Square launches e-mail cash transfers; Google shutters CheckOut

Square launches e-mail cash transfers; Google shutters CheckOut

Square is to move into PayPal's core territory with the invitation-only launch of a P2P email cash transfer service, dubbed Square Cash.

Users can send cash by registering their debit card with Square, sending an e-mail with the recipient's name in the "To" field, and CC'ing pay@square.com. The dollar amount goes in the subject line. It costs 50 cents a transaction to send money, but nothing to receive. Recipients must also link their debit card to get clear funds within 48 hours.

Square's push into e-mail funds transfers comes just a week after Google announced a similar feature for users of its popular Gmail service.

The search engine giant also launched two new APIs for its Google Wallet platform to simplify the online shopping experience for consumers, effectively sounding the death knell for Google CheckOut, the Web-based payment system it launched seven years ago.

In a statement, Google says it will shut down CheckOut in six months time "as we transition to Google Wallet".

The company says it has partnered with Braintree, Shopify and Freshbooks to offer merchants who do not have an account with an alternative payments processor discounted migration options. Those who do have payment processing are invited to apply for Google Wallet Instant Buy, which offers a fast buying experience to Google Wallet shoppers.

In shuttering CheckOut, Google is moving away from its long-standing ambition to stand as the middle man between merchants and consumers and leaving the field open to PayPal, Amazon and a host of other ambitious start-ups looking to disrupt the traditional payments chain.

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