2013-11-20 12_53_20-Google Wallet

Remember how the physical Google Wallet card showed up in some APK teardowns only to be removed without a word from Google? Well, it's back and you can place an order for it right now. Google says the card should be delivered to interested parties in 10-12 days.


The Wallet card will let you pay for items at any retailer, even those that don't have the little NFC kiosks Wallet has thus far relied upon. The charge should be relayed to your Wallet account just like you had used an NFC phone. It's unclear if that's just the Wallet balance, or if cards are included too. This fits nicely with Google's strategy of uncoupling the NFC payments in KitKat from the hardware secure element. Google is really making Wallet easier to use on multiple fronts.

Update: Here's a statement from the Wallet team clarifying a few things (thanks, Phillip Jones!):

Hi Phillip,

Thank you for calling us about your interest in using Google Wallet Card as a replacement for your credit and debit cards.

The Google Wallet Card is a plastic MasterCard debit card, funded by your Google Wallet Balance. Each Google Wallet user may have one Google Wallet Card to help spend his or her Wallet Balance in even more places.

As of now, your credit/debit card is not directly linked to your Google Wallet Card; however, you can use your credit/debit card to add funds to your Google Wallet Balance.

You can also add money to your Google Wallet Balance from your payment methods in your Google Wallet (for example, a credit card or checking account) and also by receiving money sent via Gmail or the Google Wallet app. You can spend your Google Wallet Balance directly online or through the app, or you can spend it through your Google Wallet Card anywhere — online and off — that MasterCard debit cards are accepted, including ATMs. (For ATMs, fees apply.)

If your Wallet Balance won't cover a specific Wallet Card purchase, it will be declined. You can either add money to your Wallet Balance to cover the purchase, or you can "split tender," which means asking the cashier to take part of the total purchase amount from your Wallet Card and the rest from another payment method that you provide — for example, cash or another card.

(Please note that while the Google Wallet Card will let you spend your Wallet Balance wherever debit cards are accepted, it won't automatically apply your loyalty cards or Google Offers in the background, without your knowing. You'll choose exactly when you want to use those by displaying them separately to the cashier.)

If you have any more questions, please reply to this email and I'm happy to help.


The Google Wallet Team

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 1.33.34 PM g


If you want your very own physical Google Wallet card, just log into the Wallet site, and there should be a banner at the top to place an order. Just make sure your info is right, and it will reach you in a week or two. Then activate it and you're good to go. Keep in mind, this is probably US-only. Update: It sounds like this is basically a Wallet-based debit card for now, not a way to connect your credit cards to Wallet.


Update: Here's the new Wallet card-aware Wallet APK v2.0-R141 (thanks, Landon Abney!). It also contains some updated assets, such as these pretty banners in My offers and My loyalty programs:

Screenshot_2013-11-20-16-08-42 Screenshot_2013-11-20-16-08-05 Screenshot_2013-11-20-15-48-23

[Google Wallet, +Google Wallet, Google Commerce Blog  – Thanks Brandon]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Atomic Zombie

    God damn it, get over to the UK! I WANT TO USE YOU!

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/108482452903817442299/posts Andrew Bone

      Hear hear

    • ThePhysicalGoogleWalletcard

      I want you to use me

    • http://about.me/d.bennett Dan Bennett

      My NFC-enabled phone and I wish Google Wallet worked in the UK as more than just card detail storage for the Play Store and IAPs, then I might care more about getting a Google card to replace my actual debit card.

      • Atomic Zombie

        I agree, my comment was more in general to Wallet as a whole.

    • http://GPlus.to/Abhisshack Abhisshack

      And India too

  • Ty

    Sweet, ordered one!

  • Nick V

    I want one to to have one. :)

    • GreatNews

      so order one

  • GreatNews

    ordered! Free!!!! amazing!!!!

  • brkshr

    Just ordered

  • Ygor Vaz

    First verizon is the first to deliver an update. Now the Google Wallet Card falls from the sky. Am I missing the news and the apocalypse is happening or are the illuminate up to something?

    • mikeym0p

      You didn't hear? Hell froze over yesterday.

    • Shitiz Garg

      EDIT: I'm dumb

    • Matthew Fry

      Next up, Google Reader reborn!

      • perfectlyreasonabletoo


        "Today, Google Magazines will transform into a new app called Google Play Newsstand, which combines subscriptions to newspapers and magazines with content from blogs, RSS feeds, and other sources."


        • Justin W

          He got what he wished for... I just don't think that's all of what he was expecting lol.

        • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

          Except it doesn't have an online interface, does it? I can't tell, I don't live in the US.

          • perfectlyreasonabletoo

            Books, Music, Drive, Keep, etc. All these have online versions, so I'm hopeful.

    • George Lass

      I really wanted the old Google Wallet card, where you can add all of your cards into one.

      Guess I"ll have to wait for the Wallaby card: https://walla.by/the-wallaby-card?ref=ecpeby

      Or maybe Coin, Protean Echo, or Loop.

      Google Fail.

      • Keg Man

        yep. Me too

  • Michael Montanez

    damn google! physical google wallet card? and FREE? awwwwwwwwwwww mannnnnnn!!!!!!! im a happy camper lol I wonder if people are going to cancel their pre orders for Coin now?

