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Into the Real World: Google Wallet Launches Debit Card

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The world of mobile payments is a very competitive one, with companies like PayPal and Square revolutionizing the way consumers purchase goods and services.

Not be left out of the game is Google, who already has Google Wallet online payment system for consumers. Now Google is taking the service a step further by launching a Google Wallet debit card that people can use in stores and that links back to their Google account.

According to mashable.com:

“Just in time for the holiday shopping season, Google’s payments solution known as Google Wallet will let people use debit cards connected to their accounts. It can be used like any normal debit card by withdrawing money from an ATM or purchasing items from a brick and mortar store.

“To access the card’s balance at retail and ATM locations, you simply use the same pin code that you already use with your Google Wallet account.”

It makes perfect sense that Google is trying to expand its reach in the payment arena, as it reportedly spent $300 million recently to improve Google Wallet. The Google Wallet debit card now makes the service more like PayPal, which has had debit and credit cards available for years. However, Google is primarily a digital company  and so that’s why it  probably took so long to launch a physical card.

As reported by wired.com:

“This isn’t a new concept for a digital wallet. PayPal itself has a debit card. The significance for Google is more in its apparent acknowledgment that its business needs to play in the physical world. Earlier this week, the company ramped up its Google Shopping Express service with a partnership with Costco, further expanding its presence in the buying and selling of physical goods. Its self-driving cars are another way the company is reaching beyond digital, though never losing sight of the digital-derived lesson that the real business opportunity is in platforms, not just products.”

Although the Google Wallet isn’t that different from other payment solutions available, there are no risks for customers willing to give it a try, especially for people who already use the Google Wallet service. It will also be a great move from Google’s perspective, whose core competency is collecting consumer data so it can sell better advertising. By getting into people’s physical wallets, Google will be able to gain more insights into people’s shopping habits.

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