Nov 01 AT 4:58 PM Dustin Earley 45 Comments

Re-programmable physical Google Wallet credit card coming soon

Screen Shot 2012-11-01 at 5.37.59 PM

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?

Screen Shot 2012-11-01 at 5.23.00 PM Screen Shot 2012-11-01 at 5.23.13 PM Screen Shot 2012-11-01 at 5.23.25 PM Screen Shot 2012-11-01 at 5.37.59 PM

Source: Android Police

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • Shaun Rayner

    I was excited until i remembered i live in canada.

    • Hinds2009

      Yeah Canada don’t even have Google music!

    • Hanna

      My iPhone had this for ages, its called passbook and its superior. Google is always catching up to the innovating Apple Inc. They failed miserably with this nfc chip that nobody knows or uses – i hope this wallet is successful.

      Bye, Hanna

      • Jon Garrett

        ages? you @ss. the iOS 6 was only recently introduced. secondly, you dont even have an iPhone–you use a shity boost mobile phone running froyo.

      • Xallies

        Apple Passport had a physical credit card? News to me.

      • cozzy

        LOL…Iphone never had a physical credit card that you could repogram to use with ANY of your credit cards. Iphone also has NEVER had a way to tap your phone to pay for stuff.

        BTW I use my phone to tap and pay! So don’t say nobody uses it. YOU don’t use it because you have a terribly antiquated device that doesn’t support it ROFLSAURUS!

      • Skaht

        Your obviously a troll

    • Max.Steel

      What is a “Canada”?

  • Rovindra Singh

    Already signed up, this is looking to be an amazing step forward for Google Wallet. I hope the card is identical to the leaked image – looks very cool, would not mind whipping that out of my wallet to pay for purchases.

    • R.S

      I’d like for them to look like the image shown also but I’m assuming that they’ll have your name on them. Without a name, I don’t see them being accepted as credit cards.

      Maybe a pin number will be needed (like a debit card) if no name is on the card. I’m assuming that’s how those pre-paid credit cards that can be purchased at places like Walmart work.

      • zerosix

        Your dreams may come true if they decide to make unembossed cards. However, there still will be number and expiry date.

      • live2skico

        I’ve seen Chase Visa credit cards without numbers on the front – I think it’s the Chase Sapphire card. It was a metal card, not plastic.

        they put the name/number on the back.

    • JS_215

      I agree. But I think it has to have you name and card number on it.

      It would be cool to have your name in the top left and number in the top left. It’ll have it’s purpose but might be able to keep the general sleekness of the card without numbers and letters going everywhere.

    • Tangent

      ‘scuse me while I whip this out… *screams*


      • iamXiV92a

        Love that movie! Classic

  • redraider133

    Good move for Google. Expanding google wallet for those who may not want to do everything through their phone or tablet. Can’t wait to see if this takes off.

  • poler166

    Now all we need is a Google bank !

    • Dan13

      With this move, Google sure seems to be close to that already. I’m not sure whether to be thrilled or afraid of this. It gives them a lot of power.

      On a lighter note, this is pretty neat. I’m excited to see how it plays out.

      • poler166

        Yeah Google has a lot power as it is

    • CTown

      There are “location-less” banks. Many universities are relegating Higher One Banking to do the finicaial aid rewards, scholarships, and stuff like that for students. If a student makes more reward money than his or her tuition Higher One puts it on the Higher One debit card that (I’m pretty sure) is mandatory to activate.

      The weird part is that I can add money to the card. How does one do that without a physical bank? Does that person deposit money in one bank just to transfer it to a bank that has no self-branded ATMs around?

      My point is: Unless Google wants to add physical locations, I really hope they don’t enter the banking bussiness…

      • JS_215

        I have a Higher One id card for school. I never activated it though, I don’t believe it is mandatory.

  • CTown

    I’m sure these cards will be safer than the physical ones that they will replace since they will not contain your account number or security code (since they can represent any of your accounts). The only problem I see is what happens when you have no interent connection and need to change your default account.

    Maybe one could do it with a text message to Google Wallet: “switch to Chase” (or Huntington Checking 2 or whatever you named the account in Google Wallet).

    • JS_215

      That’s actually a really good idea with the Text option

    • Zech

      It can be simpler than that. If a person switches cards without an internet connection then it will just send the appropriate SMS in the background.

  • Nathan D.

    This will be awesome, but I don’t have a Google wallet :-(

  • YMS123

    That is the perfect way to bridge the gap from credit cards to NFC until it really catches on

  • jamal adam

    They just also expanded Google Wallet on mobile sites to that it’s now an option you can use to buy products. These are all great ways of creating a cohesive existence on all aspects of mobile.

  • sbala

    If it is re progammable it is sure going to bring all those Wallet scams.

  • Virtue

    I wonder how they’ll implement the transit cards. I know for one that the New York MTA doesn’t play nice with anything except their own Metrocards and even then it’s annoying.

  • veracu

    i’ll rockin’ this.

  • Marcofromda510

    I have had no interest in Google Wallet; until now. This will simplify shopping and security. I am very excited about this now.

