Banking and Finance

What to Know About the Google Pay Debit Card

Elizabeth
July 27, 2021

While there doesn’t seem to be much news about it yet, if you visit the Google Pay website and scroll down to the bottom, you’ll see that Google is now opening its waitlist for Plex, a digital bank account offered through the Google Pay app that works in conjunction with a host of banks and credit unions.


Again, there’s not much information about it yet, but the website does note that you can download Google Pay to join the waitlist for the app, which we assume comes with a virtual or perhaps even physical debit card. Participating banks currently include Citi, Coastal Community Bank, and BBVA, among others.


Here’s all we know about the Google Pay debit card (the potential one, we mean) and what some other options are if you are either looking to use Google Pay with a different debit card or would like to access another digital debit card to pay with!

All About the Google Pay Balance Card

Beginning in July of 2021, Google started slowly rolling out the Google Pay Balance Card feature, which acts as a virtual debit card of sorts that you can use to spend the money that’s in your Google Pay account.


This means that if your friends all pay you back for dinner one evening and you now have $75 in your account, you could use the Google Pay Balance Card to make in-store payments via NFC technology. 


You might note that this is different from before, where you’d have to transfer that balance to your bank account where it would get deposited for you to use (similar to how PayPal and Venmo work, although PayPal now offers the PayPal Cash Card that’s nearly identical to this new concept from Google).


In this sense, the Google Pay Balance Card technically could be referred to as the “Google Pay debit card,” which can make things a bit confusing if you’re hearing chatter about it online.


According to 9 to 5 Google, most Android users should be able to access this feature now from the Google Pay app. Simply tap on “Balance” and you should see an image that prompts you to “set up your Google Pay balance for contactless payments.”


How to Create a Google Pay Account Without a Debit Card

If you don’t have a debit card to link to the Google Pay Balance Card and don’t want to sit on the waitlist for Plex, Google’s digital bank account, to become available, there are other ways that you can set up your account. If you have another debit card, simply use that. 


However, it’s not necessary to have a debit card to set up and use a Google Pay account. If you have a bank account then you likely have, at the very least, an ATM card. You can use this to set up your Google Pay account.


It’s also important to note that, in some countries, you can add a bank account to Google Pay and withdraw and deposit money directly from your account. Likewise, in some countries, you can also link a PayPal account.


More on that here.


Okay, now back to how to set up your Google Pay account without a debit card, using only an ATM card. The process is actually pretty much the same. Just follow these steps:


  • First, make sure that your mobile device has been added as a Trusted Device on your account if you haven't already done so.
  • Then, log into your Google Account using the Chrome browser or Gmail app on Android (you can also use iOS Safari). 
  • Once you’re logged in, tap on your profile photo and click “Bank Account.”
  • Next, click on "Add Bank Account." 
  • Select the bank you have your account and ATM card with. If you don’t see your bank or card information then it’s not yet compatible with Google Pay.
  • If you have a PIN number, you’ll be prompted to enter it (note: if you don’t have a PIN number then you’ll be asked to enter the full information for a valid debit card).


It’s important to note that, after you download the app, we suggest setting up touch ID for additional security (and, always be sure to have a passcode on your phone). 

Alternatives to a Google Pay Debit Card

Because Google’s digital bank option isn’t fully rolled out yet, if you’re looking for the Google Pay debit card then you’re likely looking for the Google Pay Balance Card. However, that requires you to set up and use Google Pay. If you’d prefer to use a simpler banking app that will allow you to pay virtually while also providing you with cool features like cashback and rewards, you’ve got other options!


You can either download your bank’s mobile app to see what features and functions they offer. Or, you can try the Cheese mobile banking app. Once you create your account, you’ll have immediate access to a Cheese virtual debit card (the physical debit card will be delivered in the mail shortly thereafter!). Swipe it and spend while you enjoy these perks:



❌ No Monthly Fee                                     🧀️ $5 cash bonus    

❌ No ATM Fee                                          🧀️ Up to 10% cashback with every purchase/transaction

❌ No Overdraft Fee                                  🧀️ Potential Double Cheese Cashback

❌ No Insufficient Fund Fee                       🧀️ Up to 3% Saving Bonus

❌ No Minimum Balance Requirement      🧀️ Early Paycheck

❌ No Int. Incoming Wire Transfer Fee      🔐 FDIC Insured


Download Cheese today on the App Store or the Google Play Store to start enjoying all of these benefits and more.


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