Google Ditches Plans To Launch Physical Wallet Card At Google I/O [Report]


Google has reportedly dropped plans to launch a physical Google Wallet card at Google I/O next week. Sources for AllThingsD say that Google initially announced the card in an internal memo that also included the news that Google Wallet head Osama Bedier was leaving the company.

According to the source, there was nothing particularly special about the card — it was black, had a rainbow-colored Google Wallet logo, a standard magnetic strip, and the usual raised digits you see on any other credit card.

The best thing about Google Wallet is that it lets you pay for purchases using your smartphone, so why did Google want to take a step back and launch a more traditional card? Well, as you might have guessed, it’s all about advertising.

You see, it’s hard for Google to see what you’re purchasing when you use NFC, but with a traditional credit card, that’s not an issue. And as soon as the company knows what you like to buy, it knows exactly what it should try to sell you through its adverts.

In addition to this, Google hoped the card would attract more customers with a payment method they’re more familiar with.

The cancellation of the launch was abrupt, according to sources for AllThingsD, and came after Google CEO Larry Page became displeased with a “glitchy” demo of the service last week. Google was expected to show off the card at Google I/O next week, and it had even built support for it into an upcoming Google Wallet update.

There will still be some Google Wallet improvements worth looking forward to, however. AllThingsD reports that the service will soon see rewards, offers, and loyalty points as Google looks to make it a better Apple Passbook competitor.