After nearly a year of rumors, setbacks, speculation and criticism, Google Wallet finally moved its mobile wallet solution into offline commerce space with the announcement that its first physical prepaid debit card is available to the public, an official blog post revealed.
Google Wallet card users can utilize the card at any ATM, bank or business that accepts MasterCard debit. Further, users gain expanded access to Google Offers, and in a separate November 20 announcement, exclusive holiday loyalty reward deals. Google Wallet users can now save deals to Google Maps, Google search and Google+.
The card does have some potential drawbacks as a primary payment option. For example, there is a maximum spending limit of $5,000 per day on the card, and TG Daily notes that Google Wallet is only available for use in the United States.
Interested users who request the prepaid card online will receive the card within 10 to 12 days. The media outlet noted that shipping is free and that there are no activation fees associated with the card.
With the launch, Google Wallet’s creators have also become more comfortable discussing Google Wallet and the challenges they’ve faced since the platform’s promising launch. In an interview with Fast Company, Jonathan Wall, Google Wallet’s founding engineer commented on the biggest roadblocks the service has faced, naming carriers as the biggest point of failure.
“Very early on, as we got started, it was very exciting and people were very interested in the potential of the product,” Wall told the media outlet. “We did bet on NFC; we did bet on new hardware; and at the time, it felt like we could use the leverage of Android against the problem. We thought, Maybe it is realistic.”
The announcement continues a string of positive news for the once-struggling mobile wallet that has included the news it would add support for NFC transactions, has gained popularity with users and released its Host Card Emulation (HCE) model as well as a P2P solution enabled by Gmail.
Google Wallet was the subject of an in depth case study at PYMNTS Mobile Commerce Summer School. To download the case, click here.
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