Is Microsoft finally getting serious about mobile payments?

So we know that Microsoft isn’t opposed to mobile payments, after all there is Microsoft Wallet on Windows Phone, but could Microsoft be thinking about getting more involved with the service and making it as possible contender to the likes of Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and Softcard? Well according to a report from Re/code, they could be. It seems that Microsoft has recently hired Iain Kennedy, the former payments product manager who been at Amazon for the past six years before jumping ship to Microsoft. Kennedy is now the product manager for Microsoft’s commerce platform which has some speculating that perhaps Microsoft could be thinking of rejuvenating their mobile payment efforts.

Iain Kennedy, a six-year veteran of Amazon who ran product management for the company’s local commerce efforts, has left for a new gig at Microsoft. Kennedy is now running product management for Microsoft’s commerce platform, according to his LinkedIn bio. In a private Twitter message, he declined to elaborate on his new role, saying it was too early to talk specifics. At Amazon, Kennedy most recently oversaw the product management team that was working on a new set of payments-related products for consumers. One of them is a new digital wallet app for smartphones that lets people store gift card and loyalty card information and use it at participating stores. The team is also said to be working on a new digital money-transfer service, after the company announced earlier this month that it would be retiring its old WebPay product that no one used. And according to a job listing that Amazon exec Charlie Kindel has been tweeting out, the group Kennedy was managing is also working on a secret “set of related, undisclosed, products which will delight billions of customers as they buy and sell things in the real world (as opposed to online).” Exciting times — so why leave now? Kennedy told me in a private Twitter message that after six years at Amazon, he was simply looking for a change. “Six years is a long time,” he wrote. “Wanted to solve a new set of problems, learn a new company culture, apply what I had learned.”

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