Google Digs The Conga!

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Update #2, 06/09:

You probably have realized by now that Google has clamped down and ended the free processing without limits.  I do wish that the $250 was a free monthly limit where consumers would be able to make micro-payments to their friends free of charge (similar to Amazon Payments though far more convenient as you don’t have to leave your inbox) but the $250 is just a one-time limit on an account. At any rate, via Google’s own Peter Hazlehurst who has continued to keep us in the loop:

Hi folks,

As you may have noticed, we’ve had to introduce the fees a bit sooner than we expected because it became a little crazy what some people were trying to do.

We are letting users send up to $250 *cumulatively* on the system with card fees, and you can always send from a bank account for free. This way we can let a lot of new users into the system, get a feel for things and then if they are happy with it, link a bank account…

Thanks all, and sorry we had to turn on the fees. We didn’t really have a choice.


Update #1, 05/28: Peter has responded to everyone’s questions and has revealed his DDF username (phazlehurst) in case you need to contact him via private message (I sure hope he doesn’t get hundreds of requests for a penny like I got over the past week :D)
In short he says:
1. Please do use Google Wallet and send money to friends and family for legitimate reasons, but don’t do it to just generate miles or you will be warned and then you will have your Wallet capabilities deactivated.
2. Watching people line up conga style is so much more fun then just rolling out Google Wallet to everyone 🙂
3. He seems happy to entertain feedback and provide more answers, so go ahead and ask away in the comments!

As far as the naysayers go about this being a fake, Whois (among other factors including his DDF username info and his refreshingly honest answers) prove this that Peter is legit:



Originally posted on 05/27:

A week ago I wrote about Google Wallet and launched a temporary Conga board on the DansDeals Forums where people could get in line to receive a penny from another member and thus activate their ability to send money from their credit card to others via Gmail or Google Wallet for free.

Hundreds of new members signed up for the DansDeals Forums just to join the conga, which created some tension among longtime forum users who were also trying to get a penny.

A commenter even noted that he was able to pay off the $15K owed on his car with no fees after getting the green light to do so from both the Google Wallet team and from AMEX. Wow!

But it was this message that I was sent via DDF that really surprised me.

re: The Conga


Was amazed to see this going. It is really cool to see users enjoying our products. Thanks for getting so many users of our Pay By Gmail product.

Love any feedback you and folks on DansDeals have on things we can do to improve it.


Peter Hazlehurst
Director of Product Management, Google Wallet


We caused a big enough blip to catch even Google’s attention!  If you have any feedback you can leave it as a comment and I’ll be happy to pass it along.

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104 Comments On "Google Digs The Conga!"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


Hi Google Wallet,
1) Can you clarify how much $ I can send without being flagged, stopped, closed down?
2) Until when will you be running this promotion


Wow!! Awesome!! Maybe tell them that without this penny thing more ppl would sign up…..


Congrats! Dan you are the best. I don’t really think Google is that happy with you since all we care about on this site is the points!


“Love any feedback you and folks on DansDeals have on things we can do to improve it.”

Keep it free 🙂

chana k



Than why do they send warning emails not to use it to rack up miles and points?
They know why people on DDF signed up for it…
Dan, I think someone with a fake Google title sent you this.
Someone is making fun of you.


who said its legit anyone could have posted just that ?

if its real awesome for you


Obviously they monitor people sending money back and forth and will ban them. There isn’t a limit for that.

And I doubt even they know how long the promo will run for, they want to see it take off and then they will likely start charging.

They will get rid of the penny thing soon enough, they need to have it tested on a smaller scale before releasing it publicly.

Google wants to see the technology adopted.
They don’t want to be scammed, but they do want people to use it and test it out for what it’s intended for.

We wish!

It’s intended for people to pay bills, share a restaurant meal, etc.
If you’re just sending money back and forth they’ll stop you.

And I wasn’t born yesterday. Before making a post like this I check into it.
I can say with 100% confidence that it sent from within the Google main campus building thanks to the IP footprint left behind.

It’s definitely legit.




They should not make a problem to clear the funds


If they love our feedback, maybe you can suggest they expedite their verification process.
My spouse’s account has been suspended pending verification, and I already sent in documentation six days ago.


