Android Central

We'll smack a big old rumor sticker on this one for now, because it isn't real, until it's real. But, according to Android Police, who claim to have a leaked Google Wallet apk, a physical, Google Wallet credit card -- for your real wallet -- could well be on the horizon. 

We already know that something is afoot for Google's mobile payment service, after a recent sign up page appeared for whatever it is that Mountain View has in store for us next. But, if this all pans out, could we really be looking at a physical credit card linked to our Google Wallet accounts and all the associated credit cards? Sounds interesting.

The story goes that even from within the application itself, you will be able to request a physical card that will work just as a normal credit card does. This would mean that you could still get away with using Google Wallet in stores that haven't yet adopted NFC payments. Not just that, but apparently we'll be able to top up and withdraw money to and from our Google Wallet account, and transit cards are also allegedly on the way. 

A famous man once sung "Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?" -- Freddie Mercury, for anyone unsure -- Who knows for definite, only Google. But changes are-a-coming to Google Wallet, we do know that. For the rest, we'll have to wait it out and see what makes the final cut. 

Source: Android Police


Reader comments

Is Google planning to launch a physical Wallet credit card?


very interesting! i wonder if you would be able to choose a payment option on the fly. Probably not -=( probably it will be from the money you push into it...

I believe the account that would be used depends on the account you have chosen for the Google Wallet app on your device. You change it on your phone, it is automatically changed for the card.

That, or whenever you want to change the account tied to the card, you simply reprogram the card with an NFC-capable phone.

I read that the physical card will use any cards you put on the mobile GW app, allowing you to switch in between them with the nfc control

Even if you can't there's real value in having something between the point of sale and your debit card number or credit card number. You lose your wallet and you just hop online and turn off your GW card. Presto - all your accounts are safe without having to cancel your cards.

Last time I had my wallet stolen, my bank called *me* to tell me it happened. That's protection, not some additional layer of abstraction that is just a hassle to manage.

I don't get it. Unless people are going to start using Google Wallet as their primary account and having their checks direct deposited what is the point? I thought the whole point was to not have a physical card. Their losing me here although I am not a big user so I might be missing something.

Nevermind. The screenshots explain it better. Seems like what Paypal and Serve do. Only thing Google does differently is the NFC thing. I guess it makes sense to try to get into Paypal's space though. Paypal should try using NFC with their App.

The problem is, not many retailers are incorporating NFC capable payment options in their establishments. A single physical card would not only consolidate your payment cards, but give you the option for nfc or card. Also, holding a Nexus 7 up to the payment terminal isn't exactly the prettiest thing to see. ;)

I hear you but this could definitely become laborious. At the same time there are other options for this type of thing. PayPal is similar. Serve (AMEX) is also, which I have a card for. Google is a big name with a large reach though so maybe they can get people to adopt this. When Serve did this they had to give away a lot of money to get people to adopt and some just wanted to promo money (That's why I did it). Google already did this. Will be interesting to see if they do it again.

I'm assuming these cards would also have NFC chips...? It would be sort of an intermediary for all those folks out there without NFC in their phones, allowing them to jump into Wallet, creating further demand for the NFC payment standards Google has in place.

A card is nice and all, but I have a phone with an NFC chip and a few retailers near me that I regularly use and that accept google wallet, but no access/support for google wallet on my phone. I should probably look for some google wallet competitors.

Getting the app installed isn't the problem.

It still won't work unless your carrier agrees that it can, which limits you to sprint.
Carriers are blocking NFC as a payment method.

It may be that Google is going to set this up as a real credit card, subject to banking regulations, thereby forcing the carrier's hand.

That's not true. I use AT&T and have used Google Wallet several times. Perhaps the key is that I have a Galaxy Nexus (purchased direct from Google). But, if you get the app installed, I don't see how the network could block it from working.

****ing hilarious. So they are going to invent a credit card based on their technology designed to eliminate credit cards. Then, i bet, they will give you a totally virtual version of your Google wallet card, tell you to throw it out, and call it a day. Convergence!

the tech was never meant to replace tech but to more accurately find out how google users spend their money. The gimmick was to get rid of your wallet and only use the phone. Just like in Japan, this never took off.

So now they are going for a traditional credit card use. Personally i hope this works out well because it will automatically use the offers u have signed up for and give you alerts if you are nearby offers (which im sure google will eventually sell to advertisers).

WTF? I was just told by a cashier that I couldn't use my phone to pay. It needed to be cash or physical card. Anybody else out there getting that? Could be a reason why Google is thinking about adding a physical card.

Most cashiers have never heard of NFC and have no idea how technology works.

However, even when the system clearly supports NFC payments, they don't always work. I've had it fail on me a few times where I had to just give up and swipe a regular card... :-/

Actually, this looks like a clever move by Google, and could be somewhat of a catalyst to get their Wallet system moving. They'll be out to capture the market of people who don't bother with NFC, who when, at a later date do want to try the phone thing, will already have a path laid out for them under the same account...

I'm sure lots of people will sign up for a Google card, it's new and it's different, and by the time the casual users are bored with the novelty (and 'everyone' else having one), Google will already have millions of people on board. I'll file this under 'devious'.

To be honest, I'm kinda interested in one myself for shamelessly, and purely fad purposes - I'd never use it, as I know better than to trust any company (inc. Google) with things they should not be dealing in. I do toast to clever marketing though, credit where it's due.

You can bet your butt that these cards will have plenty of chrome and/or some other kind of shiny and sparkley effects applied to it for maximum appeal.

Don't discount the possibility that this is a gambit to force the carriers to step aside and stop blocking NFC.

If this card is designed to do what I believe it is designed for, then all those carriers that invested in ISIS are still going to have to allow Google Wallet in the end, and they still won't be getting a cut of our transactions made over their DUMB PIPES.


I have two different banking accounts, as well as three credit cards. I use one card primarily, but there are times when I need to use one of the others. This would be great. Less bulk in my wallet, less hassle if stolen or lost. Use the app to switch the selected card and go...