  • Zak Taccardi

    So this only uses your wallet balance? and not your default tap/pay card?

    • Gabernasher

      You can add to your wallet balance with your cards.

      • Matt

        True, and right now it's free but according to Wallet this service will start costing some percentage of the transaction in the future. I really wish you could use it to emulate other credit cards.

      • Zak Taccardi

        yeah, but that costs $$$

        • Gabernasher

          Only if you do more than $250 at a time.

  • Sean Rowe

    Curious if this works like the "Coin" card in some fashion. Can I pick which of my bank cards is tied to my wallet card on the fly? Meaning can I open the app on my phone and choose which card my "Wallet Card" is linked to. That would be cool...then I wouldn't need any of those other cards...

    • Daniel

      It seems to be a distinct loadable card. Coin is still in it's own class for now.

  • Marcos Amano

    Yep, it's US only. =/ "The Google Wallet app and card are not available internationally yet. For up-to-the-minute news on the Google Wallet app and card, follow us on Google+ ."

  • Nick

    Honest question: why would I want this?

    • brkshr

      Because Google?

      • Ygor Vaz

        And that, my friend, is the correct answer

      • Finsternis

        HAIL GOOGLE!!!!!!

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/108482452903817442299/posts Andrew Bone

      I have a prediction, I think they will soon have a service like https://www.mint.com/ to encourage people to move all their finances over to google wallet, why would they do that? If they know what we spend our money on they can advertise to us better, and make more money from us, we get a money managing service they get to sell our info easier

      • marycontrary

        Anything to have an alternative to PayPal.

        • charles anderson

          No truer words have ever been spoken

        • Jazib Nasim

          I made an account just to agree with you. I agree.

    • EF

      You dont.

  • Robert Alex Kibler

    Is this going to work like Coin? Like, can I use my phone to change my active wallet card and that will determine which card to charge?

    • basteagow


      • http://jordanhotmann.com/ Jordan Hotmann


        • tehsouthpaw

          maybe so?

        • NF

          We aren't sure yet. Stay tuned for updates. We will let you know when they arrive and we start playing with them.

    • brkshr

      I'm pretty sure it will only take money from your Google Wallet account. You can however transfer money to the Google Wallet account from your various credit cards or bank accounts that you have linked, using the app on your phone/tablet.

      • Robert Alex Kibler

        Hm, bummer. I was really hoping it would work like Coin.

        • brkshr

          Well, now I'm seeing reports on G+ that if you don't have money in your Google Wallet, it will default back to your default credit card. I haven't seen anything official though.

  • oesjmr

    Awesome, mine is on the way!

  • http://about.me/d.bennett Dan Bennett

    My NFC-enabled phone and I wish Google Wallet worked in the UK as more than just card detail storage for the Play Store and IAPs. Then I might care more about this, though isn't it basically a card to replace your actual debit card?

  • Khanh

    aaannnnndddd people who ordered Coin are half regretting their decisions

    • Trent Russell

      Nothing like coin.

      • Khanh

        Until further press release, I guess most of us don't know Wallet's real purposes; however, from the leaks, it works almost exactly like Coin without BT powered features (which could be a disadvantage and advantage).

    • Matt

      The fact that the US is transitioning to EMV (Pin-and-CHIP) systems over the next 3-4 years is the bigger reason to regret that decision.

      • http://benignthoughts.com/ Louis C.

        Coin's battery only lasts 2 years so it doesn't matter anyway.

        • Matt

          Well, different credit card companies transition liability (from the credit card company to the store for fraudulent transactions) at different times. American Express and Discover are both implementing the liability shift in October 2015, so you can expect that even before then many places will start being outfitted with Chip-and-PIN readers. At least, that's what happened in Canada over the past 5-6 years.

          • testa

            Plenty of POS terminal devices support EMV/C&P, but not enough cards are issued with that annoying little chip.

          • Matt

            The liability shift will mean that all cards will be issued with it. That's how the transition works. It's been slow-going thus far in the US, but the fact is that every credit card released in the US by the end of 2017 will have a chip-and-PIN and stores will be liable if they don't have chip-and-PIN readers, so they'll transition to them as well. The roadmap's already been laid out, the question is just how soon will stores start actually installing the chip-and-PIN readers, but considering that they'll likely do that or start declining AmEx and Discover by late 2015, I imagine it will happen around then.

          • http://about.me/d.bennett Dan Bennett

            I find it a lot less awkward to put my card into a reader myself and type a 4-digit code in than handing the card to the cashier, waiting for the receipt to print, signing one of them to return to the cashier and then having them hand my card back. Plus it's a lot more secure, so long as you don't let people see you enter your PIN.

          • testa

            If you worked with EMV cards on a daily basis you would hate them and their finicky on-chip applications as much as I do.

          • http://about.me/d.bennett Dan Bennett

            True, I don't work them, I just use them quite a lot as pretty much nowhere in the UK accepts the magnetic strips anymore even if I wanted to. At least I'm pretty sure they don't, would be silly if they did as a lot of new debit cards don't even have them any more.

          • testa

            Yeah they are way more secure but dealing with the software is a huge PITA. If one thing is off the entire transaction is declined and you have to try again.