Did Peter Hazlehurst participate in The Conga?
To how many people did he pass on..


I don’t get it don’t they not let using for CC thresholds?


Request a commission/affiliate link…


comments?! …speed up the speed a bit, pay pal and amazon payments work instantley it takes a few min. for amazon to approve a payment send via cc. come on thats not google…
#2 every one today has the option of veryfying a linked bank account instantley thru user id and password google is the first place i see, that ‘only’ provides the option of trial deposit…


and we need some more people with open accounts to donate some more pennies toward the Conga…


Can u please ask why they killed Google checkout, can’t they have this and checkout just like payapl has? A few sites I setup use Google exclusively because of google’s name.


That’s awesome!
Which name he used to sign up on the forums, Google123?..

Tec analyzer

By having a Physical Card Like PayPal so middle age people would also adopt this service and be able to hook up all major credit cards, and choose at the time of purchase what card should be used. ( on the merchant swipe machine) also not charging 2.7% on purchases when using credit card as funding source, only on pay person to person, and offer free currency exchange when sending money other then USD.

P.S. we all wait for your cross phone app.
Thanks Google!!


can you plz tell me after i send for example $50 to my brother to his wallet the money stays there? how can he use it to purchase or pay bills? Thanks


How safe is google, when they own all your personal and financial info?

can anyone hack in and we are in deep trouble?

and why would it be free for long term? how will they make profit?

and if they intend to sneak in fees later, I prefer not to start with them, sharing banking etc. so maybe they want to clarify?


first off can some1 tell me what a conga is?

secondly, dan, u can recommend them to have money transfers to go quicker. (it took my transfer about 5 days).

thirdly, when depositing from wallet balance to bank account, it also takes a long time.

does it take longer for larger sums? is there a cut off to whats called a large sum (over $1000, etc.)?

also, will they be 1099ing the receiver? any tax implications we should know about?


also, to the user who payed off their car loan? whats the greatness… u basically just did a balance transfer, not like they paid for ur loan?!?!


I thought your were going to write that they shut it down!

Moshe G.

I heard rumors that it isn’t smart to use an Amex card for Amazon payments. Is that true? And if it is, does that also apply to Google wallet? Also, will the IRS be notified that you received all this money? Thanks.


So let me get this right. GW now has a list of emails that everyone used in the conga line? Not very smart IMHO.


they should make faster deposits it take them now 3 days while most companys do it overnight


still adding names onto the list too, i’m still waiting too.


It takes to long for money I withdraw from google wallet to appear in my bank account.

I initiated a withdrawal 3 days ago and it still hasn’t registered in my bank account

m n

Google suspended my wallet account for no reason!
Someone sent me $2500 and i tried to transfer to my bank account and after 1 day of pending they suspended the account. Now I have to fill out a form to verify my identity which needs a government id and proof of address.
My money is on hold now for 3-5 business days until they verify the account.
A friend of mine had their transaction canceled and other people had their accounts suspended. Be careful!!!!!!!!


Will someone please refer me to google wallet? I’ve been waiting forever on the conga

Tec analyzer

@m n: what else have you done? And right they have the full right to ask for your ID if the have a risk of loosing money.
I dont see anything wrong with this.
Most poeple have to give this info before they sign up for GW.


I have Google wallet for a long time, is this just an added feather? do i have to verify my identity first for that?

Aay B.

Dan, While its absolutely awesome to have GW pay attention to Your/Our efforts, have you varified the legitimacy of the email and that it’s not a scam?

Did you talk to this director over the phone and verified his credentials?


@Aay B.:
Have you tried reading all the comments?


You should be able to add more than one bank account for withdrawals…


@m n: Nothing major, they will verify you in less then a day after you send in the documentation and the money will be released, it’s a very common thing they do and it has nothing to do with the amount you send or receive.


I think the guy from Google likes this one:
“While there doesn’t appear to be any limit on how much you can send in total, Google is not going to like it if you send very large amounts or if you pass money back and forth between accounts and they will likely close your Wallet accounts if you do that. So take it easy and don’t go sending $5,000 to meet a spend threshold in one shot unless you’re willing to risk testing the limits and possibly losing your ability to use Google Wallet. Hopefully they’ll warn you before closing your Wallet account but they don’t have to.”


