Updated 4/1/16: Google announced in an email it’s discontinuing the Google Wallet card effective June 30th, “to focus on making it easier than ever to send and receive money with the Google Wallet app.”
It’s time to bid farewell to the Google Wallet card.
Granted, if you have one it’s probably in a desk drawer next to a non-working Lumia phone and Nexus Player remote. But after an initial APK Teardown of the latest version of Google Wallet dropped this hint, Google recently confirmed the move.
The change makes sense, as Google’s mobile payment solution has shifted to Android Pay. Wallet has been re-purposed as an app to send money to individuals, along the lines of Venmo or PayPal.
The story behind the story: The Google Wallet card was always a weird beast. Google Wallet was the first major platform to allow you to pay with your phone, but support was so lackluster among retailers that Google released a physical card. But that kind of defeated the purpose of going with Google Wallet in the first place, as you had to go back to paying with a physical card. Once Apple Pay came along, the concept was popular enough for Google to retool its own service with Android Pay. And don’t forget Samsung Pay, because now everybody has to have a service with “Pay” in the name.