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Google Disables Google Wallet Pre-paid Cards Temporarily, Reminds You That the Service is Still Safe Though

Poor Google Wallet and the beating it has taken over the last week. First it was a “vulnerability” if your phone was rooted which was then followed by a non-rooted issue that allowed someone who stole your phone to access prepaid funds. To be fair to Wallet, none of these are actually issues unless you lose your phone and fail to protect it up front at the lock screen. But since attacking a product that is trying to push boundaries makes great headlines, this is where stand. Google has temporarily disabled prepaid cards in Wallet until they can provide a fix that won’t allow a user to simply “clear data” on the app and then re-access your funds.

Again, Google Wallet is still safe for making payments with credit cards, you just can’t use prepaid cards for the time being.

Via:  Google Commerce

Cheers Jim!

  • Blujayeww

    Looks like Google Wallet has been fixed!

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  • Stating El Obvious

    In this article, Android sheep.

  • Anonymous

    i can’t find a damn place to use it here in Phoenix, AZ.  I tried three jamba juice and none of them have the NFC payment device.

    • Anonymous

      Try downloading the PayPass Locator app.

    • Tim242

      As already stated, download the PayPass locator app. I’m in Little Rock, AR. I use it in a ton of places.

    • Tim242

      You have to search the specific city. So, if you search Phoenix, you won’t see results for Mesa.

  • Tim242

    This article is incorrect. You can still use the prepaid card. They only disabled the provisioning of new cards.

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    This new comment interface is awful.  Typing is slooooooow, and auto correct does not work.

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  • Anonymous

    Since the only credit cards that its compatible with are the citi mastercards then I guess I just can’t use it right now.


  • Anonymous

    I’m having an issue with the google wallet app on my galaxy nexus, I unlocked my bootloader (which also means my phone will be factory reset). So google wallet was backed up through my google account (I didn’t have to repeat the market exploit to redownload it). And when I open the google wallet app it becomes stuck on the screen that says “Initializing your device. This may take a few minutes depending on your network connection”, and I am literally right sitting next to my Wifi network and this has been going on for 30 minutes. I tried clearing data, and have rebooted my phone a few times but I am now unable to use google wallet now because of this. Would someone like to help me?

    • Anonymous

      I assume this issue is caused by Initializing my device for google wallet a second time, and its not a result of my bootloader being unlocked. I’m very frustrated right now.

    • Tim242

      You have to clear app data, delete and reinstall it.  But, you won’t be able to readd your card, until Google opens prepaid back up.  Always clear data and uninstall before making backup of your ROM.

      • Anonymous

        nope, didn’t work, I repeated the whole process of getting this app to download on a verizon nexus, and it still is stuck on the “initializing screen”. Just take my warning, be careful if you ever need to wipe your phone because otherwise you may encounter the same issue I am.

        My only option now is too wait for google to update the app to fix this. This is disappointing.

        • Tim242

          I have done many restores. It always works perfectly. The key is to not ever restore Wallet from backup.

  • Anonymous

    ONLY THE PROVISIONING OF NEW CARDS IS DISABLED, You can STILL Use existing cards, Add funds to existing prepaid cards, and check balances of existing cards.

    If you HAVENT ALREADY ACTIVATED A prepaid card, you WILL NOT be able to create a new one until google releases a fix.


    • Anonymous

      It is only semi functional though. You can still use it but the balance won’t update. Under user ID it just says “cannot contact bank” and won’t update my balance in the app. I’d be hesitant to add funds until I can see my balance.

      • Anonymous

        I made purchase on Friday 2/9 and the transaction with the location and amount was on there along with the deduction from my prepaid amount. Unless this changed today I think everything is working fine for already activated accounts. 

        • Anonymous

          I have been using Wallet with the prepaid Google card since December. I made a purchase on Friday evening and the transaction worked but my available balance would not update. Myself and many others got the “cannot contact bank” message where the user ID would normally be. Sure it still worked but there were issues with balance updates for myself and many others.

          Today (Monday) I checked Wallet again and it appears that Google has restored connectivity.

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  • Anonymous

    Google giveth me $10

    And Google taketh away.

    • Anonymous

      If you already activated/Provisioned the card it should still work perfectly, they have only temporarily disbled the creation/provisioning of new cards -Confirmed by Customer service

      • Immageek

        If that were only the case. I activated my card on tuesday and went to use it yesterday and it wasn’t there. I had to sign in all over again and the card wasn’t listed. I really wanted to try it out.

        • Anonymous

          After talking to customer service for 20 minutes the situation was clarified.
          What works: Any Card you have loaded funds onto before will still have that balance, Transactions will work, but BALANCE WILL NOT SHOW NOR WILL USER ID “cannot contact bank” shows on the screen. BUT The transactions will still go through.
          NO provisioning new cards, no using 10$ free cards that havent been loaded with real monies 😉
          I used mine yesterday, it worked, still doesnt show how much i spent and my balance still hasnt updated to reflect the purchase.

  • Jamesu513

    I just used my google prepaid card at mcdonalds 20 min ago – maybe just adding funds is disabled for the time being

  • GoogleFellOff

    Google Wallet is such a fail and i don’t say that because of this story. Nobody is using Google Wallet. Half the people don’t have phones to take advantage of the technology, of those who do most wouldn’t trust Google with their privacy and of those who do most have no money and of that very tiny percentage of human beings who use Google Wallet, well now they can worry about this! Amazing!!!!

    • Anonymous

      Go away please.

    • I remember when people were saying the same thing about search.

    • Anonymous

      You can’t even troll right. A lot less than half of the population of smartphone users have NFC.


    • Tim242

      The use of debit cards started out just as slow.

    • PC_Tool

      “Half the people don’t have phones to take advantage of the technology,
      of those who do most wouldn’t trust Google with their privacy”

      Logic fail.

      Those who do?  You mean, the folks that bought the Nexus devices?  They don’t trust Google?  Really?   Did you even think before posting that?

      Whatever point or argument you are trying to make just got lost in the stupid of that one sentence. Nice one.

  • so what happens to the funds we have stored on our prepaid cards then?

    • Anonymous

      You can still use it (I did earlier) but you won’t be able to add more for now, or reprovision Wallet if you’re switching ROMs

    • Anonymous

      You can use them, just can’t add funds.

  • Flyerwire

    this is such a non story. If you lose your phone and you a) dont have a lock screen set or b) have your lock screen hacked, then the thief could potentially use only the funds already in your prepaid card. 

    If you lose your credit card, the thief can use your credit card without the extra steps as above. 

    • Hi

      Awesome! So it is such a non story that Google decided to take action. People already have the possibility of losing their wallet so Google Wallet just gives them an extra opportunity to lose their credit card info!!!Thanks Google Wallet!

      • Anonymous

        Nice way to twist it around. If you lose your wallet or your phone you are fucked anyway. I am pretty sure they can get more than prepaid stuff if they tried. Troll elsewhere.

  • Anuraj Bhatt

    So can I use up the funds I just added or am I locked out?

  • Anonymous

    i can verify this RIGHT NOW….ugh! If you open gwallet and click on your pre-paid card…it shows an error “cannot contact bank.”