A new Google wallet feature allows you to take a picture of your card to save it’s information. By simply snapping a pic of the front of the card, Wallet will save the card number and expiration date for use. That assumes you can readily find a tap-and-pay portal to use it.
This also doesn’t help you with the newly announced Google Wallet card, which is shipping now. That card allows you to use your Wallet balance, and doesn’t link to other cards on file. Unless Google has something up their sleeve with Wallet, this is another feature that may or may not be useful in real world situations.
With Isis, carriers such as Verizon have created their own mobile payment solution, basically dropping support for Wallet altogether. That, along with point-of-sale providers not setting their systems up to accept Wallet, have contributed to its poor reception and implementation. While a useful service for making online purchases from the likes of the Play Store, Wallet has yet to find other solutions for real-world situations.
We like the idea of Wallet, but the execution has never been solid. It’s another fragmented service from Google, which effectively has three different modes: physical, tap-to-pay, and online. Those are treated as very disparate offerings, with none receiving widespread implementation. The Wallet physical card may be meant to give other services headaches, but we don’t see it yet.
The mobile payment landscape is still finding its way, and offerings like Coin don’t help solidify anything. While we really like the idea of Coin, it’s just like most other mobile payment solutions: unproven. We hope that Google can give some strong direction with wallet, and the ability to scan a card into your account is a sleeper service which will show its merit down the line.