Google Wallet Offers Plastic Debit Card

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Google Wallet now offers a plastic Google Wallet debit card designed as an alternative to using a smartphone to pay at the point of sale.

The MasterCard-branded card provides ATM access, and is available to U.S. residents that have already successfully completed Google’s identity verification process, according to an article on Droid Life. Two pages on Google's support website show how to order the card and describe its features.

The sign-up page, visible within a user's Google account, indicates that the card is issued by The Bancorp Bank. Once ordered, the card will arrive by mail within 10 to 12 days, Google's website says. Google did not immediately return an inquiry by PaymentsSource.

Google once tested a Discover-branded plastic card, but scrapped the project after glitch-filled tests, according to several reports.

The plastic card option brings Google Wallet in line with the wireless carriers' Isis wallet, which lets users sign up for an American Express Serve account and receive a plastic Serve card.

Google has made a number of adjustments to its mobile wallet to address concerns from banks, merchants and consumers.

Most recently Google reduced its reliance on Near Field Communication technology by releasing an app that works on any phone running version 2.3 or higher of the Android mobile operating system. The new app focuses on person-to-person payments, but Google is steadily rolling out a new version of its Android operating system that allows phones to make NFC payments without accessing the secure element.

Other past updates to Google Wallet fixed security holes, eliminated a virtual prepaid card account and simplified the company's approach to bank partnerships.

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