Just over a week ago, a signup link to be part of the next exciting thing from Google and Wallet was tipped online by BusinessInsider. At the time the link went live, we had no idea what Google could possibly have in store. Thanks to a leaked version of the new Google Wallet app obtained by Android Police, we now know that Google will be handing out re-programmable physical Google Wallet cards, allowing you to use Wallet even when NFC is not available.
Details are short on just how Google’s new physical credit cards will work, but screenshots from the leaked app give us enough information to get a pretty good idea of what Google is going for. Right now, you can add and manage more than one credit card account from the Google Wallet app. With the new version of Wallet, you’ll be able to order a physical, swipe-able credit card that defaults to the main account you have your Google Wallet set up to use. By using the Google Wallet app, you can change which account is charged for transactions on your physical Wallet card.
In other words, your Google Wallet-enabled device, paired with your physical Google Wallet card, will be able to replace any credit card you currently carry with you. You could easily manage your finances and use Wallet even where NFC payments are not accepted.
Transit cards were also tipped in the leaked app. Theoretically, the physical Google Wallet card will be able to transform into those, as well. It would seem that the end goal here is to have your phone and physical Wallet card replace every other card in your wallet. Credit, transit, loyalty — you name it.
By allowing users to treat Wallet as a physical card management tool, Google may also be able to get Wallet onto more Android phones, as well as other platforms. NFC access could easily be stripped, doing away with some of the security concerns voiced by Isis-supporting carriers like Verizon.
Aside from physical credit cards and transit cards, the new Google Wallet will also include a Wallet Balance and user-to-user transactions.
No word yet on when Google will launch the new Wallet and begin sending out physical cards, but we’ll be sure to let you know when they do. Anyone excited for the new Google Wallet?