Google is shutting down its physical Wallet Card service, reports Techcrunch. Google Wallet will continue to operate without that card feature and current users will have to phase out use by the 30th of June.
Google will disable bank transfers to add money to the Card after the 1st of May, after which Android Pay will also stop accepting Card payments. Users will be able to continue sending and receiving money to the Wallet balance, but will be required to update payment details in Google Wallet to continue any recurring transfers.
Wallet update: In September last year, Google had updated the Wallet service to enable peer to peer payments. At the same time, the company had introduced the Card which would let users to spend money at physical stores or withdraw it from an ATM.
Android Pay launch: In June the same year, the search giant unveiled an open platform API called Android Pay to enable its users to make payments from credit cards within the Android app. It enabled users to unlock their phone and place it on the payment terminal of the merchant to make a payment. Given this launch, it was strange that Google chose to introduce a physical card a few months later. Note that Apple and Samsung have functionally similar solutions of their own.
Note that this move comes at a time where various payment services in India are launching physical cards of their own, most of which let users make offline payments, and some that even allow ATM withdrawals.
– In January, digital payments company TranServ launched mobile walled called Udio, and tied up with RBL to offer physical VISA prepaid cards as well. The overall transactional limit for the wallet is Rs 10,000 per month (including the card).
– The same month, FreeCharge launched FreeCharge Go, a virtual card which can be used to make payments across all online merchants in India, in association with YES Bank and powered by MasterCard.
– In December, Paytm partnered with ICICI Bank to launch virtual prepaid cards which could be used by wallet users at both offline and online stores for purchases. The virtual card could be used at any retail organization which accepted Visa, MasterCard and RuPay.
– In August last year, HDFC Bank tied up with e-commerce portal Snapdeal to launch a co-branded credit card.
– Visa launched its mVisa payments service the same month, allowing users to make cashless payments from their smartphones at physical stores, e-commerce websites and deliveries at home via QR codes.