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Google launches physical card for its virtual wallet
AFP
November 21, 2013
First Published: 16:03 IST(21/11/2013)
Last Updated: 16:04 IST(21/11/2013)

Google's new debit card works in ATMs and can be used at any US store that accepts MasterCard.



Called the Google Wallet Card, it is intended to give Google Wallet users instant physical access to their virtual balances.

People with Google Wallet accounts can already transfer money paid into that account to their bank account, but the transaction can take days, which is far too long for the internet generation who need their money now.

Therefore, with the card, as long as there's money in the Google Wallet account, it can be accessed via the Google Wallet Card. And of course, it works with the Google Wallet app, meaning that all activity can be instantly monitored and checked via a smartphone.

When Google Wallet first launched back in May 2011, the concept was simple -- throw away your real wallet and physical cards and trust your NFC-enabled Android smartphone instead. Just tap your handset on the pad to pay for groceries at a store. What could be easier? Using real cash and real cards, it would appear.

Two and a half years later, it is estimated that just 300,000 stores have the NFC-enabled point-of-sales equipment necessary to accept payments by phones, and Apple, the most popular smartphone brand in the US, still doesn't support NFC technology.

As a result, Google Wallet has been slowly morphing into a peer-to-peer payment system allowing users to email money to each other or to make online micropayments.

The Google Wallet Card is currently only available to Google Wallet users in the US. An updated version of the Google Wallet app, supporting the card, will be landing in the Google Play Store "later this week."


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