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Google Wallet Co-Founding Engineer Heads To Rival, Square

Google Wallet has had a pretty rough time of it lately. As we reported recently, the Wallet team have been forced to re-evaluate their strategy, and several key execs have left the project.

One of those departures at the start of the year was Rob von Behren, a co-founding engineer at Google Wallet. Having been with Google for eight years, he was expected to stay on with the firm, albeit not working on mobile payments.

However, it has emerged via his LinkedIn profile that von Behren has departed the company for rival mobile payments outfit Square.

He told the NFC Times: "When I left the Google Wallet project in January, I fully expected to stop working in payments but to remain at Google. 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."

Exactly what role he has taken on at Square isn't clear. However, it's suspected that he will be involved in developing the adoption of NFC technology for Square, given his expertise in that field.

Square doesn't currently employ NFC, instead using a swipe dongle to facilitate mobile payments with Apple and Android smartphones. The firm has a million (mostly small) retailers signed up with it across the US.

Source: NFC Times (opens in new tab)

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.