Google’s Head of Consumer Payments, Vikas Gupta, Resigns

Google’s head of consumer payments Vikas Gupta has resigned, AllThingsD has confirmed.

Gupta joined the company 18 months ago after Google acquired Jambool, a virtual goods payment platform where he was a founder and CEO. More recently, he’d been one of the leaders on the payments team, overseeing Google Wallet and reporting to Osama Bedier, Google’s VP of Payments.

“I can confirm that Vikas has left Google and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors,” a spokesman said.

Jambool’s product, Social Gold, was rolled into Google’s payment products and is being used for in-app purchases on both Android Market and Google+ Games.

According to Gupta’s LinkedIn page, he joined Google in August 2010 and held the title of head of consumer payments. Jambool reportedly was purchased for $55 million before any additional earn-outs. Prior to founding Jambool, Gupta worked at Amazon.

Gupta’s departure is the second management move made in the Google Wallet ranks over the past week.

A spokesperson declined to say if the division was undergoing a wider restructuring, but last week, I reported that Google’s VP of Commerce Stephanie Tilenius was moving into a more global position. And, as part of that, Bedier will be taking on a larger role within Google Wallet, though his title will not be changing.

The Wallet is Google’s mobile payments strategy that allows users to tap their phone at the register to pay using near field communication technology. The company has already successfully formed alliances with both banks and retailers, and is leveraging its vast install base of Android users.

Today, it is live with some merchants, although it does face some challenges.

Currently, it only works on one phone from Sprint, and both consumers and merchants will most likely have to upgrade their hardware for it to work. Additionally, some carriers, such as Verizon Wireless, have decided to disable Google Wallet on phones they are shipping. Other carriers, which are part of a mobile wallet joint venture called ISIS, are expected to follow suit, effectively limiting access for many U.S. consumers.

More than six months after hosting a flashy launch event, the business may be getting a lot harder than it originally looked.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik