Alphabet Inc.’s Google unit is betting its partnership with Marqeta Inc.to issue a tokenized virtual Google Pay card will entice consumers to use Google Pay more often for day-to-day purchases online and in-store.
The new card, announced this week, allows users to make purchases with their Google Pay balance using a virtual, tokenized Visa debit card stored in their Google Pay wallet. The card, which can be stored as an NFC card, can be used at merchants that support in-store contactless payments or that accept tokenized payments via Buy with Google Pay online. Google Pay users can use the card for purchases without having to manually enter card numbers.
Before, Google Pay users could only use their Google Pay balance for person-to-person payments, purchases at Google-owned properties such as the Play Store or YouTube, or to transfer funds to their bank account.
“We’ve seen huge demand for contactless payments and mobile wallets during the pandemic as people are shifting away from paying with cash or physical debit cards,” a Marqeta spokesperson says by email.
For its part, Google says it is introducing the card as a way to provide Google Pay with greater utility at the point of sale. Google Pay is supported by Android-based mobile devices. “With the addition of the new virtual Google Pay balance card, Android users in the United States now have a simple and secure way to spend their Google Pay balance at Google Pay merchants,” the company says. “We believe strongly in an ecosystem approach and look to work with companies like Marqeta that share in our mission to make payments simple, secure, and helpful.”
Marqeta’s virtual card platform uses open application programming interfaces to allow companies to launch and manage their own card programs, issue cards, and authorize and settle transactions.
“The power of modern card issuing is being able to embed a card into an app like Google Pay and create completely new vectors of commerce that change how consumers relate to their money,” Marqeta chief executive Jason Gardner said in a prepared statement.