Google Wallet update reportedly coming at I/O, but physical card won't be a part of itAlex Wagner - Deputy Managing Editor, News Desk
Late in 2012, an official Google Wallet support page was found that made several mentions of a "Google Wallet card," hinting that Google may have been planning to introduce a physical version of its mobile payment method. We haven't heard much of anything on the matter since then, but today a new report has surfaced that claims that Google has decided to scrap its plans to launch a physical Google Wallet card at Google I/O 2013.
Sources speaking to AllThingsD claim that Google CEO Larry Page axed his company's plans to launch a physical Wallet card after being given a "glitchy run-through demo" recently. Page was reportedly not completely into the idea of the card, believing that it wasn't quite as innovative in the mobile payments space as products from companies like Square.
The physical Google Wallet card itself sounds like it was fairly similar in appearance to a regular credit card, sporting a magnetic strip as well as a set of raised credit card numbers. The "W" Google Wallet logo is said to have been plastered onto the black front of the card.
Google never actually announced anything about a physical Wallet card, so it's difficult to know exactly what its plans for the product were. However, it seems likely that the card would've served as a way to get more consumers onto Google Wallet that normally wouldn't have used the digital wallet version that's found on Android devices. Considering that not every Android product supports Google Wallet, a physical card could also be a way for people with unsupported hardware into Wallet as well.
It's not all bad news for Google Wallet today, as the same AllThingsD report also claims that Google will soon update Wallet with support for more merchants. The list of retailers that currently support Google Wallet includes Macy's, RadioShack, Old Navy and American Eagle Outfitters. Additionally, Google Wallet is expected to gain new rewards, offers and loyalty points. It's expected that Wallet will be updated at Google I/O 2013, which kicks off on May 15.