Google Pay’s new virtual card uses your balance for in-store payments
Following the massive overhaul of the Google Pay app last year, there’s a new feature rolling out to Pay users in the United States. Starting this week, users of the app in the U.S. will be able to use their Google Pay balance for in-store payments through a virtual card. This allows users to pay with rewards earned or with money that was sent by friends or family.
This feature (via 9to5Google) is rolling out starting this week and will only work on Android smartphones with NFC hardware making payments at supported payment terminals. Before this addition, Google only allowed you to use money in your balance for sending money to friends and family, spending it on the Google Play Store, buying items online, or transferring it to your bank account. You couldn’t use your balance in-store, which seemed like a bit of a missed opportunity given that it still worked online. Previously, the only way to make in-store payments with your balance was by first transferring it to your bank account.
To get the new virtual card, you’ll need to request it in the Google Pay app.
Now, Android users in the US can request a virtual Google Pay balance card in order to make purchases at merchants that accept Google Pay for contactless payments (in-store) or accept tokenized payments via Buy with Google Pay (online).
Virtual cards are a popular feature that is already a part of Pay. When you make an in-store payment using your smartphone, it uses a virtual card that has a different number than your real card. Google says that the feature is rolling out in the United States now, and will make its way to “all” Android users in the U.S. soon. The new Google Pay app hasn’t launched everywhere yet, so this will only work in countries where the new app is available.