New Google Wallet Card Lacks Convenience and Versatility
When Google first announced plans to issue a Google Wallet prepaid card, thousands of people signed up for the opportunity. This was supposed to be a tangible product for a mobile application that would make Google Wallet more widespread and versatile.
The customers that ordered their cards in late November are starting to get them in the mail, and for most of them, the card falls short of expectations.
For starters, the Google Wallet card can only be used in the United States. It lacks the EMV technology used in most European countries. The terms of agreement specifically state that the card is only valid in the U.S.
On top of that, the card is less convenient than expected. It was supposed to function similar to the newly developed Coin, where you can control all of your accounts through a single card. That is true, in theory, but there is a catch. You have to load money into your Google Wallet balance before you can use a card.
Instead of automatically pulling money from one account or another, Google requires you to first link financial accounts to your Wallet and then pull money out of them to apply to the card. That means if you want to make a purchase on the fly, you will first have to take the time to transfer money and then swipe your card. At that point, you might as well be using the card you already have in your wallet.