Google Wallet chief Bedier bolts for 'other opportunities'


Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Vice President of Wallet and Payments Osama Bedier has left the company.

"We can confirm that Osama Bedier has decided to leave Google this year to pursue other opportunities," a Google spokesperson said. "He's achieved a lot during his time here, and we wish him all the best in his next endeavor. Payments are a big part of what people do every day, and we're committed to making them easier for everyone."

Bedier joined Google in early 2011 after a stint at PayPal, which later filed a lawsuit alleging Bedier plundered the eBay-owned digital commerce service provider's mobile strategy when he signed on with Google. Bedier "is now leading Google's efforts to bring point of sale technologies and services to retailers on its behalf," the complaint states. "Bedier and Google have misappropriated PayPal trade secrets by disclosing them within Google and to major retailers." The suit remains unresolved.

Bedier is just the latest top Google Wallet executive to depart the initiative. In early 2012, Google Vice President of Commerce Stephanie Tilenius transitioned to a new role overseeing the company's international commerce efforts; days later, Head of Consumer Payments Vikas Gupta--previously founder and CEO of Jambool, a currency and payment solutions provider acquired by Google for $55 million--resigned his post.

The Near Field Communications-based Google Wallet enables consumers to make purchases by tapping their Android smartphone at more than 200,000 MasterCard PayPass-enabled merchant terminals across the U.S. While Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) and U.S. Cellular sell Android devices supporting Google Wallet, Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) do not offer Wallet-capable devices, dramatically limiting adoption of the service. The three non-participating carriers instead support their own rival m-commerce network, Isis, which kicked off consumer trials in the Salt Lake City and Austin, Texas markets last October.

Reports indicate Google is poised to add a physical credit card connected to the Wallet platform, enabling consumers to make in-store purchases at retailers that do not support NFC-based contactless payment technologies. The rumors follow an October 2012 Wallet website update promising "The next version of Google Wallet [is] coming soon," complete with a signup page asking "What kind of mobile device do you use?" and offering three options: Android, iOS or "other," the latter represented by an illustration of a smartphone with a physical keypad. Google has not officially commented on the possibility of a physical card.

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