Payments are to the mobile web of 2016 what e-tailers were to the first Internet bubble. If you don’t have a friend, a cousin, or a roommate who is doing a payments startup then you’re not very well connected in Silicon Valley.
By that measure, Osama Bedier is practically the granddaddy of today’s payments world. He explored point-of-sale ideas at AT&T Wireless a lifetime ago, guided a thriving e-commerce business for a PC maker called Gateway that you have to be over a certain age to remember, and became a senior product executive at PayPal in its formative years. He also helped launch Google Wallet, the search, advertising, and mobile software behemoth’s first foray into moving money around in support of commerce on its properties.