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.