Google CEO Larry Page has killed any plans to launch a physical credit card for Google's Wallet program leading up to their I/O event next week. The head of Google Wallet has also departed the company as a result of this fiasco.
AllThingsD is reporting that although Google will be updating its Wallet product, it will not be launching their own physical credit card at their I/O event next week. If you didn’t know they were even considering doing that, you probably missed a report by Android Police in November of 2012 that revealed plans for a physical card. Their sources say that this news was announced in a recent memo which also included the announcement that the head of Google Wallet, Osama Bedier, would be leaving the company.
The card was described as one with “a black face adorned with the whimsical rainbow “W” of the Google Wallet logo, a standard magnetic stripe and the usual raised numbers of a credit card embossed on it.” Which all sounds very Google-ish in design.
The report claims that releasing the credit card was part of an overall strategic plan that is unsurprisingly based around Google being able to collect more information on people. The card would allow them to track purchasing habits which would of course help them to continue to perfect their all-important advertising business.
Google has always been interested in growing its Wallet business but has been held back by the lack of adoption of NFC technology by many of the world's most popular retailers and banks. AllThingsD also mentions that Google CEO Larry Page abruptly killed the plans to launch the physical card after being very unimpressed with the lack of innovation, and he held the belief that it would not be able to compete with the startups like Square.
All this bad news make it easier to understand why Osama Bedier was then ousted from the company. His highly questionable strategy for Google Wallet was killed before it ever saw the light of day, and it keeps the program in a bit of a limbo as they decide where they should go next. The good news is that Larry Page had the foresight to end this before it got out, which is a step up for Google who has in recent past went ahead with a couple projects that were destined to fail. Most recently the Nexus Q.