      • http://about.me/d.bennett Dan Bennett

        America is still using magnetic strips and making you sign for card purchases? Seriously? No wonder they're ahead of the UK for rolling out NFC payment solutions.

        • Matt

          Yeah, they're way behind.

    • NF

      I think Coin is overall a better product because of the card's proximity warning and ability to sort through all your cards from the card.

      • Khanh

        There's a reason why I say "half-regretting". Yes, by no doubt it is a better product. Keep in mind that Coin cost $100 compare to Google Wallet price of free. ummmm you tell me if Coin extra advantages is worth $100 to you.

        • NF

          I see your point, but people who pre-ordered Coin knowing it was expensive. They believed its features outweigh its cost. Google has made a small step, but they don't out compete coin at all.

          Other than the unified card experience, what does Google Wallet bring to the table compared to Coin?

          • jamesfuston

            The question isn't so much whether or not Wallet beats Coin now, but rather if Wallet beats Coin 7 months from now when people receive their Coin cards.

          • Khanh

            I see your point, but people also didn't know that Google will release a Google Wallet Card that possibly could offer almost just as much as Coin with the price of free. I, myself, would've regretted it because I almost ordered one. I decided to wait and now seeing this news, I'm glad I did. A lot of startup companies tends to hype up their product and fail to deliver and that's why I didn't order Coin considering that they don't even have an Android app and is only "planning" on releasing it. I know I'm not alone and a few are kicking themselves saying "shit, I should've waited".

    • lensgrabber

      getting both, no regrets. Will use the google card for everyday debit purchases and coin for credit cards.

  • http://gplus.to/rjv Roger V

    The site says the card can access your Wallet Balance. Will it fall back to your default card/bank account if you don't carry a balance?

    • http://benignthoughts.com/ Louis C.

      FAQ isn't up yet, it seems.

      Edit: from https://support.google.com/wallet/answer/2857409?hl=en&ref_topic=3210037

      "The money in your Wallet Balance is what you have available to spend, up to a limit of $5,000 per 24 hours. This limit doesn't include cash withdrawals at ATMs or banks."

      Looks like you can withdraw money from your google wallet using this, but you can't use it as a replacement for other credit cards unless you have a google wallet balance.

      • Justin W

        Googler +Jeff Craig seems to believe otherwise, and he says he's used the card. I think the $5000 limit is based solely on what is available in your Wallet, and anything over that (or if no money is in your Wallet card) would go towards your primary card listed in Wallet.


  • Jace Hernandez

    Can confirm: Not available in Canada. (surprise, surprise.)

  • Bariman43

    I don't make enough money to warrant actually using Google Wallet regularly but I might just order one of these just to have one.

    • Steve B

      What? What does making enough money have to do with anything?

  • anon fool

    feel a little sad for the coin guys, but a passive and cheap mag card (with rich services backend) is my preferred solution.

  • Chris

    Honest question: Why use this over my credit card when it has to be linked to my credit card anyway?

    • Scott Adie

      If you have multiple cards (Personal, Business, etc) you will only need to carry one card.

    • http://about.me/d.bennett Dan Bennett

      Apparently it uses your Wallet Balance, which you have to top up from your credit card in advance. It's like a buffer to keep your money safe, as using the Google card won't charge your credit card or bank account directly.

    • Finsternis

      If this is anything like Coin, then it is more secured than a card. For example, your phone will ring if it is too far from your card, you can keep several cards in one.

      If it is not like Coin, then it is simply a way of using your Google Wallet account without need NFC (which a lot of business don't have), and that is reason enough for me to use it. The only reason I don't use Google Wallet on my phone more often is because NFC is still not standard on all businesses.


      It seems that it actually uses your Wallet Balance, not your actual card. So it is nothing like Coin, and I don't know if I will use it (since my bank will not recognize any transactions I do from this card). Bummer.

    • Michael Corley

      I am responding to a lot of the questions here with this reply:

      I already use Bankcorp (Netspend) for my traditional banking needs (direct deposit, separate savings account, cash back rewards, bill pay, etc). I got a Paypal debit card (which is coincidentally back by Bankcorp as well, as is the Google card) so that when I sell things on ebay, I can access that cash instantly rather than have to transfer it to my Netspend account.

      So, for mom&pop e-tailers who accept Google Wallet payments, this card will provide easier real-world access to Wallet funds.

      Secondly, I plan to use the three cards (netspend, paypal and wallet) to assist in budgeting. But that's me.

  • Leo Kanellopoulos

    This awesome :D if only it worked in my country..=P

  • GreatNews

    Who needs coin when we got this for free?

    • Steve B

      Not the same.

      • GreatNews

        OK know but still

  • wollac11

    Sounds great but unsurprisingly:

    "The Google Wallet App and Card are not available in your country yet

    The Google Wallet app and card are not available internationally yet.
    For up-to-the-minute news on the Google Wallet app and card, follow us
    on Google+ ."

    That certainly sounds like it's on the cards for the near future though. I hope so because I really want NFC Payments from my Nexus in the UK.

