While Google Wallet has been available for about a year now, many consumers may have been slow to adopt the new near-field communications payment technology for several reasons. One such issue is that it simply isn’t accepted in most places, but the company has developed a way around that.
Google will soon begin issuing its own Wallet-related card, according to an anonymous tipster who leaked updates to the Google Wallet app to tech site Android Police. The new card will reportedly utilize the current platform’s technology in new ways to allow its users the ability to make traditional credit card purchases using accounts already associated with the program. The Google Wallet card will work just like any other debit or credit card, as it comes with a magnetic strip that users will swipe to complete the transaction, the tipster told the site.
But what makes this card different from other ones is that it is not associated with any one card account, but rather the Wallet account itself, the report said. Whatever a user lists as the default card on their Google Wallet app is the one that will be charged when it’s swiped. For instance, you may be able to make a debit purchase on one account, then go into the app, change the default card to a rewards credit card, and make a purchase at your next stop using that one. The Wallet card is reported to be accepted anywhere major credit cards are.
Users can sign up to receive the card using only the Wallet app itself, the report said. They will receive a confirmation email when the card ships, and will be able to register and activate it, also in-app.
Google is also using the newly updated app to roll out other services as well, the report said. For instance, it will allow users to carry a “Wallet Balance,” which essentially works like a PayPal account. Users can add to and subtract from their balance any time they like, including by making person-to-person transfers.
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Adoption of NFC payment technology, which includes Google Wallet, seems to be going more slowly than many experts predicted. However, many still maintain that it will be worth tens of billions annually within just the next two or three years. This effort from Google appears part of an effort to engender greater participation in the program.
Image: adrianpadeanu, via Flickr