Google has been silent about "the next version" of its Wallet service that it recently teased, but it looks like a physical card could be a part of the refresh. A new page has been found on the Google Wallet support site that lists devices that are eligible to be used with the "Google Wallet card," which is different than the "Google Wallet Virtual Card" name that Google uses for the card found inside the Google Wallet app on Android phones. This new page says that any phone running Android 2.3.3 or higher can download the Google Wallet app and use it with the Google Wallet card. It goes on to point out that an NFC-enabled Android device is required to tap and pay with Google Wallet itself.
While Google's site is short on details of the physical Google Wallet card itself, a report from Android Police recently revealed what the card may be all about. The site suggests that it will work just like a regular credit card, allowing users to pay with Wallet at a place that doesn't support tap-to-pay functionality but does accept normal credit cards. The Google Wallet card will reportedly charge to whichever credit card is set to default in the mobile Wallet app.
While a physical Google Wallet card isn't going to expand the number of people tapping to pay for things with their phones, it could certainly help to grow the number of people using the Wallet service at all and could also help to get customers interested in picking up an Wallet-capable smartphone with NFC in the future. So far, Google Wallet and its contactless payments are only supported on a handful of Android devices from Sprint, MetroPCS and U.S. Cellular, as well as some of Google's Nexus products. There's no word yet on when this physical Google Wallet card might debut, but it's definitely starting to look like Google's planning to try to claim one of the credit card slots in your wallet.