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Google Wallet: 2012-2013 in Pictures

(Image: Bloomberg News)

First to Market First to Market

Google launched its mobile wallet roughly a year ahead of competitors such as Microsoft, Apple and Isis. For better or worse, all eyes were on Google as it navigated the rough waters of mobile point-of-sale payments. (Image: ThinkStock)

Security Woes Security Woes

Google faced early criticism for security issues that allowed users to reset the Google Wallet's PIN or to access stored funds on a modified phone. It quickly fixed these issues, which were tied to the Google-branded virtual prepaid card. (Image: ThinkStock)

Nexus 7 Nexus 7

Carriers have resisted offering Google Wallet on phones, but the WiFi-only Nexus 7 tablet doesn't require a carrier's buy-in. Google added its mobile wallet to the tablet in July. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Party of One Party of One

Google Wallet launched with Citi as its first and only partner. Citi is a longtime early adopter, having supported or tested technologies such as the Google Checkout online payment system, the Obopay mobile payment system and the Dynamics high-tech payment card. But without a major change, Google wasn't able to attract other issuers. (Image: Bloomberg News)

The Floodgates Open The Floodgates Open

Google Wallet originally required a long integration with its bank partners. But an August change put this process in consumers' hands instead. At that point, banks simply had to provide card art and other basic details, leading many to finally lend their support to Google Wallet. (Image: ThinkStock)

Prepaid Fades Prepaid Fades

Google initially used a virtual prepaid card to allow non-Citi issuers' cards to work with its mobile wallet. With the August change to the Wallet app, this Google-branded card was no longer necessary. Google removed the prepaid card in October. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Rivals Catch Up Rivals Catch Up

This year, Google faced new competitors. The mega-merchants announced the Merchant Customer Exchange venture, which would offer a competing wallet; and Isis launched its long-awaited pilot in Salt Lake City and Austin, Texas. (Image: ThinkStock)

Power of Plastic? Power of Plastic?

Google is reportedly planning to offer a plastic card as a companion to its mobile wallet. The card may attract more mobile-wallet users, but it may also wind up largely ignored by customers just like the plastic card PayPal offers with its own digital wallet. (Image: ThinkStock)

Predictions Predictions

What is Google planning in 2013? One analyst predicts it will begin work on a Google Bank. Another predicts the addition of a plastic card to Google Wallet will make the mobile-pay system a stronger competitor to banks. (Image: ThinkStock)

The Google Wallet we see today is a much different product from what we had a year ago. Here are the major changes that took place this year, and the challenges Google faced and still faces today.

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