    • http://about.me/d.bennett Dan Bennett

      Well a lot of places have started accepting "contactless cards" from the likes of Barclays and NatWest - I think Lloyds, too - so it seems the only thing stopping us is that Google haven't released the Wallet app to us yet.

      • wollac11

        Yes I have a contactless card. It's handy but it'd prefer if I could use my phone - it's easier to remove from my pocket than taking out my wallet and then my card from that and also it is nice having a record of your purchases in Google Wallet - not to mention the 'cool' factor ;-)

        But yes we already have all the terminals in loads of shops in the UK for contactless payment so all they need to do is enable the app to allow payments here. I suspect it must then be a case of licensing.

    • psuedonymous

      In a technical sense, Google Wallet has worked in the UK for easily over a year. If you're willing to jump through the hoops of sideloading the APK and figuring out how to top-up wallet (usually using a US card proxy) then Google Wallet will work fine in the UK.

      Why Google haven't launched it officially when it's been actually working for this long I have no idea. the page has listed it as 'coming soon' for that long too, so I wouldn't hold your breath.

  • Grimmjow

    The Tap & Pay is still not clear so let's wait for the entire picture.

    • Steve B

      What's not clear?

  • James Barr

    Critical question - will you be able to change between credit cards you have on your Wallet account right in the Wallet app to charge to? So I walk into a Jack in the Box, place my order, open the app on my phone and change my default card to a different one, then 5 seconds later swipe the physical Google card, and it will charge to the one I just changed it to in the app?

    Or will this ONLY work for charging to your Google Wallet balance?

    • Steve B

      This has yet to be determined. Lots of conflicting info right now. We might not know until we have it in hand.

    • eric1743

      Yup this is the critical question. But considering that NFC "Tap and Pay" is already conducted on a "virtual mastercard" I see no reason this won't work the same way.

    • Drew Everett

      I have one as of yesterday, used it a couple times already and I think I can answer this for you.

      That would not work as it is essentially a pre-paid card. There is no such thing as overdraft protection, or backup funding with GW right now. If there are not enough funds immediately available in GW then your GWC will not work.

      Also, there is a 2.9% for adding funds to GW using another card, but it is free to add funds from a bank account. If you are not aware of the going rate in the world of CC processing, 2.9% is high- so I always add funds from my checking account. This usually takes less than a few minutes to show as available in GW, which is nice, but here is a warning: This may not be your experience, but with me, my GWC, and checking account, yesterday: I added $20 to GW, it took about 2 minutes to show as available for spending in GW, however it was not showing up in my checking account as being debited. Maybe it was the weekend, idk, but usually the 'ole 3-5 business days for processing rule applies to things like this (ACH), so I would be careful about not overdrafting your checking account.

      This phenomenon is not true when adding funds to GW via another card, as the card shows a transaction right away (but doing so incurs you the 2.9% fee).

      Hope I helped!

  • Scott Sandler

    Just ordered one :)

  • http://www.twitter.com/joshuaworth Joshua Worth

    Ordered oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah.

  • Leo Finn

    I see a lot of people asking why would you use it. Well for me it's convinence and it's a fail safe. I carry one card and leave the others at home. That way if I lose my wallet I go online and cancel that one card and have Google send me a new one and it works out of the box instead of having to cancel and order 5 cards.

    • sssgadget

      What about Cashback, points and rewards you get on regular cards? Will this card give me all those benefits?

      • WestIndiesKING

        good point. My guess is Google takes the charge and processes it regularly through google wallet through your default payment choice. So you still should get your points or whatever you typically get, Google is just handling the funding process. Again this is how i think this will work logically no real evidence to say i am right.

        • sssgadget

          afaik Credit card companies looks for specific codes which are associated with merchants e.g online/retail/merchandise/services etc. When I ordered N5 , on my CC the charge was GOOGLE/DEVICES and it was under "Services" . So similarly when you load wallet with funds , your CC will say "Services" and will not be eligible for Cashback. I spend couple of hundred dollars on gas every month and get Cashback on all purchases.

          • WestIndiesKING

            couldnt google pass the charge on to the cc company in the same manner they are doing it now?

          • mccheeze

            you have it backwards. the cost isn't passed to the credit card company. The cost of rewards programs is passed on to the merchant in the form of higher interchange.

            Sounds like google figured out that by coding as "services" they are able to get a lower interchange.

    • Atrain729

      unfortunatley this card says nothing about combining cards or adding payment methods outside of your "Google Wallet" balance this is simply a prepaid card that could be fueled I assume by other debit/credit cards but would simply act as a prepaid card from there on out.

      • Jaymoon

        It has it's own balance (your Google Wallet balance). You can initiate a direct transfer from a bank account for free, or (for a fee) transfer funds from a credit card.

  • Nathan

    Confirming it's not available in the Netherlands.


    De Google Wallet-app en -kaart zijn nog niet beschikbaar in uw land
    De Google Wallet-app en -kaart zijn nog niet internationaal beschikbaar. Voor het laatste nieuws over de Google Wallet-app en -kaart volgt u ons op Google+.

    Rough translation of first two lines: The Google Wallet-app and -card are not yet available in your country. The Google Wallet-app and -card are not yet international available.

  • Mskina

    It's not available in Spain either

  • Nathan

    But seriously, please add more payment options for countries other than the US for the Play Store.

