Google has updated its Wallet app for iOS to make it easier to send and receive money.
Popping up in Apple's App Store on Monday, Google Wallet version 10.16.10 allows you to send money to or receive it from anyone. You can send money to another person simply by using your recipient's email address. The other person doesn't need the Google Wallet app.
Further, you can spend the balance in your Google Wallet account without using the app. Instead, you can now get a Google Wallet debit card, which you can use to buy items at retail stores or take out money at an ATM. You can then transfer money from your Wallet account to that debit card or to a bank account and send money directly from either source.
Google Wallet was a type of precursor to such services as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay, all of which allow you to spend money directly from your smartphone. But Google Wallet may have been ahead of its time; it never really caught on among consumers, merchants or other necessary players. In May, Google unveiled Android Pay as a successor to Google Wallet. For now though,with the latest changes focused on more easily transferring money to and from individuals rather than paying for items at retailers.
The latest version also lets you split bills and other expenses with people so you can request the exact amount owed by each person. That would come in handy at a restaurant, for example, if you're dining with a group of people and you need to settle the bill among all of you.
The app also helps you keep track of transactions by adding a set amount to your Google Wallet balance. You can also cash out any or all money floating in your Wallet balance by transferring it to your debit card or bank account. Google said that the Wallet app comes with continuous fraud-monitoring and will cover all verified but unauthorized transactions.