We kicked-off November by learning about a big change that was in the works for Google Wallet, upon a leaked future version of the app revealing details about a new program to introduce a physical Google Wallet card. Such a card would allow Google Wallet users to make payments at retailers that didn’t support NFC, and it seemed that Google might use the card to extend access to users with phones that lacked NFC hardware themselves. That’s all looking essentially confirmed at this point, upon Google posting some details of the card to its Google Wallet support pages.
Here, Google makes it crystal clear that this card is for nearly everyone, not just users with phones officially supporting Wallet and its NFC payments. The company writes, “all Android devices with an operating system of Android 2.3.3 or higher are eligible to download the Google Wallet app for use with the Google Wallet card.”
While there are a few stragglers (about 15% of all Android users) that haven’t moved on to Gingerbread, this still means that a huge number of new users will soon be able to start making retail payments through Google Wallet.
We’ve been wondering if this card might mean that Google is bringing Wallet to users of other smartphone platforms, but there’s no sign of anything like that in this support doc.