Google Now Offers Its Own Prepaid Debit Card

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Google Wallet card

Google

Google Wallet card

In an interesting twist, Google has introduced a debit card, it announced on Wednesday.

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Google has been trying to gain traction in the mobile payments business with Google Wallet, a smartphone app. You link a bank account or credit card to it and it transfers money into the Google Wallet. Then you can pay for stuff by waving your phone in front of a device that reads the Wallet, at places that accept payment that way.

But what if you want to pay for something at a place that doesn't accept Google Wallet?

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What if you want to use an ATM?

So Google bucked up and created an old-fashioned way to deal with this, a debit card.

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It's free for Google Wallet users, although it's only available in the U.S. It's accepted at all the places that accept MasterCard.

Another bonus: this debit card charges no annual or monthly fees.

It sort of defeats the purpose of using your smartphone as a wallet but it also makes sense that Google would do this. It needs to take baby steps to encourage people to move away from their usual payment methods in favor of a smartphone app.