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Google rolls out email payment service for UK Gmail users

Gmail has added a new feature to attach money to emails, allowing people to send payments to friends or family without having to get their bank account and sort code.

Users will need an active Google Wallet account to send and receive money, which can be distributed to a bank account. The receiver does not need to have an active Gmail account, as the payment will be attached to a Google Wallet link.

Similar to normal attachments, there will be a sign on the right of the email showing if there is a payment attached, either with a '$', '£' or '€' sign, depending on region.

Attaching money has been available in the U.S. for a few months and now the UK is finally getting its hands on the nifty feature. Currently Gmail is the only web mail service offering a payment solution.

Other services like Snapchat and Facebook also allow users to send payments to friends and family, but Gmail is a bit more of a formal solution, without having to use the traditional bank boundaries for sending money to another person.

Google has been looking for ways to integrate its Google Wallet service into other apps, following U.S. carriers actively blocking the service on mobile. Google is reportedly looking into acquiring SoftCard for £66 million, in order to get over the blocking hurdle.

The world of payments is starting to heat up again, after a few years of PayPal being the only way to send payments without using a bank account, there are now many competitors such as TransferWise (great for international money transfer), the recently announced Apple Pay (How do I use Apple Pay?)

The development of private banks in China could bring more economic funding for private banks in the U.S. and Europe, allowing Google, Facebook and other entities to offer loans and credit.

If you have yet to sign up for a Gmail account (also known as Google Mail) - head to the Gmail sign up page here. This will not only give you a Gmail account to easily send and receive email, but access to all other Google accounts such as YouTube, Google Maps, Google Play, Google+, Google Chrome and personalised Google Search.