Just days ahead of Google I/O, we are hearing reports that Google will indeed update its Google Wallet product, but a physical Google Wallet card – rumored for quite some time – will not be part of the update. The Google Wallet card would have been connected to a credit card of your choice in your Google Wallet account, which you could change at any time. Theoretically, this would have negated the need for carrying most other cards around with you, and would have allowed you to pay with Google Wallet even at merchants that did not accept contactless NFC payments. It was also part of Google’s larger desire to know more about consumer purchases.
CEO Larry Page apparently had different ideas about Google Wallet. though. Google already knows quite a bit about consumer purchases through Google Checkout, the Play Store, and electronic receipts in Gmail. Page also didn’t think that a physical card was forward-thinking enough, and didn’t push consumers and merchants in very innovative directions.
The cancellation of the physical card is certainly quite abrupt, as Google had already created support pages for the service and built in support in the latest Google Wallet for Android. Osama Bedier, Google’s Vice President of Wallet and Payments, is also reportedly leaving the company, but it’s unclear whether this has anything to do with it or not.
While there is technically still hope for a physical Google Wallet card, depending on who Beider’s replacement will be, it doesn’t seem very likely, given Page’s feeling about the matter. But what do you think? Would this have helped you use Google Wallet more in your everyday life?