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Updated Google Wallet enables money transfer by email

Google on Wednesday made a flurry of announcements at its I/O developer conference, from a revamped version of Google Maps to a new, subscription-based music service. But the search giant also unveiled a number of updates to Google Wallet, from the ability to make payments via email to support for more loyalty cards.

Google Wallet is now integrated with Gmail. Those who have linked Google Wallet to their bank account or who have a Google Wallet balance can send money with the click of a mouse through Google's email service. Recipients don't have to be on Gmail, but they do have to have a Google Wallet account.

To get started, Google had added a dollar-sign icon to its row of options in Gmail (above). Just enter the desired amount and hit send.

It's free to send funds from a bank account or Google Wallet balance, but those who use a linked debit or credit card must pay a flat fee of 2.9 percent.

At this point, sending money via Gmail is only available via the desktop, but those on mobile can do so via Google said it will be rolling the feature out to all US Gmail users over 18 years old in the coming months. It'll also pop up earlier if someone sends you money.

Meanwhile, Google also unveiled some new APIs that will allow developers to add Google Wallet functionality to their apps.

The Instant Buy Android API, for example, is intended to speed up purchases made on Android. "The Instant Buy API is designed for merchants and developers selling physical goods and services, who already have a payment processor and are looking to simplify the checkout experience for their customers," Google said.

The Google Wallets Objects API will allow more developers to connect their loyalty programs to Google Wallet. "Integrate your loyalty programs, offers and more into Google Wallet. Users can save these items directly to their Google Wallet for easy use," Google said.