Google is going old school and launching a new Google Wallet prepaid debit card. The traditional plastic card all so familiar to a generation of baby boomers, will be issued by The Bancorp Bank, and available badged in either Visa or MasterCard flavors, and comes with no annual or monthly fees.
Google has been struggling to drive more interest in its mobile payments service and is gambling the new prepaid card will stir up some interest in Google Wallet.
As with other prepaid Visa and MasterCard cards, it can be used to pay for goods and services in-store and on-line, withdraw cash at ATMs and get cash at teller windows. Payment comes from funds linked to their Google Wallet account. Google Wallet cardholders can add funds to the card via a checking account, or for a 2.9% fee, from a Visa or MasterCard credit card account. Cardholders can get SMS text alerts, along with the other usual prepaid card functionality.
Google once offered a virtual prepaid card through The Bancorp Bank but discontinued it about a year ago.