Just received this mail from Google:

“We recently noticed that you’re adding then withdrawing lots of funds from your Google Wallet Balance or sending/receiving money in a way that may violate our Terms of Service. As such, the transaction(s) in question have been cancelled.

We wanted to offer a friendly reminder that the peer to peer service is intended for Google Wallet customers to send money to other persons, and not to rack up airline miles/rewards points or get cash advances. We view such transactions as misconduct under section 7 of the Google Wallet Terms of Services, and may decline to process such transactions or close your account if we identify in the future that you are using your account (and the no fee promotional period) for these purposes.

Please note that replies to this message are not monitored. If you experience any further issues with your Google Wallet Account, you may visit”

I tried to pay a friend 3000 for rent, I guess that is a no-go


I transferred $1000 into my google wallet on 5/26 & it still says pending – how long does it usually take to go thru



Some of us deleted our emails from the spreadsheet once we’d received a penny and donated a few back.

Peter Hazlehurst


Hi everyone, I’m happy to confirm that yes, I do really like the fact that you are all using our products.

At the risk of engaging too much, and running the risk of our PR people saying “stop it!”… here’s some thoughts:

1) At Google we really want you to use our Send Money capability, but we don’t want it spoiled by all of you doing mileage runs (yes, I spend a lot of time on FatWallet too)

2) If we think you are abusing the system, I’m afraid we’re going to send you a “please stop it” email. And if you continue, yes, we will shut down your Wallet account because we want to be able to afford to run a service for good users.

3) There’s no specific upper bound that we can talk about. It depends on you and your friends. So if between you we think you are doing a mileage run, we’ll do our best to stop you too.

4) In general, we assume you are all good and nice, and we don’t like shutting down your accounts, so please don’t encourage us to do so!

5) @shimbo we’re thinking about multiple bank accounts, but haven’t seen a lot users asking for it.

6) @david we’re figuring out how people use it before opening up to everyone. Besides… it’s kind of fun following these congas

7) @tuvz – it will always be free from your bank account

8) @meshuguner – see above. If you don’t abuse the system, and really do money sends to your FNF, we’re cool

9) @chaim – yes it’s real 🙂

10) @feedback – you are free to PM me, and I’ll figure out what’s what.

11) @ari101 – yes I did. I sent $10 to everyone at Google IO with a US address to start the ball rolling

12) @ab – we’re getting faster. Just takes a while to figure out who’s good and who isn’t.

13) @sam123 – my usual name – phazlehurst. I’m for realz and have been in the public since ~2002 or earlier. No upside in hiding

14) @tec analyzer – very insightful, but no comment :).

15) @wallet – right now, you can use the money on Google – buy a book/music/video/game or send it to someone else. More to come

16) @L – what questions do you have. Our mission is to do great things for users.

17) @HM – Google isn’t tracking who’s in the Conga Line. I just saw the site, and thought “wow, that’s cool”.

18) @Anonymous/@yossi – it takes a while the first few times because we want to make sure your account hasn’t been hacked.

19) @hasjk – if you are doing something legit, please call -18554WALLET and the team will figure it out for you. If not PM me.

20) @mindy – hang in there… it takes a while to transfer from your bank.

Anyways, I’m sure you guys will all hammer me after this posting, so let the fun begin.




@Peter Hazlehurst:
Thanks for responding to everyone Peter, we’re glad to have you here!

You can also click on the “Reply” button underneath everyone’s comments to hyperlink directly to everyone’s comments.


Hi Peter,

I am a web developer, and was wondering if you will be building a checkout API with the new Google Wallet system, as I understand that Google Checkout will be taken offline in November.



@Dan: Dan giving a Google PM some tech advice 🙂


@Peter Hazlehurst: Lol Peter great stuff. Really cool that you take the time to answer ppl questions!