  • Marcofromda510

    By the way, if Wallet can go live before the end of the month, black friday and the shopping season should be an exciting time for google and the costumers.

  • mitchk44

    Is there any rumours or speculation that this could be coming to the uk in the near future. Have been wanting google wallet to kick off over here for ages!

  • Tritaru

    A great idea to help everyone bridge the gap. However it does entirely undermine the purpose of google wallet. Unless my new phone case has a built in slot for a card, I’ll still need to carry my wallet everywhere. Starbucks jumped on-board. Why can’t walmart or Target. It would be the perfect move for those more upscale target shoppers, and the last excuse I need to stop shopping at walmart.

  • ChrisLH

    I’m surprised by the lack of attention this is getting. There’s a few articles discussing it, but nobody is really looking at how important this actually is. Google is now in the middle of the entire payment transaction process.

    First, if Google is able to process information from a physical card and transmit that information to the credit card companies it means that Google has gone around the carriers (who were not interested in promoting, or carrying the Wallet App because of Isis) and has come to agreement with the credit card companies directly. This isn’t insignificant as Google attempts to sell unlocked phones/tablets to consumers directly and get away from carrier-subsidized phones. This is also a power play by Google to implement its Wallet functionality despite the lack of support from the carriers. They physical card will help promote the Wallet app (or be used in conjunction with the app for security purposes) and will grow Google’s mobile and online payment business.

    Google will now have access to tons of ACTUAL purchasing data which will give them an even bigger lead in its advertising/search business, gives its tons of new information to implement new mobile marketing initiatives and location-based advertising, coupons, etc. They will have a huge advantage in consumer influence.

    The amount of purchasing information they will have access to will include what people buy, how and where they buy it, how much they paid, did they buy it due to a sale/lower price, when items are returned, all sorts of household purchasing breakdowns and metrics, and more.

    They will use it to accelerate NFC into the marketplace, furthering their lead over the iPhone which uses NFC-less Passbook. Passbook is child’s play compared to Google’s comprehensive strategy and relationship with the actual credit card companies.

    They have instantly become a huge competitor to Paypal for online/mobile payments.

    They now have a significant advantage over the carriers (Isis) because it isn’t limited to mobile devices – this isn’t strictly a mobile solution. It gets Google into bricks and mortar sales as well as mobile payments.

    They will control person-to-person payments as NFC becomes more widely adopted (bye bye Square)

    It can easily get into Apple’s and Microsoft’s space by introducing Wallet apps for those platforms, meaning they will be gathering much additional information about what those users are buying and to eventually influence those consumer’s spending.

    They have an in for purchases made through Facebook’s expanding e-commerce (information that was previously completely inaccessible) – and it will be actual purchasing information, not just social data.

    They will be able to get information about who is buying what on Amazon.

    The best thing for Google is they can sell Wallet as a convenience and security measure. Why carry all of your credit cards when you can access them all with one card? Why cancel 5 credit cards when you lose your wallet when you can cancel one and still be able to use your other cards until your replacement Google Wallet card is replaced? How about instant cancellation of Wallet from the Wallet app meaning its less likely to be used before its canceled.

    Point of purchase security – instant authorization/confirmation right from the Wallet app is basically a two-step authorization which will prevent fraud or use of stolen cards. No more worrying about handing someone your credit card – they won’t be able to use it without your phone providing authorization.

    Ability to easily set up purchases to be charged to a specific credit card by default without having to carry all of the cards around. Ability to choose which card specific charges will be applied at the time of sale – scan your Wallet card and then select which card you want to pay with using the Wallet app.

    Honestly, this is an absolute huge play by Google and they are obviously well on their way to fully implementing this. Story of the year.

    • Johnathan Prochaska

      I’m glad someone is seeing the big picture. This could be a completely new way to pay for things and change the industry completely.

  • Derek

    I gotta say, I hope this is available to iOS people too!! I know the NFC stuff on google wallet is Android only right now. But Google Wallet is available to anybody.

  • kinderdm

    This just made google wallet usable for me. I hardly ever see NFC pay spots around but this would lighten my wallet considerably and give me more control over what I use and when.

  • mike

    I don’t get what the big deal is here, actually. I basically only ever use one credit card (admittedly, I use it for everything). What feature does Google Wallet bring me? If I can use it as an NYC Metro Card also (without having to switch around the card on my phone), that would be a real feature.

    But otherwise, if you use one card 90% of the time, not sure what this gets you.

  • txbluesman

    This is cool! I will surely be using this, as I use my Google Wallet app quite often anyway.

  • DroidPower

    if they can put a picture id on that baby then the card has the potential to replace our whole wallets.

  • Blake

    This is the only issue I see. Credit card companies usually do rewards based on the category that the company falls under. If a Google Wallet credit card shows everything up as a certain category, this could be either be bad or good for the rewards program that month.

  • Guitaraholic

    Wow now THIS would be amazing – I hope this isn’t a US only thing again

  • mory

    like the idea

  • dejay

    as someone who LOVE google wallet i would love a sleek & Stylish card from Google!