Financial companies have pursued this type of electronic money transfer for years. PayPal by eBay (EBAY) has probably been the most successful, but even that requires some jumping through hoops. Now Google (GOOG) is giving it a whirl by letting you send money as an attachment to an email message.

Google is integrating its financial service, Google Wallet, into Gmail. So over the coming months, Gmail users in the U.S. will see a dollar sign appear in their email attachment options. Clicking that dollar sign brings up a box to enter how much money you want to send someone. Both sender and receiver must have a Google Wallet account.

Google is smartly making this service free for people who have linked their bank accounts to the service or who have money in their Google Wallet accounts. If you want to pay people using a credit or debit card, you'll have to pay a fee of 2.9%. (Read more about it here.)

Google's ultimate goal here is to get more people using its Google Wallet service. Already people can use the service to store their credit and debit cards, buy things online and pay at the register at stores that have signed on to the program.

Google Wallet is a direct competitor to PayPal and offerings from Bank of America (BAC) and other banks.

Google has named its service Wallet for a very good reason. It wants to completely replace your wallet and handle every transaction, whether it's online or in person. It wants grandparents to tell stories about those papers called "dollar bills" that people once used.

Sending payments via email is another way Google's trying to banish cash.

More on moneyNow

May 17, 2013 9:03AM
The One World Order is getting closer and closer
May 16, 2013 4:32PM
No Thank You. The writer is overly optimistic.
May 16, 2013 3:41PM
Divest GOOGLE before it starts deciding who should breathe and who shouldn't. What do we need omnipresent technology for?
May 16, 2013 5:13PM
Coffins? Not only is cash still King, its making a big comeback. Invest in mattresses  
May 16, 2013 10:15PM
Yea, there is no way that will ever be hacked. A fool and his money are soon departed...
May 17, 2013 11:24AM
Microsoft tried this back in the 90's and got ordered by the courts that no way, privacy concerns take precedence and they had to drop their online wallet. Now Google gets away with it. Of course they won't sell your buying habits to direct markets like microsoft would, yeah right! Feel free to pay 2.9% fee for the spam that will fill your mailbox.
May 17, 2013 11:14AM
I think at some point msn will permanently disable this comment board and that will be it_________
May 16, 2013 3:55PM
Wal-Mart said they were for the customers? Bull cookies its always been about the dollar since old man Walton died.   There were not cigarettes or guns  or alcohol until he past.   The kids and those running the business are greedy .   Wal-Mart has hit the wall and are in a self destruct mode, empty shelves and fewer employees.   There time is coming slowly but surely.
May 17, 2013 8:20AM
2.9 % percent fee to pay someone??
[expletive] THAT !!
If a business doesn't accept cash, they don't get my business !!

May 21, 2013 8:18PM
If I want to send money to friends, family, etc. I'll send them my personal check. If they don't like it, then I won't send them any money. Period.
May 17, 2013 8:57PM

PayPal has a service identical to this and its been around for years. I personally haven't used cash in months. But the service charge is only waivered if both the recipient and the sender has Google wallet.


This is going to be just as useful as PayPal....more like just as worthless.


We don't care if its 1%, the fact were being charged for it makes us pay with cash instead. Not everyone will have Google wallet and were still going to be using cash.

May 17, 2013 9:24AM
2.9 to send money to someone is not bad.   If you don't believe that just try to use Moneygram to send money and see the fees they charge.   
May 16, 2013 5:29PM
I finally have a reason to actually use email again on my own personal time. Sooner or later Google will figure out how to text someone the funds. Of course you know the next question- When can we just use Facebook and Twitter for all our banking needs?
May 16, 2013 5:14PM
This is actually a really cool idea, to be honest i don't use internet banking myself, but for the people that do it makes it so much simpler to send money transactions to friends, family and colleagues.
May 16, 2013 4:21PM
My company will be using this feature on day one.
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