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Gift and loyalty cards out: Is Google Wallet next on the Google chopping block?

Google added services to Wallet over the last couple of years, but is now starting to pull them back with gift and loyalty cards being removed this month.
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Written by Matthew Miller, Contributor on
Gift and loyalty cards out: Is Google Wallet next on the Google chopping block?

Google is known for shutting down services at will with Google Reader being the latest casualty. Google sent emails to existing Google Wallet customers stating that gift and loyalty card support will be pulled out from Google Wallet on 21 August.

After I discovered all the PayPass locations I could use with Google Wallet I started using it regularly. Google slowly opened up Wallet to any credit or debit card and then added loyalty and reward cards to the mix. With the upcoming removal of loyalty and gift cards, lack of hardware support on their newest device, and lack of carrier support for Google Wallet while backing ISIS it looks to me like Google Wallet may be one of the next services put out to pasture.

I used Google Wallet on a Nexus devices, but very few other Android phones I tried after that even supported Wallet. Much of that was due to lack of carrier support too. As a person who likes to demonstrate functions on their phones, I enjoyed the experience of tapping to pay for items and then showing it off to the clerk at the store. My phone is also always with me while I find carrying a wallet to be an inconvenience.

The addition of gift and loyalty cards was great, but at the time it was released I did not have an Android smartphone I used that supported that. I would love to have lightened my physical wallet with these cards integrated into my phone and actually I do that now through the FidMe application on multiple platforms (Android, WP8, iOS) since Google Wallet didn't work out.

ISIS has yet to make its full debut outside of a few test areas and with Apple not yet supporting NFC the move to mobile wallets is moving at a snails pace. Samsung is rolling out their Samsung Wallet solution on select Galaxy devices and it looks to be a iOS Passbook clone, complete WITHOUT NFC support.

The mobile wallet space is full of these fragmented solutions and until someone can step up and promote a consolidated message I don't think we will ever see any of them reach the ideal mobile wallet solution some of us want.

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