updated 08:23 pm EDT, Thu November 1, 2012
Card would pair with app, take place of other cards
It would appear that Google is planning to augment its NFC-based Google Wallet payment system with a physical component in the coming weeks. Images have emerged online purporting to show off the new Google Wallet Card, which would be tied to a user's Google Wallet account and take the place of any credit cards a user also has attached to that account. The news comes amid rumors that Google was planning to update its Google Wallet app to include iPhone support, even though there are no iPhone or iOS device models that support NFC.
Android Police carried images today from an anonymous tipster that showed off the revamped Google Wallet app. According to the source, the physical Google Wallet would work just like a regular credit card. It would be tied to the default card on a user's Google Wallet account, but users would be able to use the app on their mobile devices in order to switch the card's association to another account.
Users of the Google Wallet app would be able to order the card directly through the app, which would then send them an email confirming their address.
The upcoming Google Wallet update, in addition to iOS compatibility, would add the ability to deposit and withdraw money to and from a "Wallet Balance" that could be used in any number of situations. There also seems to be evidence that the app and card would be compatible with a number of transit systems. That last has been a feature heavily rumored for Google Wallet for some time.
Over the past several months, Google has been putting considerable resources behind expanding adoption of Google Wallet as a mobile payment system. The search giant saw a 100 percent jump in use of the system when it allowed users to add their credit and debit cards to their accounts.
Google has been stymied to some extent, though, by rival payment systems pressed by entities including cellular carriers and others. Android phones on Verizon, for instance, are unable to use Google Wallet, as that carrier has invested in a competing NFC-based payment system known as ISIS.