Google Wallet suffers further setbacks as key execs jump ship

Google Wallet suffers further setbacks as key execs jump ship

Shunned by telcos and banks alike, Google's effort to break into the mobile payments market is suffering further strife with the departure of its founding engineer, Jonathan Wall, and its product lead, Marc Freed-Finnegan, to set up their own payments start-up.

Wall and Freed-Finnigan left Google earlier this month to start work on a new stealth operation, dubbed tappmo. Pitched as a "disruptive innovator" on the company's holding Web page, tappmo promises to create "a next-generation commerce network" to fuel the mobile shopping revolution.

Wall's and Freed-Finnigan's departures come two months after Google's head of consumer payments Vikas Gupta quit the firm in January. Gupta joined Google after it acquired the company he founded and led, Jambool, operator of virtual currency platform Social Gold, for over $50 million in 2010.

After suffering a number of security set-backs in recent months, Google's ambitions to lead the race to bring mobile payments to the high street appear to be fading fast, with the mobile carrrier consortium Isis outgunning Google in operator, terminal and bank support. The Internet search giant has so far signed up only one secondary carrier Sprint and has failed to convince more banks to join Citi in support of the platform.

Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 21 March, 2012, 07:05Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

What we now see is a mobile payment bubble being inflated. Compare with the dot-com bubble in 1998 - 2000 and the similiarities are stunning. How many unique mob payments initiatives exist today? All expect to get the consumers to step over the learning treshold and in most cases, deposit monies from their current account into apropritary "mobile payments" account held by the service provider...  in order to pay with the mobile phone instead of with legacy means... with their universal debit card directly connected to the current account. Can it be easier to insert your card in a payment terminal and key in 4 digit pin? Or pay for e commerce using card? What more than tech hype can mobile payments offer?

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 21 March, 2012, 16:21Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

If this is the situation with giants like Google / Google Wallet and Nokia / Nokia Money, I fear for the hundreds of startups in this space. On second thoughts, maybe the market for mobile payments is only big enough for startups.

But Finextra Member raises a very valid point about how many people would feel comfortable about moving their money from their bank account to a startup's proprietary account. I would - about $20 at a time. Not sure how many startups can survive with such measly amounts.