The Perfect Intern :)

Hey @Peter Hazlehurst

Any chance you need an intern 🙂



@Peter. I am excited to use “beta” your product. I can not wait to have Google Auctions. btw some one is selling Google Wallet invite on eBay 🙂


whats with a 1099 from GW? Is it like Amazon Payments with the 200 transactions+$20K processing?


Why is Peter hazlehurst name in blue it’s usually only Dan name that comes up in blue, is something up here?


Lol. That’s what happens when there’s a URL posted with your name 😀


I just signed p for google wallet and I got then following message.”it’s free to send money from our google wallet balance or directly from your bank account. You can also pay with your credit card and debit cards for a low fee of 2.9% per transaction (minimum $.30) receiving money is always free”.
I understand that to mean its not free sending with credit cards.. Did I misunderstand something?


How come I was asked for my SSN# and DOB afer trying to claim a penny? and then after I supplied my info I got this msg:!??? thanks

We need a little more information to verify your identity. Here’s how to complete the identity verification process:
Submit documentation online
Securely upload government-issued photo ID and identity documentation. It should take 3-5 business days to process


@Peter Hazlehurst: Peter, do you discourage the use of reward gift cards? As you probably know, these are relatively low value cards.

Also, for anyone to answer. I have been getting this error when trying to link a credit card (Chase Southwest VISA if it matters) for the last day or so:
“There was a problem authorizing your card. Contact your bank if this problem continues.”
There is nothing wrong with the card that I know of.


@Peter Hazlehurst: I noticed that the android app requires you to type in a pin number to log in. I also noticed that the mobile site on iphone does not, and uses your normal google log in. I leave my account logged in on the iPhone for convenience with all google products, but it makes me nervous that anyone could log into google wallet if they find my phone.


@Peter Hazlehurst: can you please explain the safty of google wallet, we’ve all had one time or another where someone hacked are gmail account and sent emails to other ppl in our name, what’s stopig them from sending money now?


@Peter Hazlehurst: thanks for taking the time. the main legit use that i see for this is bill pay with credit card. so my question is. a) is this allowed? b)is google going to offer bill pay directly from google wallet?

Ari Nachshoni

@Peter Hazlehurst: Hi Peter,

Any job openings at Google Wallet?

Seems like a fun place to work… LOL!


@mm: You probably gave Google different info when you signed up for your Google account. if your not comfortable uploading those documents try opening a different account put in your right info(orignal I entered a different dob) worked for me got verified instantly.


@Peter Hazlehurst: @Peter Hazelhurst
Can I send a google wallet payment to someone who uses yahoo as his primary email account?


What’s the risk of this triggering a FR for Amex gold business like amazon on payments?

Joel L.

Tried getting Wallet downloaded on my Galaxy S4 but is not compatible, i was surprised that a google product does not work on a google android platform.

Any advice for me?


@ Peter – thanks for taking the time out to answer all of our q’s. firstly any update with time frames… I sent money yesterday, received the confirmation email. But the receiver (my gf) didn’t receive anything ( not the money or even an email) ?
Additionally will google report the receiver to the IRS as income on a 1099?


@Levi: I highly doubt your gmail account was hacked. Create a strong password and use it wisely and you’ll be just fine.


@Peter Hazlehurst:

Where do you draw the line between legit sending and a “mileage run?”

It seems like using this system to earn miles for transactions which would otherwise be made by cash, check, QP etc. will easily get you flagged…


@Peter Hazlehurst: Is there any chance of being able to link up multiple gmail accounts to one google wallet account?

m n

My friend got an email from google wallet saying that :

We recently noticed that you’re adding then withdrawing lots of funds from your Google Wallet Balance or sending/receiving money in a way that may violate our Terms of Service.

We wanted to offer a friendly reminder that the peer to peer service is intended for Google Wallet customers to send money to other persons, and not to rack up airline miles/rewards points or get cash advances. We view such transactions as misconduct under section 7 of the Google Wallet Terms of Services, and may decline to process such transactions or close your account if we identify in the future that you are using your account (and the no fee promotional period) for these purposes.”

The problem is, that it was addressed to a different email address. How can that happen that it got sent to another address? Is google invading peoples privacy and making big mistakes?
Can we trust the beta google wallet with our personal info or will our info be emailed to other people?
@Peter, do you have an explanation?