  • ProductFRED

    Wait, but then what's the point? To me this seems like something that would be great for kids or prepaid card accounts (e.g. a PTA spending account). I don't see how this would be useful for someone who already has a debit/credit card.

  • http://www.westagemusic.com/ Marc

    Of course no support for wallet app & card :(

  • JT3

    Found some information in the Google Help section. According to Google:

    "With the Google Wallet Card, you can now spend your Wallet Balance anywhere MasterCard® Debit is accepted in the US, online or in stores. Simply hand your card to the cashier like you would any credit or debit card...

    The amount in your Wallet Balance is what you have available to spend, up to a limit of $5,000 per 24 hours. This limit doesn't include cash withdrawals at ATMs or banks."

    So... it doesn't look like it will fall back to your default credit card, like the Tap&Pay system does.

  • fonix232

    It is not available in Denmark at the moment.

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

    In its current state, Wallet has little to no advantage for most consumers.
    If I could consolidate all my cards into one card, different story.

    • JT3

      Ditto. I ordered one, to have it. I'm hoping that at some point in the future, it'll work like Tap & Pay. This was the ultimate goal, originally, before Google decided to turn Wallet into another PayPal, so hopefully they haven't lost sight of that original goal.

  • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

    This is basically a prepaid card. Little more. But for people who don't have bank accounts, or don't want to mess with transferring money out of their Waller accounts that was sent to them by friends, this is really handy. And I suspect it's only a matter of time before Google starts providing us more tangible rewards for maintaining a balance with them and/or making purchases on the card. Looks like Google may be trying to upset the banking system on top of everything else they're shaking up.

    • mccheeze

      i fail to see how this will disrupt the banking system any more than paypal. These sorts of services do not provide an alternative to banking (unless maybe you have no credit and don't make much use of banks to begin with).

      My bank allows me to have my paycheck direct deposited. I gain interest on the balance in the account. My bank gives me multiple revolving credit accounts that earn rewards.

      My bank loans me money to buy things such as cars and motorcyles.

      I can pay my mortgage, utility bills, loans etc all with automatic payments debited from my checking account.

      Google wallet and paypal are completely incapable of such things. Paypals credit card is actually issued and backed by *gasp* a real bank.

      • Drew Everett

        GWC is also backed by MC, is that what you meant by a 'real bank'? Or is PayPal actually backed by something like Chase/BoA?

        Anyways, I totally agree with you. The only entity with more money than big G is the entire world financial system lol and all of your points are correct.

        PayPal now features mobile check capture/depositing, but even with PayPal you do not have an account number making direct deposit possible. The lending arm is missing (outside of the limited PayPal Smart Connect and PayPal Credit MasterCard), and all the other points you made. Good work.

  • http://silverfang77.tumblr.com/ Silver Fang

    Will payments made with the Google Wallet card come only from the already existing Google Wallet balance, or can it draw from a linked credit card?

  • GP

    I wish there was a bit more detail released on this. What does google wallet balance mean? Can I use different cards saved on Google wallet to build up my balance and use this card?

  • KanishkSingh

    If you use co-branded cards on Google wallet and use Google wallet to pay for the merchandise. Do you get the points and cash back on the original co-branded card?

  • jstnbsn

    I didn't have a banner, but you can also click on "Wallet App and Card" in the side menu

    • Justin W

      Same, no banner available for me. Just Wallet App and Card on the left menu, but still got the e-mail confirmation and everything.

  • Mayoo

    This is the official "SH*T IS NOT IN CANADA AGAIN" whining comment.
    Disclaimer : I am Canadian. Not the beer ...

  • NeverEndingXsin

    They made me call them to verify identity (not sure why), I had the option to call and verify instantly or submit documentation. So i called and then the guy told me to submit verification. Kinda pointless to call them =/

  • YouWereWrong

    Looks like we need a "We were wrong and the physical Wallet card is real" post.

    Oh wait, that will never come. Hell you'll have users download malware in one post and omit that you sponsored it in another.

  • pb

    Only :( :( very verrrrrrrrrry sad. Want it in France

  • TheLastAngel

    Pfff! I have no need for this. Why would I have a credit card and then a Google wallet card on top of it?

    I hope Maestro comes out with something soon, those guys are asleep at the wheel! People in Europe generally prefer debit systems over credit cards and Google is completely ignoring this fact (and losing potential Play Store revenue as a consequence).

  • James Barr

    Everyone - I have confirmed that - at least at launch - you CANNOT use alternative payment methods that are on your account with the physical/plastic Google Wallet card. Sadface. Hopefully this functionality is coming so that we can just change payment methods while standing in line at stores with the Google Wallet app on our phones, but he couldn't confirm if that was coming or not. Here's my transcript sent to me by Google from a Google Wallet support representative named Ben:

    Hi James,

    Thanks for asking about using your Google Wallet Balance!

    Money sent to you by Gmail or the Google Wallet mobile app goes into your Google Wallet Balance, as well as any money you choose to add from your own bank account or credit/debit card. With that Wallet Balance, you can fund purchases directly, whether online or with your mobile app or your plastic Google Wallet Card.

