Square hires Google Wallet’s co-founding engineer as the mobile payment space heats up

Square hires Google Wallet’s co-founding engineer as the mobile payment space heats up

The mobile payment startup Square has hired Google Wallet‘s co-founding engineer Rob von Behren, NFC Times reports. The information was revealed by von Behren himself on his LinkedIn profile.

According to his online CV, von Behren had worked at Google for eight years when he left the company last January. As for his new position at Square, the least we can say is that his new job title is fairly unusual:

Von Behren also shared interesting additional details on his job transition:

“When I left the Google Wallet project in January, I fully expected to stop working in payments but to remain at Google,” he told NFC Times. “After meeting the team at Square, however, I decided to do the opposite. Square is doing some great things in the payment space. They have a strong leadership team and a culture that fosters innovation.”

As you can imagine, this isn’t exactly good news for Google and its Wallet. Besides von Behren, two other executives, Jonathan Wall and Marc Freed-Finnegan, have left the project since its launch last September, and are now working on their own mobile commerce venture, Tappmo.

On the other hand, Jack Dorsey’s startup Square made several announcements that seem to confirm its ambitions to dominate the mobile payment market segment. However, it will first have to prove its superiority over other digital wallets – Google Wallet of course, but also PayPal, Dwolla and Clover.

While these apps serve similar purposes, they also have technical differences, starting with the fact that Google opted for NFC, an option that Square has downplayed in the past. However, NFC Times points out that things could change with von Behren’s hiring.

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