In an oddly-specific narrative published this morning, AllThingsD reported that sources close to Larry Page and Google Wallet have confirmed that plans for the physical Google Wallet credit card have been cut up, and VP of Wallet Osama Bedier pushed out of the company.
We exclusively reported on the Wallet card last November, when it appeared in a leaked version of the Google Wallet app. You could even initiate the card ordering process, suggesting the project was well on its way to completion. So, we waited. And we waited. And then we waited some more. The Wallet card seemingly went off the radar, and as Ron noted, the "new Google Wallet" sign up page still greets visitors of the Wallet site, like a big "Coming Soon" banner in front of that one restaurant that never seems to actually make progress on those renovations that have been going for like 6 months now.
AllThingsD's sources say that CEO Larry Page wasn't a fan of the idea from the get-go, and after he was given a demo of the card in action last week, glitches in the run-through ensured that those would be the Wallet card's last swipes. Shortly thereafter, rumors of Bedier's ousting emerged, and those rumors were confirmed yesterday by Google. All ThingsD's sources do say that while the project is not officially dead, all plans to launch it have been cancelled, and a previously-scheduled I/O announcement will not happen.
Is the Wallet card really, actually deceased then? Well, my guess would be technically no, because Larry and friends are searching out a replacement Wallet VP, whether internal or external, to make the final call on that decision. Given that Page simply didn't find the idea particularly innovative compared to competing services like Square to begin with, though, it seems all but a given that Bedier's successor won't attempt to blaze the Wallet card trail again. So essentially, yes, you can probably consider this idea dead and buried.
Alas, Google Wallet card, we barely knew you.
AllThingsD does report that Google will be making some Wallet announcements at I/O, by expanding its list of Wallet rewards, offers, and loyalty points partners. Oh great. That's so exciting.
We can only hope that person to person payments, the Wallet balance, and transit cards survived this culling.