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back to article Google whips away card, leaves just clouds in your Wallet

Google is pulling its pre-paid credit card, citing the success of its cloudy alternative and admitting that when in comes to bonking payments no one wants to bank with the Chocolate Factory. The pre-paid card will stop accepting top-up credit on 17 October, and after that date there will be a monthly charge of $2 in order to …

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Unhappy

would be nice to have this in the UK

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Anonymous Coward

Be a thorn in the side of a giant

Drop $100 onto your card today!

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Bronze badge

Connection

Why does it need to be connected to the cloud to pay for something? Aren't the point of sale systems at the shop already connected

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I still think NFC payment is a solution in search of a problem - the only real benefit they're touting is that it's quicker than paying by card, but chip-and-pin is only slightly slower. Contrast:

1. Insert card.

2. Wait for reader to talk to your card.

3. Type PIN.

4. Wait for auth.

5. Collect card and receipt.

versus:

1. Touch phone to reader.

2. Wait for reader to talk to your phone.

3. Type PIN.

4. Collect card and receipt.

Total saving: 10 seconds?

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The best payment system I've seen so far

is the one called "CASH" in Switzerland and basically it is using your card's chip, you can load it with a limited amount (max ~200 GBP) from any bank's ATM.

All it takes is to insert the card and the amount is deducted automatically. No PIN's, no authentication steps, nothing. OK, it's not secure as loss of the card = loss of the money but this is why the amount is limited and acceptance is also limited on things like kiosks, transport tickets and vending machines, toll booths and the like.

In my view, that's where the speed of the transaction really matters. For my less frequent transactions, gaining 10 extra seconds is not a concern at all.

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in that case...

They're pushing the AUTH transaction on to you and your phone. This could result in less back end infrastructure being required by the business, and thus open up more avenues for card payments being accepted e.g. at festivals.

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Re: The best payment system I've seen so far

Dutch also have "Chipknip" that does the same thing. Problem is that there doesn't appear to be a standard for it so you can't use it with foreign cards.

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'there will be a monthly charge of $2 in order to bleed out remaining credit (or encourage users to spend it)'

Err why not refund whats unspent at the end of Jan 2013 or something? I don't know how many people use this system but even a few thousand x $2 x y months could be quite a tidy sum.

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Anonymous Coward

> Err why not refund whats unspent at the end of Jan 2013 or something?

Because they don't know where to refund it to.

When you make a payment the payee does not know the bank account number that the payment came from. When somebody tops up the card Google does not know anything about the bank account the top up came from.

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Anonymous Coward

It's OK, what's the most the Androidiots will do anyway? Complain on Google+?

It's not like Google actually cares.

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Silver badge
FAIL

The new scheme works by storing credit card details, from any card, in Google's cloud.

So how does Google Cloud work with the HSBC SecureKey?

Not even the HSBC can get it working reliably, for more than a short duration. The HSBC SecureKey is really good at helping you save - I haven't been able to access my InterNet banking for FORTY DAYS now.

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Silver badge

Bah!

A "pre-paid" credit card isn't a credit card at all. For most purposes you are better off using a Debit Card than one of these perplexing things. I've never understood why anyone would use one in preference to a real credit card.

a) It will run out of money and stop working a damn sight quicker than a credit card.

2) It uses your money instead of the bank's and why would anyone do that by choice?

$) Fraud is your problem instead of the bank's.

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Silver badge

Re: Bah!

Many people don't trust bank debit cards because there is no liability protection for them (unlike credit-card-based formats like Visa Check Cards which are subject to mandated consumer rights protections). If an insider or other miscreant gets a hold of the bank card number and the PIN (both quite possible), then it's "caveat emptor". That's why most clearinghouses charge more for handling the latter rather than the former (as that helps them cover the costs of this consumer rights protection).

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Pint

Re: Bah!

It depends on the type of pre-paid card. Some of them are treated as "real" cards for billing/pay-down and reporting purposes. Someone with a poor credit rating can use these to gain a history of "paid on time" and thus improve their score.

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Stop

Phone NFC credit cards - too much work

Choice 1: take phone out of pocket, unlock phone, start up relevant app, enter whatever PIN/authentication that app needs, wave phone over NFC reader.

Choice 2: take out credit card, wave card over NFC reader.

In the US many NFC enabled cards (eg PayPass) don't even need PIN or signing for low value transactions (between $20 or $50 depending on card and outlet). Using the phone strikes me as a lot less convenient.

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Anonymous Coward

The end of Society as we know it = Cashless Society

The problem with NFC is it is just another enabler of a "Cashless Society" like credit or debit cards..

The underground economy cannot just disapear overnight but NFC will help push it to do so. Complete loss of this invisible economy will increase crime dramatically.

Will we all have card readers on our phones so we can pay that bet on the Hockey/Football/Soccer game?

What about the plight of the poor stripper? What is the fun of putting a credit card on your face? Does she have NFC on her fanny?

What about the perenial busker/tramp/panhandler? They might have to go on the dole instead of raking in $50,000 a year from panhandling.

I also believe that a nations currency is also part of it's identity. Some of that identity has already been lost due to the Euro. This identity crisis is already a problem on the world markets. The lack of a national identity to the Euro does not help to make it a safe haven for investment because no one can correlate the financial policies of a particular country to the Euro itself. The Euro is also subject to the bad financial policies of several countries and there is no isolation of the good from the bad, all suffer to one extent or another.

There will also come a day when the government can tell where and how you spent every dime of your money which may make tax time a bit scary for quite a few people.

No, I hope that NFC never takes off.

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Silver badge

Re: The end of Society as we know it = Cashless Society

Not necessarily. If the card that holds your money has no identity attached to it (like many prepaid cards), all they'll know is that someone used this card at this location but will have no idea as to WHO. As for your scenarios...

Betting on the game? A legal bookie probably will have an NFC receiver, as for party bets, the currency will just switch to beer or liquor.

Stripper? Receiver at the end of the walkway, perhaps? Just as how there's a line for tips on restaurant receipts?

Panhandler outcome would be desirable, so let it stand.

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Silver badge
Pint

Yet another reason why

I stopped using Google for search and went to DuckDuckGo (thanks for pushing that one guys, I owe the Reg community a round of beers for pointing me to DDG!)

I'm sick of Google setting up these services, letting people like myself get used to them and actually finding them useful - only to yank them a couple of years later. Buzz, Wave, iGoogle - all were good ideas that have been taken away. (I know iGoogle is still around until next year, but I've already weaned myself off it because it is being taken away.)

Never again will I rely on a Google service (I may use them if there's no alternative, but I won't be relying on them), beyond Android on my mobile - and even then I don't use Google's services on that. My mobile browser is Firefox for Android, and all my info on it is managed by similar third-party apps - I simply don't use the default services Google offers on it. It's too easy to get used to them only to have them ripped away at Google's whim, which is something they've done once too often.

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FAIL

No customer support whatsoever

I once had problems with Google Wallet. I searched for a phone number or email to contact Google about the problem. They have zilch, nadda, nothing. They can't be bothered to talk to "little people" who have problems 'cause customer service support costs time and money.

I deleted my Google Wallet account and removed my credit card information. I say, Good luck with dat.

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