Another Google Wallet Engineer Runs For The Exits


Photo: mononom via Flickr

One of the cofounding engineers behind Google Wallet, Rob von Behren, has left to take a job at hot payments startup Square.That’s according to NFC Times, which discovered the move from a change in von Behren’s LinkedIn profile.

When NFC Times asked why he left, von Behren replied that he left Google Wallet in January but thought he’d stay at Google.

But when he met the team at Square, he decided to jump.

Google Wallet launched last May and was supposed to give Android phone users a way to pay for stuff in retail stores by tapping their phones against a card reader. But the phones require NFC chips, which are scarce.

Carriers have also been reluctant to support Google Wallet. Recently, Google was said to be considering revenue-sharing deals to get Verizon and AT&T on board. So far, Sprint is the only carrier to support the product.

The move could mean that Square is considering expanding to NFC-based payments, although Square COO Keith Rabois seemed to be pretty negative on NFC last fall.

The team seems to be running for the exits. Last month, another Google Wallet founding engineer, Jonathan Wall, left with  product lead Marc Freed-Finnegan, to form their own mobile payments startup Tappmo last month. The executive in charge of the whole program, Stephanie Tilenius, recently took a new job at Google.


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