Google has been trying to get its electronic payment service, Google Wallet, off the ground for years now, but as the months dragged on Wallet was getting about as much traction as its sister service Google Plus. That all might change with Wallet's latest development, introduced today in the video above. If Google has its way, you'll soon be able to send and receive money via your Gmail account in the length of time it takes to send any other email.
Beginning in the coming months, Gmail users who are 18 or older will be able to use Google Wallet to attach a money transfer to their emails. Transactions from bank accounts are free, while transactions with debit or credit cards will be charged a 2.9 percent fee. The person receiving the cash won't have to have a Gmail account, though they will have to sign up for Google Wallet to accept the transfer. And if the thought of sending lots of money via email creeps you out, "Google Wallet Purchase Protection" will cover "100% of all eligible unauthorized transactions reported within 180 days of purchase."
If this takes off, it seems like it could be the death knell of electronic payment giant PayPal. According to PayPal's own numbers, it has 110 million active user accounts. Gmail's user base—425 million active accounts as of June of last year—dwarfs that.