Wireless pay-by-bonk? Yawn... Google Wallet now lets you pay by CARD
Er, kind of like how everyone else does it
Americans with Google Wallet accounts will soon be able to use the mobile payment service in a lot more places, thanks to the new Google Wallet Card.
"The Google Wallet Card is a debit card that lets you quickly access your Wallet Balance, whether you've received it from a friend or added it directly from a linked bank account or credit/debit card," Google Wallet product manager Sandra Mariano said in a blog post.
The card is valid anywhere in the US that MasterCard credit and debit cards are accepted, and it can be used to make purchases in stores or even to withdraw funds from automated teller machines (ATMs).
Google will send the card free of charge to Google Wallet account holders who request it and there are no annual or monthly fees to use it, although some ATM providers might charge a fee when you pull funds from their machines, as is often the case with bank debit cards.
The card expands the reach of Google's payment service considerably. Although Google Wallet can be used to make purchases on Google sites such as YouTube and the Google Play store, its real-world applications have so far been limited.
The pay-by-bonk near field communication (NFC) version of the service only works on a short list of phones, and of the "big four" US wireless carriers only Sprint supports it – and that's assuming you can find a store that accepts Google Wallet payments in the first place.
Practically everywhere in the US accepts payments by credit and debit cards, however, meaning you'll now be able to draw on your Google Wallet funds almost anywhere you go, so long as you remain stateside. The card cannot be used internationally and there was no word on whether Google plans to make it available in other regions.
Google Wallet holders in the US who want the card can order it from within the latest version of the Google Wallet app for Android, which rolled out to the Google Play store on Wednesday. ®