After Apple, Google reportedly planning to launch its own card
In the age of digital payments and peer-to-peer transfers, third-party smart cards, promising plenty of benefits and user-facing features, are becoming increasingly popular. First, we got Apple Card, then Ola, Paytm, and Zomato launched their India-specific offerings, and now, internet giant Google appears to be joining the bandwagon with its own smart card. Here's all about it.
As first reported by TechCrunch, Google is testing a smart debit card to help customers make and track the payments made across online and offline stores. The card is aimed at augmenting Google Pay, the payment system the company has already established to let users in India and abroad make peer-to-peer transfers (Indian version of Google Pay uses UPI) and online store purchases.
With the Google-branded smart debit card, customers will be able to pay across offline stores, restaurants, gas stations, and all other places where a POS machine is available. It will also let consumers track their purchases and payments - with payment history, location on Maps, store's contact - while giving the company useful insight into general consumer spending, which might eventually help with advertising.
The smart card will be issued in partnership with banks like CITI and Stanford Federal Credit Union, with Visa being the payment processor, at least in the initial stages. You will get full control over the card from Google Pay, with options like adding money into the card, locking the card, and accessing a virtual avatar of the card with a different number.
With this system, if your physical card gets lost, you can lock it, order a replacement, and continue paying with the tap-to-pay virtual one. If the digital card's number gets stolen, it can be reset directly from the Google Pay app.
That said, right now, Google's smart card sounds more like an upped version of the traditional debit cards banks have on offer. In order to make it a tempting offering like the Apple Card, which is a full-fledged credit card, the company will have to combine the new debit card with additional payment offers and benefits - something that has not been detailed yet.
The report doesn't say when Google is planning to launch the card for Google Pay. In a statement, a Google spokesperson said, "We're exploring how we can partner with banks and credit unions in the US to offer smart checking accounts through Google Pay, helping their customers benefit from useful insights and budgeting tools...we look forward to sharing more details in the coming months."