    What happens if your current Wallet Balance is too low to cover a purchase? It depends how you're shopping:

    When purchasing online or with the app, that purchase will be funded by your selected default credit/debit card. This means that you can carry a $0 Wallet Balance and still have your purchases processed.

    When purchasing with your Google Wallet Card in person, you can split the transaction between your Google Wallet and another tender (such as cash, a check or a credit card).

    (Please note, however, that purchases not funded entirely by your Wallet Balance are subject to transaction limits, and you may be prompted to add money to your Wallet Balance in order to complete a purchase. You can always add money to your Wallet Balance to avoid these limits and to increase your spending power.)

    Your Google Wallet Balance is a safe and secure payment method, online and off!

    If you have any more questions, please reply to this email. I'm happy to help!


    The Google Wallet Team

  • http://www.geordienorman.com/ George Byers

    For those of you wondering if it's available in the UK -

  • smirkis

    It specifically states it's for spending your wallet balance.

  • remister

    It took many attempts, but I opted to get one.

  • WHO?

    Cool!!! A prepaid card! :( Could of at least had a NFC chip so its dosent have to be swiped.

  • John

    So frustrating to need the identification part. I have a wallet account with cc numbers linked already and I pay for things all the time. Lame. Gov issued ID? SS#? A bill from the last 60 days? Forget it.

  • Marshall Zanella

    Google Wallet just posted on G+
    The card only works on your Wallet balance. Not a proxy for your other cards :(

  • lensgrabber

    "not a way to connect your credit cards to Wallet" true but this is a good start. I'm hopeful they will come up with a way in the future to link cards. Ordered. Plus who doesn't want a google card in their wallet. :)

    • John

      So how did you get one? Did you have to send google all this ID stuff like ss#? Its asking for all this crap to ID me.

  • Kesey

    According to Google employee Jeff Craig, it will use your Credit Card if you don't have a balance in your Wallet account. Meaning you can swap out which Credit Card the Wallet Card is linked to.


    • John

      I don't get it. Explain?

      • Justin W

        Say I have 3 separate Credit Cards and one Debit card. I want to use one of my Credit Cards when I purchase Gas, one for Groceries, one for entertainment, and my debit card for anything else, yet I only want to carry one card. The GW Card comes into play here - when carrying just the Google Wallet card, you can switch to different payment methods via the Google Wallet app on your mobile device. If I go grocery shopping, I switch the app to use the Grocery card, if I stop and get gas, I switch the app to the Gas card, and so on and so forth.

    • Rob H

      Tried my new GW card tonight....didn't work, as there was no Balance. Tap and pay takes the money from my banking debit card, this does not.

  • wolfkabal

    It really sounds like this is just a plastic version (CC version) for accessing your Wallet balance.

    "The Google Wallet Card is accepted at millions of MasterCard® locations. Choose either credit or debit at checkout, and if you're prompted for a PIN, enter your Google Wallet PIN.

    You can check your Wallet Balance anytime using the Wallet app, or by visiting wallet.google.com. If you don’t have enough money in your Wallet Balance to cover a purchase, tell the cashier in advance how much to deduct from your card and how much you will pay using an alternate payment method. Note that this process, known as "split tender," may not be supported by all merchants.

    The money in your Wallet Balance is what you have available to spend, up to a limit of $5,000.00 per 24 hours. This limit doesn't include cash withdrawals at ATMs or banks."

    From that reading in the Wallet FAQ - it sounds like it only pulls from your active wallet balance, and will not tender to your other cards directly..

    • tom

      kinda lame really :-/

  • Twocups

    In the UK? nothing to see here - move along please

  • Dan

    There's absolutely nothing unclear about "if that's just the Wallet balance, or if cards are included too." All you have to do it read the FAQ. They clearly explain that this card will pull from your Wallet balance only and there's no way for this card to access funds from any other source. If you have $10 in your Wallet balance and attempt to use this card for a $20 purchase, one of two things will happen:
    1) If the merchant accepts multiple forms of payment (like Walmart), $10 will be taken from your Wallet balance and the cash register will show $10 still due.
    2) If the merchant does not accept multiple forms of payment, the transaction will be declined.

    This is not the card we were all excited about months ago. It's just a silly debit card for your Wallet balance.


    • Guest

      When this article first went live the FAQ wasn't published/up-to-date. If you read older comments you'll see that some people edited their posts or have been replied to with the information since it became available. Don't be so antagonistic.

  • Matthew Fry

    Mastercard only?

  • http://kennydude.me/ Joe Simpson

    Why is the card being swiped through a magnetic stripe reader? That is incredibly old :G

    • http://about.me/d.bennett Dan Bennett

      Because apparently America are only just thinking of moving to Chip-and-PIN next year. They still swipe-and-sign, it would seem.

      • http://kennydude.me/ Joe Simpson


        America is just backwards

        • lensgrabber

          nah.. *MOST* people are just afraid of change even if it is for the better

  • Wazzifer

    Finally. Isis can go and fuck itself. Cannot have GW on my T-Mobile Note 3? Fine, I'll use this.

    • Justin W

      You can have GW on your Note 3... Google updated it so devices without the secure element can use the app, and once 4.4 arrives (along with a version update to GW), tap-to-pay.

