Earlier today, the first concrete details leaked out about Google’s answer to the Apple Card, something we’ve been hearing about since roughly September. Coinciding with the arrival of the new report, early support for this “Google Card” has appeared in Chrome.

Delving the depths of the Chromium Gerrit source code management last night, we came across a new flag added to the chrome://flags page of Google Chrome, which makes a reference to “Google-issued” payment cards.

Enable Autofill Google-issued card

When enabled, Google-issued cards will be available in the autofill suggestions

#autofill-enable-google-issued-card

Looking into the code related to that flag, we find that this supposed “Google-issued” card would be, as you may expect, associated with your Google Account. Thus, it would automatically appear as an autofill option in Chrome when checking out online, if you’ve connected Chrome to your Google Account. In fact, Google has put specific effort into putting this same flag into the iOS version of Chrome.

Digging deeper, the first code change attached to the same (private) Chromium bug was just posted at the end of last month, pointing to the development of Google Card integration for Chrome being still in the early stages. Similarly, as of today, the team has not finalized a variety of details, including what a Google Card would look like in Chrome, or what it will actually be called.

We don’t have finalized UI mocks for this, so for now we’re simply allowing customization for the icon and the title. The icon and the strings are set to placeholders for now and will be updated in the future.

As this Google Card seems to be closely tied to Google Pay, Google Chrome should already more or less support it out of the box. Chrome can already autofill your payment info when checking out online using info directly from your Pay wallet.

Instead, the new “feature” being worked on seems to be more about giving these Google-issued cards unique branding in Chrome so that they stand out, almost reminiscent of Google One adding the four-color border around your Google profile picture.

Chrome Google Pay cards

If Google does the wise thing and waits for its major products to have built-in support for the new card, we likely won’t see this Google Card launch for a few months, as the new Chrome flag won’t arrive until at least Chrome 84, which isn’t due to launch until late June.

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