To clarify what I was trying to say above: It wasn’t your Google which was hacked, it was your password that got compromised, (what’s known as “Social hacking”,) there’s not much Google can do about that…


Dan, did you request a affiliate link or commission?


Do you need to add a payment method on the new account before receiving your first amount? Or can this be done later?


I’ve been getting the error “There was a problem authorizing your card. Contact your bank if this problem continues.” when trying every card in my wallet. I was successfully able to link a card 2 days ago, but 5 minutes later through now, I get that error. It is very frustrating.


@Adam: Finally, it is working!


Can somebody send me an invite to GW


@Adam: Now it isn’t working again.


Some more answers:

@Dan, the reply to each thread = typing my name in 100 times :)…. not very efficient, so I’m doing bulk updates:

@API: we don’t have anything to announce yet

@yitzf: 🙂 seriously

@The perfect intern: yes, but I think we’re quota’d out. If you are serious and have good CS degree etc, ping me, and I’ll figure out how to forward to our recruiting team

@Taxes: right now Attach Money in Gmail is consumer-to-consumer, so we don’t want to have to deal with tax issues etc associated with business transactions. @Dan, you may want to add to the summary that we are watching for business use right now, and requesting people to not do that.

@Jack: we’re waiving the fees for card usage for a promotional period, and for “normal users”. If we see abuse for mileage runs, we may stop waiving fees for those users.

@mm: some users we cannot figure out adequately who they are based on SSN/DOB and we need ask a few more questions to verify it’s really you. Worst case, if after those few questions we *still* can’t confirm it’s you, we may ask you to send a photo ID of some sort or a picture of your SSN card etc. We are required to do this by law.

@Adam: some Open Loop (Visa/MC etc) gift cards fail when we do a test authorization for $1 on the card. We’re fixing that soon on our side and it should make gift cards work better. It’s not a perfect fix, because Issuers of cards can still decline a request to spend, but it should mitigate most of the issues.

@adam/levi: I can’t really explain how we do it, but we have a risk engine/team that is looking at lots of things to determine if we think you are there or not or using your device and we’ll reject the transaction on your behalf. Either way, if you think someone used your Wallet fraudulently, we have Google Wallet Purchase Protection to help you.

@ari: yes, i’m looking for PMs on my team

@shlomo: yes you can send someone with @yahoo/@aol/@hotmail. They have to have an @google account to create a wallet, but they can then send their funds back to their bank account. If the other user wants to *send* money, they have to do that from Gmail or from

@whyME: we look for obvious monetization, can’t say more than that I’m afraid.

@bubbles: no, sorry.

@Mark: as long as you go through KYC you can receive money.

and that’s it for me for today.




If I pay my roommate $0.25 a few times a day (he buys water bottles by the case and I pay him per bottle when I take) would this cause a flag on my account either with Google or with Chase?


Sorry Nate. Your situation requires 2 cups. One marked Nate. One marked roommate. Put a bunch of quarters in the cup marked Nate. When you take a water bottle , move a quarter from your cup to his cup. Good luck! 🙂


@chana: Who still has quarters these days? 😛


Of course that is the “normal” way to do it. But any loyal DansDeals reader would understand why I would rather do it through Google Wallet (Freedom Exclusives)


@Nate: Yea. I get it. I started so many people off with GW on my freedom exclusives I made over 500 point and over 50 people happy.


@Peter Hazlehurst:

I’ve been on hold with your customer service on and off for the better part of an hour. Someone was sending me a rent payment and it was “Pending” for four days before being inexplicably cancelled. I confirmed with the sender that she did not cancel the transaction. I’m usually very happy with Google’s product line, however after going back and forth with support for an hour merely to speak with an “agent” you guys are really falling short of expectations. I certainly hope you’re able to work this out because Google Wallet really has the potential to be a terrific tool.



to michael and all others trying to send “rent” and “paying off car loans” you guys are going to kill the program. the program is meant to send money from consumer to consumer (which are also generally much lower amounts) not business oriented guys ruin it for everyone else trying to use it legitimately… keep in mind that for every transaction google has to pay the credit card processing fees (someone has to pay for your miles/points) you can ask any store/business owner.. its not cheap…



Sorry but Dan originally posted about the individual who paid off his car (all $11,000) of it via Google Wallet. If it should work for $11,000 then it should similarly work for a much smaller payment, albeit greater than $1,000.

