Google Wallet Engineer Leaves For Square As Google Acquires Prepaid Card Processor

The (mobile) payments segment is one of the most interesting and dynamic in technology. Google Wallet made an early splashy debut but has stalled on lack of consumer availability — it still only works on one phone in the US. While that should change in the near future, for now relatively few people are using it.

While the market waits for NFC payments to arrive in earnest the NFC-based Google Wallet is effectively being sidelined by other companies that aren’t relying on the technology or its mainstream adoption.

Square, for example, is gaining adoption among small businesses and processing millions of dollars in daily payments ($11 million at last count). PayPal is also moving fast on several fronts having recently introduced PayPal Here, a Square competitor, a new in-store payments initiative and a mobile payments app for consumers. And there are numerous others jockeying for position in this fast-moving area, including credit card issuers and mobile carriers.

There were several rumors circulating that all was not going well over at Google Wallet. Two Wallet personnel, Rob von Behren and Jonathan Wall, have recently left. In particular, von Behren left for Square. Whether that’s because Square has more momentum or because Google Wallet has stumbled (or both) is not clear.

I had also heard very informally from someone that Google was “backing away” from Wallet. That doesn’t appear to be true however. Yesterday Google announced the acquisition of TxVia, a six-year-old company that facilitates the processing of prepaid credit cards. Google said that the acquisition complements its existing Google Wallet strategy and infrastructure:

Today, we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve acquired payments technology company TxVia to complement our payments capabilities and accelerate innovation towards our full Google Wallet vision. TxVia is a technology pioneer that offers a fast, flexible and highly reliable payments platform—which we believe is one of the best in the world.

I’m sure there were a range of things attractive to Google about TxVia, its technology, it’s relationships and its management team.

Google Wallet is a container for two related initiatives at the company. One is the NFC-mobile payments push; the other is the stored consumer credit card program that used to be called Google Checkout.

While NFC payments (and related marketing capabilities) will eventually kick in when enough consumers have NFC-enabled handsets, that may still be several years away in the US. In the meantime Google will have to figure out how to keep merchants and consumers interested in Google Wallet as other more accessible payments tools increasingly proliferate.

Related Topics: Channel: Mobile Marketing | Google: Android | Google: Mobile


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn

Marketing Day:

Get the top marketing stories daily!  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. You can read more about our comments policy here.

Comments are closed.

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Marketing Land on Twitter @marketingland Like Marketing Land on Facebook Follow Marketing Land on Google+ Subscribe to Our Feed! Join our LinkedIn Group Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Marketing News!

Marketing Day is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!