Although people say Google is out to dominate the world (and that may very well be their hidden agenda) but in practice they have been making our life a bit easier with every new innovation. First they made search really good, easy and free. Then they gave us (almost) spam free email. They also gave us MS Office functionality in the cloud for free. Now they are making sending money a whole lot easier - just a click of a button - like an attachment in a email.
Google wallet has been around for a while. However selected Gmail users may have noticed a dollar sign on their Gmail message window. This appears to be a wider rollout of Google Wallet. Google Wallet is a mobile payment system and comes with an optional Google Wallet card (a physical MasterCard). While Google Wallet has been around for some time (since 2011) and there has been some level of integration between Google Wallet and Gmail since 2013, what is cool now is a broader push for integration for all Gmail/Google Wallet users. This integration could give Google Wallet a significant edge over Paypal and other services.
Sometime between yesterday and today, and without any formal announcement, Google rolled out this integrated feature to many more, but not all Gmail users. Many of the users for whom the feature was rolled out already have Google Wallet. The new terms of service for Google Wallet are dated March 27, 2014. A Gmail alert warns you that the transaction will not be initiated "until you send this email". It also cautions the user that "the recipient must be a US resident and must have (or sign up for) Google Wallet". While payments from Bank accounts are free, with a credit or debit card, you can "send money with a 2.9% fee with a 30 cent minimum". (Note to Paypal: pricing structures *can* be easy)
Prior announcements from Google indicated that the rollout would take place over the next 18 months. See screenshots for what the new Google Wallet icon looks like in Gmail and check out whether you are one of the lucky few who have it.