Google Inc (GOOG) Launches Prepaid Debit Cards For U.S.

Google Inc (GOOG) will roll out prepaid debit cards allowing users to purchase goods at stores and withdraw cash from ATM. The search engine giant has offered the service in the United States, as of now, where consumers can withdraw funds from their Google Wallet accounts. Google Wallet is an app and online payment service helping users to purchase goods and transfer money.

Debit card in U.S only, as of now

On Wednesday, Google told on its blog post that the card is valid at “millions of locations” where MasterCard is accepted. Also, these debit cards can be used at ATM to withdraw money. The card is offered free of cost and no monthly or annual fees will be charged from the users.

A spokeswoman at Google informed that the card can be ordered online on Wednesday, and will take 10 to 12 days to get delivered. Consumers could transfer money into their Google account by linking it to their bank account, or when a transfer is made by another individual.

“Your roommate finally paid you back for dinner through Google Wallet, and you want to use that money right away to pay for groceries this week. Now, you can use the new Google Wallet Card to spend the money instantly,” explained Sandra Mariano, product manager of Google Wallet, in a blog.

According to a report in AllTHingsD, Google consumer card was postponed after the head of Google’s Wallet and payments group, Osama Bedier stepped down from the company in May.

In 2011, Google launched a special AdWordBusiness credit card that could be used by the advertising customers to buy ads on its website.

Vital Info of shoppers

Through these cards, Google can penetrate, further, in commerce, and access the vital information from customers such as their shopping habit although the debit card offering does not seem to be as ambitious as the rumored full-fledged credit card.

The information such as the description of goods purchased, the amount of the transaction and the name and address of the seller will be stored in the internal profiles data base maintained by Google.

After Google, there is a strong possibility that other e-commerce companies resort to the similar strategy, and offer such integrated products. In China, at present Internet giant Alibaba offers major online payment services known as Alipay, a service similar to PayPal with an escrow function. In India, American express has launched own virtual wallet eZeClick in February.