Google Wallet is shutting down its debit card

Google Wallet is in tough shape.
Google Wallet is in tough shape.
Image: (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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Amid a companywide effort to cull money-losing operations, Google is shutting down its Google Wallet debit card, the company confirmed in a blog post today

The card, which is linked to the user’s Google Wallet account balance, launched in 2014 in an effort to help people make purchases in stores and also provide Google with data on what people buy offline. Sources familiar with the product told Quartz there are millions of active cards, and Google is telling customers that similar products are offered by Simple, a digital bank owned by Spanish bank BBVA, and American Express Serve, the credit card company’s prepaid division. The card will officially shut down on June 30th.

Google declined to comment beyond the blog post.

The closure comes as parent company Alphabet has focused on reining in its less profitable divisions. Google hired Ruth Porat as chief financial officer in May 2015, and the Wall Street Journal reported in July that the former Morgan Stanley CFO was leading an internal audit to trim the company’s non-revenue generating fat. Ex-executives said as recently as 2013 that Google Wallet loses money on each transaction because of the high fees it pays credit card companies.

Google Wallet was originally intended to make in-store payments with Android devices, but that function was split into another service, Android Pay, which launched in 2014 after Apple launched its Apple Pay mobile wallet. Google Wallet is now focused on peer-to-peer payments, which has gained a bit of traction.