re: Google Wallet Gets Real
Google Wallet "as a cloud service" has actually existed for quite some time; it simply used to be called Google Checkout instead. Now Wallet is for purchasers & Checkout is for sellers but it's just 2-sides of the same coin. I first used Checkout as a buyer back in 2006! Google just hasn't done a good job of promoting Checkout online so not many payees made it available to use. That's all changing due to increased visibility from mobile use. The physical card is not just to overcome the lack of NFC readers but also to make it easily available for people who don't have Android phones.
One nice thing about carrying a physical Google Wallet card instead of your regular credit/debit cards will be that, if your wallet is lost or stolen, you only have to cancel your Wallet card & not all the credit/debit cards connected to it!