Physical Google Wallet is dust

Posted by a staff writer

Google is planning to revamp its Google Wallet digital payments platform at Google I/O. However, it seems plans for a physical credit card have been shelved, at least for the time being.

According to AllThingsD, Google informed its staff that the card was ditched in a memo circulated after Google Wallet head Osama Bedier announced he is leaving the company.

However, although the card is history, Wallet is about to get a small revamp. Google will announce a number of changes at I/O, including an update to its rewards programme, more offers and loyalty points, along with the addition of more merchants.

Without a physical card though, Google Wallet will still rely solely on NFC technology, which hasn’t taken off yet. It was hoped that a proper card could push Google Wallet to the next level, but now it seems Google is rethinking its approach. Google doesn’t want to become a bank, or the next Visa. It wants to coexist with existing players and tap their vast infrastructure.

On the gossipy side, sources told AllThingsD’s Liz Gannes that Google CEO Larry Page pulled the plug on the card launch after he witnessed a glitchy demo last week. Apparently Page had long been sceptical of a physical card and the buggy demo was the last straw.