Google to update Wallet at I/O, scraps plans for physical card

Google plans to update its rewards, offers, and loyalty points to include more merchants in the hopes of sparking more consumer interest.

Google Wallet in the field. Roger Cheng/CNET

Google has some new additions to show off for its Wallet service . A physical card, however, won't be one of them.

The company is expected to update its rewards, offers, and loyalty points program to include a wider number of merchants at Google I/O next week. Google had also planned to introduce a physical credit card linked to Google Wallet, but the company has scrapped those plans, according to AllThingsD.

Google Wallet has been the company's attempt to breach the burgeoning -- but still nascent -- mobile payments business. But the service has seen limited adoption, partly because the NFC (near-field communication) technology that it is tied to has only been limited to a few phones and merchant sales terminals.

A physical card would have opened up Google Wallet to more people. Google Wallet was designed to help Google know more about the purchasing habits of its users, enabling it to better serve ads and promotional offers.

Google CEO Larry Page reportedly killed the card launch plans after a glitchy demonstration last week, according to AllThingsD. Page had reportedly been skeptical of the physical card optoin.

CNET has contacted Google to comment on the report, and we'll update the story when the company responds.

We'll see what Google has to say about Wallet next week. Check back in to CNET for full Google I/O coverage.

About the author

Roger Cheng is the executive editor in charge of breaking news for CNET News. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade. He's a devoted Trojan alum and Los Angeles Lakers fan.

 

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