Google unveils prepaid debit card

Posted by Alexei Orekovic

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(Reuters) – Google Inc (GOOG.O) will offer a prepaid debit card that will allow consumers to purchase goods at stores and to withdraw cash from ATM machines, the Internet company said on Wednesday.

The card, which is only available in the United States, lets consumers access the funds stored in their Google Wallet accounts. Google Wallet is a smartphone app and online payment service that lets consumers buy goods and transfer money to each other.

The new Wallet card will be accepted at “millions of locations” that accept MasterCard and at ATM machines, Google said in a post on its official blog on Wednesday. Google said the card is free and that the company will not charge cardholders any monthly or annual fees.

The card could help advance Google’s efforts to play a bigger role in commerce and provide the company with valuable information about consumer shopping habits, though it appears to be less ambitious than the full-fledged credit card once rumored to be in the works.

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