The first signs of the Google Wallet Card were discovered during an APK Teardown, so it only seems fitting that its death should also be foretold the same way. That's right, the real life Wallet Card is not long for this world. Text found in the Google Wallet v14 update reveals plans to terminate the versatile little card on June 30th.
Google's story with a physical card has always been pretty tumultuous. In mid-2013, AllThingsD posted a report about a clunky demo of the project in front of an already unsatisfied Larry Page. This led to the removal of Wallet's then current Vice President, Osama Bedier, and all but confirmed the project was probably doomed. Six months later, and despite all odds, the card was announced and users were invited to get one for themselves.
No reason has been given for terminating the physical card, but it's probably safe to assume that it never gained much traction outside of early adopters and curious users. The Wallet Card doesn't collect fees or make money from transactions, meaning it was only valuable to Google as a way to collect information about the stores users frequented and how much money was spent with them. If adoption rates were low, this data probably wasn't valuable enough to offset the cost of maintaining the card.
<string name="plastic_card_deprecation_notification_body">"As of June 30, Google Wallet will no longer support the Wallet Card. You'll still be able to use Google Wallet to send and receive money and we're working to make those features better than ever. If you have money in your Wallet Balance, you can keep it in Wallet or cash out anytime."</string>
<string name="plastic_card_deprecation_notification_title">Your Wallet Card will stop working soon</string>
<string name="wallet_card_turndown_and_topup_turndown_body">You can use it until June 30. If you have money in your Wallet Balance, you can keep it there or cash out anytime.</string>
<string name="wallet_card_turndown_deadline">Card will only work until June 30</string>
<string name="wallet_card_turndown_default_body">"You can keep using it until June 30, but you'll only be able to add money to your Wallet Balance through May 1. If you have money in your balance already, you can keep it there or cash out anytime."</string>
<string name="wallet_card_turndown_default_title">Your Wallet Card will stop working soon</string>
<string name="wallet_card_turndown_requested_body">"You can still activate your card, but you'll only be able to use it until June 30. You can continue adding money to your Wallet Balance through May 1. If you have money in your balance already, you can keep it there or cash out anytime."</string>
<string name="wallet_card_turndown_requested_title">Your Wallet Card will work until June 30</string>
Google will continue all operations with the Wallet Card through May 1st, even allowing users to activate new cards. Once this date passes, new activations will be closed off and users will no longer be able to add money to an account for the purpose of storage. This won't impact the Google Wallet app or any accounts, since they will continue to be useful for sending and receiving money from other users. Balances can be withdrawn at any time.
It's important to note that these messages have not started appearing in the app and there has been no official announcement from Google, so there is a chance the dates are subject to change – but don't get your hopes up. On a technicality, it's also fair to acknowledge that there's no reference to the year, only the months and days; but I doubt Google would be preparing a specific message like this with more than a year to go.
The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.