It appears Google may have finally figured out a way to win at the virtual Wallet game. When Google debuted its mobile contactless payment system for devices equipped with NFC, proponents cheered. However, that applause quickly turned to woeful boos as no carrier other than Sprint (whom ironically has been shut out from the new Nexus) showed support for this wondrous mobile payment system.
When I say they didn’t show support, I mean they blocked users from downloading it from the Play store (yea, pretty shitty move). Why in the world would carriers block such a great service you ask? Because they planned on releasing their own mobile payment system (#boycott ISIS) at some point and didn’t feel competition was good for consumers (yea, I thought that was illegal too).
Needless to say, many users (including myself), have either had to sideload the Wallet APK or simpy bitch and moan. I’ve been giving Google hell for them allowing the carriers to push them around and I’m betting I’m not the only one. It appears Google wasn’t just sitting idly by as they were being kicked around by the likes of Verizon. They’ve actually been behind closed doors, working on a way to stick it to the man — and I think they’ve found it!
A new and improved Google Wallet is on its way and with it comes a whole slew of new features, the most profound being an actual, physical Google Wallet card. But doesn’t that defeat the purpose of having Google Wallet on your mobile device? Yes… and no.
You can still go the cardless route as long as your device supports it, but having “one card to rule them all” is actually advantageous.
With the new physical card, users can set up and add cards to Google Wallet via their phone or computer and then use the physical card to pay. Depending on which card you prefer using at which retailer, switching is fast and easy using the mobile Wallet app while on-the-fly. Once switched, simply use the Wallet card to pay and it will remember your most current settings. There may even be room for future programming to allow for the Wallet app to automatically switch between preferred cards based on GPS location.
The Google Wallet card consolidates all your cards into one. This will also improve security. Should you lose your Google Wallet card, you could deactivate it on the spot from your Android device. Much less painful than having to call every card company individually, cancelling your cards and then waiting for new ones to arrive. You’ll never have to feel that pain again with a single centralized card.
Having a physical card also acts as a backup for those times when a retailer may not have a NFC supported terminal. But best of all, a physical card issued by Google can’t be controlled by any carrier, so it essentially gives them all a great big middle finger. AMEN!
Of course, Google hasn’t stopped there. Evidence shows they will also be adding the ability to deposit and withdraw money to and from a “Wallet Balance,” person-to-person money transfers, and even the ability to add Transit cards.
So where do you sign-up for this amazing new Google Wallet? On the Google Wallet webpage of course. Once Google sends you an invite for the new Wallet program, you’ll be able to order your card via the web or straight from the Google Wallet app and have it sent to your house.
I’m more excited for this than I was for the original Google Wallet app. Once the new Google Wallet becomes widely available I highly suggest jumping on board and showing your support. The only way to make these greedy, anti-competitive companies change their ways is to vote with your wallet — literally!
- Via Android Police