Also, the gist of my post was the poor customer service that is accompanying their inconsistent product. If Google Wallet is meant for smaller money transfers, then their upper limit should NOT be $9,999.



Moreover, if this is such a burden on Google Wallet due to the cost, then they shouldn’t waive the fees on credit card transactions. If they’re willing to waive the fees AND they allow for transaction up to $9,999 then they should honor the transaction and not play games with their consumers.


they will and they do for legitimate consumer to consumer money transfers…. Ive used it plenty already.@Michael:


@Peter Hazlehurst: I asked my boyfriend to use GW to send me about $4000 to pay for my tuition (just to be clear – he is using a credit card that does not even earn miles/points). However, he is worried that his GW account would be flagged (after seeing all the scary messages on various forums). So, I just wanted to check if this falls under legit consumer to consumer money transfer. We do not want to do anything that is not proper and we would rather pay the 3% credit card fees if required.

Thanks for patiently answering all our queries.


if u rather pay the fee… give ur education institution ur cc directly


Party is over!

“After $250.00 (cumulative), there will be a 2.9% fee, with a minimum fee of $0.30. Remember, sending money from a bank account is always free.

*Promotional period ends June 29, 2013.”


Seems google wallet is putting a fee on payments greater than $250 even during the promotional period which ends 6/29.


looks like there is no more promotional period! everything has a fee now.

I guess were all back to amazon payments.


This is done!


come on peter… that was all too short… is there going to be any amount we can send for free?


dan- are there any other services like ap and gw that are free even for a small amount?

Peter Hazlehurst

Hi folks,

As you may have noticed, we’ve had to introduce the fees a bit sooner than we expected because it became a little crazy what some people were trying to do.

We are letting users send up to $250 *cumulatively* on the system with card fees, and you can always send from a bank account for free. This way we can let a lot of new users into the system, get a feel for things and then if they are happy with it, link a bank account.

@Sara, we will still flag accounts that seem like they are being used fraudulently (e.g., an account takeover that you wouldn’t want), but I suspect in your case things will be fine. He can always link a bank account if he doesn’t want to pay the fees. Yes the situation of someone sending you money to pay your school fees is ok. On the flip side, though, if we see 100s of users sending money to a “university” that would run afoul of our current rules.

@everyone – we hear a lot of you want to use this for business things – like paying rent. We’re thinking about the best way to do that. Give us a bit of time to scale things up on the consumer side and then we’ll see how we can accommodate business use cases.

Thanks all, and sorry we had to turn on the fees. We didn’t really have a choice.




I tried using google wallet & it gave me a fee for sending money using my charge card – for anything over $250 – is there a limit to how much you can send?


After $250.00 (cumulative), there will be a 2.9% fee, with a minimum fee of $0.30. Remember, sending money from a bank account is always free.

*Promotional period ends June 30, 2013.


it would be nice if we could label transactions like we can w/our gmail messages? or atleast star them?


@Peter Hazlehurst: Peter: I wanted to use google pay to put in my share of a jointly-purchased wedding gift, but the person who made the purchase had had his google acct hacked once and was afraid to link up his bank account to his gmail. What kind of controls has google implemented to prevent hackers from using my google wallet to access my linked account?



Is there any way to develop some kind of application to pay bills that do not accept credit cards through GW? Would love to pay my mortgage every month through the service…

Tec Analyzer

How about running a promotion like PayPal is doing with Home Dept. Google Should do with Lowes… Receive $5 Discount if you checkout with GW


@Peter Hazlehurst:
peter- will google be offering even a minimal monthly allowance for sending via a credit card like amazon payments? If not, why would i switch from amazon to you guys!!!


Is the conga board still runnimg?


What a bunch of idiots! What was it, all of one week before they blew this up? As for Google Wallet what a joke! They are outclassed by Amazon by a country mile.


What happened to the conga board?