      • Wazzifer

        Dude...don't be a smartass, nobody likes a smartass. GW is useless on any other device since you can't tap and pay unless you have a Nexus or KitKat on your phone.

        • Justin W

          There was no "smartass" in my last message, but someone needs to take a chill pill. You said "Cannot have GW on my T-Mobile Note 3?", to which I responded, "You can have GW on your Note 3". Once you get the 4.4 update (I'm guessing it'll be around December or January), you'll be able to use Wallet with the Tap to Pay feature.

          • Wazzifer

            Somebody is a know it all. Look at you, you even predict Samsung updates!

          • Justin W

            Guess. It's possible it'll be in December or January, just like HTC's update for the One, but how does that have anything to do with me being a know it all (thanks, by the way - I really do know it all :P ) and you being the smartass?

        • Serge Cebrian

          i think justin w meant

          "so i cannot have GW on my T-mobile Note 3???? take that Carriers! i'll use this when available"

  • yanger

    looking for the terms and conditions of using the card, how to reload it, usage restrictions, etc.. all it says that bancorp is the issuer ; hmmm anyone get links?

    i mean, it could be used wrongly, if you can actually just move money from other cards to this card... as most other cards don't allow that...?

    • yanger

      found t&s.

  • Phillip Jones

    Update, straight from Google; the Wallet card will ONLY pull funds from your Wallet balance. Proof: http://goo.gl/lEjGHk

    • Jonathan Berry

      "As of now, your credit/debit card is not directly linked to your Google Wallet Card"

      I hope "As of now" means that this functionality is coming in the future.

  • Freak4Dell

    I signed up, though I'll never use it as just a card to access my Wallet balance. I don't keep a Wallet balance, and if I wanted to use a debit card, I'd use my bank's debit card. I'm just hoping they'll make it a card version of the traditional NFC Google Wallet. I want to be able to use my credit cards, but with this Google card.

  • marycontrary

    Dear Google,
    stop being racist and giving your products to America only.

    • DiamondAvatar

      How is that even racist? I hope you are joking.

    • Serge Cebrian

      you google! stop being americanist ohh wait.. im from AMERICA (the continent)(MEXICO) and google doesnt give us anything first either..

      i think the simpsons got the country name right (UnitedStatians! )
      well here in mexico we call them Gringos anyway

      anyway i hope the card works worldwide though (even if you have to get it in the united states)

    • Primalxconvoy

      I think you meant "nationalist"?

      • marycontrary

        No, I mean what I said.

        • Primalxconvoy

          How can a country, itself multicultural, be racist by favouring itself over others? If it favours itself over other nations then it is being nationalistic, non?

          • marycontrary

            asjnbdkjasbhd. What is the matter with you? If you continue do this in life, you will lose all your friends. I intentionally called it racist because it's not. Now, get over it.

          • Primalxconvoy

            I didn't know you were a social expert. I think I've got enough friends! So, you were being sarcastic about the racism?

          • marycontrary

            Yes. Everyone knows it's not racist, and that's where the fun lies. Good day, Sir

  • nagi

    Card is not available in Hungary. So the "probably US-only" is probably right.

    • Steph Chi

      Based on my test and some comments on G+ Wallet, not available in UK, Italy and France at this time.

  • Stephen Vanderwarker

    Just signed up! So excited!! :)

  • Jess L

    Just ordered mine, not sure I'll use it but will be nice to have the option and nice little card too.

  • jlninja

    Hey, I've had one of these for years, it's called a debit/credit card. I just pull it out of my wallet and swipe it through the machine at the reatilers. What will Google think of next

    • Primalxconvoy

      I know. Also, by putting said card into a wallet case surrounding your phone, it's like magic!

  • youareme7

    Anyone know if there's a way to automatically fund the wallet balance by direct deposit or automatic bank transfers? I'd love to have my wallet card be for certain expenses but I don't want to deal with always having to manually transfer the money into the wallet.

  • didibus

    Can I fund my Google Wallet with BitCoins?

  • Drew Everett

    Living with the GWC Day 2, 'mo money 'mo problems?

    Today is my second day field testing the Google Wallet Card. Today is Monday, December 2nd, 2013. Yesterday, Sunday, I added $20 from my checking account and it was spendable (available in GW) within a minute. Doing this is essentially ACH, so it shouldn't appear in my checking account online view for a couple/few days. Today, Monday, it is not visible nor has the amount been pulled from my available balance (even though I have already spent it using GWC). I went to the greatest coffee house in the world (Coffea, Lexington, KY) to try my GWC there, after seeing several things online about a trend of GWC's being declined. I previously used it at a Speedway with no problem. This time, for experimentation purposes- and because it does not say definitively anywhere what would happen- I tried to buy coffee with less than the amount in GW, to see if my saved funding sources would act as 'overdraft protection' or backup funding. They didn't and it was declined. So, we know that you have to have funds actually in GW for the Card to work. Got it.

    So, I added money again from my checking account, just $5 this time, and waited for it to show up. Once it did I attempted to buy coffee but it was declined again. The charge amount was $8.46 (latte + breakfast pastry), but GW reflected a declined attempt for $10.15. She then ran the amount exactly for $8.46 but it still bounced. Below are my questions and suggestions for this product, and I hope my anecdote helps paint you a picture of what living with the Google Wallet Card is like.

