The State of Mobile Payments

dollar billIf you're interested in the mobile payments space, you probably know there's plenty going on, from PayPal to Google to Square. But it can be a challenge keeping up with currently changing technology. That's why I was happy to run across The Death of Cash, from the July 23rd issue of Fortune Magazine.

Experts project that payments made via smart phone wallets will rise to $1.4 billion in the next five years (up from less than half a billion dollars in 2012). And if you've used one of these services to check out (think Starbucks or Home Depot) you know how easy to use they can be.

But the author doesn't sugarcoat the stumbling blocks to increased adoption of mobile payments. Merchants may lag behind, especially when upgrades at the point-of-sale lack a clear ROI. And consumers may not turn to electronic wallets until these services become more mainstream.

(Take a look at this slide-show gallery to get a handle on currently available mobile payment technology.)

I'm not convinced that cash will ever disappear completely, but the landscape of options is shifting rapidly and I think we're in for an interesting ride. What's your take? Post a comment below.