Rumors about the death of the Google Wallet Card have been confirmed, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel for consumers who keep the plastic card in their wallets.
Google has teamed up with American Express Serve and Simple to offer a bonus to owners of the Google Wallet Card, which will stop working on June 30. Those who switch to a Serve account will receive a $20 reward after a third direct deposit of $500 or more onto a Serve prepaid card. Google Wallet Card owners who opt to go with a account Simple, meanwhile, automatically receive $20 for doing so.
The Google Wallet card was an extension of the Google Wallet payment app, which was supplanted by Android’s Apple Pay last year. Prior to the announcement of the Google Wallet Card’s end earlier this week, the product allowed users to make purchases in stores that could only accept magnetic stripe-based cards and had no capability to process payments on a contactless NFC platform. Google Wallet accounts will not be eliminated, but after June 30, consumers will only be able to use it to make Google Play purchases and as a peer-to-peer payment service. Individuals who created a Google Wallet account solely to use a wallet card can transfer their account balances to their bank accounts at any time. Those who set up Android Pay with a Google Wallet Card will need another card to pay before June 30.
Industry observers note that although plastic card users may be straddling two worlds, American Express and Simple were intended to work well in that niche. “The consumers who signed up for Google’s plastic card are the sort of people who were much more interested in Google’s software than in the hardware wizardry involved in making contactless payments from a phone,” Paymentssource said in quoting a statement from Simple.
The incentives sound like a good idea to us. Great job, American Express and Simple. You’ve found another viable niche.