With the new Google Wallet app, physical credit cards' days are numbered

Between Google Wallet and Apple Wallet, almost all smartphones can be used for payment. So do we need physical card cards anymore?

Google Wallet
(Image credit: Google)

Google has now rolled out its new wallet to all users on smartphones and wearables. That's good news for everyone, even if you don't use an Android device. With the majority of in-store payments now available at a tap, there's rarely a time when my credit card comes out of my physical wallet. 

In fact, the days of the physical wallet are numbered. Whether you use Apple Wallet or Google Wallet, you can store all of your credit cards for use. Using these digital wallets is safer than handing over your credit card, as your actual number is never shared with the merchant, so it's a better option all-round. 

As for the other things in your wallet, both Google and Apple are offering digital versions of your work pass, car keys, tickets, boarding passes and even driving license (this is still to come for most locations). 

As for those notes and coins, I know I've hardly touched them in months, with most places actually preferring to take card payments – even parking meters and public transport. 

Google Wallet

Storing other physical wallet items in your Google Wallet

(Image credit: Google)

It surely won't be long before credit cards are just issued virtually rather than in physical form. Especially if most people plan to just leave the actual card at home and simply use it on their phones or wearables. 

Apple's own credit card comes with a very looking physical card but the service is more designed to be used in digital form via the Apple Wallet. I'm sure it won't be long before there is at least the option not to have a physical card. 

As much as I love a good wallet, I don't think I'm going to miss carrying one. It's one less thing to carry, to lose or get stolen. Yes, it means that if you lose your phone then you also lose your wallet, but replacing digital cards is a much easier process – and much simpler to block. 

Mat Gallagher

As T3's Editor-in-Chief, Mat Gallagher has his finger on the pulse for the latest advances in technology. He has written about technology since 2003 and after stints in Beijing, Hong Kong and Chicago is now based in the UK. He’s a true lover of gadgets, but especially anything that involves cameras, Apple, electric cars, musical instruments or travel.