    1. What was the original purpose for the Card? More specifically, what is the mission statement for the Wallet division?

    2. Please add check capture.

    3. What is behind the declined swipe I talked about above? Is there something to be said for the backend processing for Speedway compared to my local coffee house?

    4. There needs to be a clear way to see funds pushed to GW from my checking account. I feel many people will utilize this as it is free (to us) but as I mentioned earlier, it is spendable on each end, creating obvious overdraft potential for the consumer. Yes, there is the transaction history in Wallet, but when I check my bank balance that money is not accounted for and if I am sending funds to Wallet frequently, trying to keep track of my true balance will be difficult. Reversing this process (sending money from GW to my checking account) can take up to 10 days, which would incur me an overdraft fee.

    5. Will there ever be some form of overdraft protection or backup funding using my connected payment sources? As in- not a line of credit- but simply instead of continuing to manage my GW balance (in addition to my other account balances), simply swipe the Card as normal and it points to my checking account debit card, or credit card, or whatever is on file and assigned as primary. Heck, have a 'go to' #1, #2, #3. Go To should also be manageable within the Wallet app. If a fee is assigned to Go To, like it is currently when adding funds with a cc, then it is a deal breaker. My bank does not charge me for overdraft protection, or using a backup funding method on the fly to cover me at the Point Of Sale, and they have to pay a processor also, so neither should Big G if the product wants to live.

    6. I read somewhere that Wallet was folded into Marketing. Not important. What is important is direction and focus. The purpose of Wallet and the Card may indeed be to simply collect spending data for more targeted ads, and that is fine. For that to happen, and for advertisers to be convinced that Wallet is viable, Wallet and more specifically the Card need to be competitive and cost effective (talking about strong arming processing companies), or eventually it will end up in the heap. This idea is a good one, don't let it derail itself!

    • The Decepticons

      Since you are paying through a debt machine in what is classified as a possible resturant, there are some cards, mastercard and other gift visas, where the place you are eating also has the option for a tip when you pay for your meal. Ive actually seen gift visas that advise you that if you are making a purchase at a resturant, the location(on the possibility of a tip) can actually require that the card has more than the actual charged amount available. this amount is usually a small percentage as a cushion... if on the remote chance they think you could leave a tip, while using a debt or credit card.

      That should literlly be the reason you were declined, when you had just enough roughly for the meal, but perhaps not enough to cover the 7-10% tip that could be assumed that you would leave. Even if you dont lave a tip, you should only get charged what you normally would. But resturants can require that "cushion" to accept the transaction.

      It makes no sense i know, but thats usually how it works. I first heard of it when i was reading down through the terms of a gift visa. They specifically mentioned it

      • Drew Everett

        Good info, thanks for digging into the ToS and finding that!

        • The Decepticons

          Here's the ToS from a Rreloadable Gift VIsa here in Canada, that covers what i mentioned.

          Using Your Card at Restaurants and Other Selected Merchants
          using your Card at restaurants and other service-oriented merchants,
          your Card balance must be at least 15% greater than the value of your
          bill. These types of merchants will factor in an additional 15% in
          pre-approval only to cover any tip you may leave on the purchase -
          but you only pay the amount you sign for, which could be more or less
          than this pre-approval.

          This same rule applies to hotels,
          taxis/limousines, health and beauty spas , and cruise lines. For car
          rentals, it is a 20% tolerance. However, we do not recommend using
          your Prepaid Card for authorizations at car rentals or hotels as it
          may take up to 30 days for any held amounts to be added back to your
          available balance.

  • DW

    Whats the difference between this and some regular prepaid card off the shelf if you have to use the wallet balance? The new electronic card "Coin" has the right idea. If Google Wallet can just link it to your regular card, that would be better.

  • Von Schaper

    I thought this was going to be the best thing in the world. I got friends and family to sign, up, and get cards and the app...but like most things, this was too good to be true. Save your time....as a long time Google fan I was so excited about this but the reality is it's way behind it's competitors. It takes forever to 'verify' your bank account, money sent to your wallet account is not available to you for sometimes up to 5 days and the process to 'verify' your account when it's flagged for fraudulent purchases is a joke, taking up to 5 days and requiring you to upload bank statements and your government ID which I personally don't want out there...however I can't even transfer money to my bank account until this is done. Do yourself a favor, skip Wallet for now.

  • butlerpcnet

    Because you have to pre-pay the wallet card to use it, I don't see as that useful. Unless I was going somewhere dangerous and wanted to limit loss of funds. It would work great to give to children to use though.

  • heather

    .Ok I am running Galaxy Note 3- AT&T. I have the app downloaded and no NFC tags on my phone installed at all. I have received my Google wallet about a month ago, activated it, and still haven't used it. I am going to run a field experiment to see if Google updated any card features- such as bank account linking. I have a zero balance in my wallet and intentially took out my debit card. I'm going to see if my purchase will be declined or processed. Today is April 2, 2014. I'll check back with the results. I know that with the PayPal debit card, you could make a purchase, and it would show up in my bank account 3 days later, as my account was linked to the PayPal card.