The modern smartphone is a remarkable device. A single device that fits in your pocket can do all the tasks that once required cameras, camcorders, GPS devices, watches, alarm clocks, calculators, and even TVs.
But the next change might be the most radical of all—it could eliminate the need to carry cash and credit cards.
The growing importance of the smartphone as the go-to computing device for every digital activity is having a profound effect everywhere you look, but it’s only the biggest story among many exciting developments in the world of payments:
Apple Pay was first out of the gate, but now mobile wallets are everywhere you look—Android Pay, Google Pay, Chase Pay and even Walmart Pay are making smartphones a real alternative to carrying credit cards. And the potential for mobile wallets to limit a merchant’s fraud liability could help them really take off in acceptance for small businesses.
As consumers move more purchasing online, gateway vendors that can act as a front-end processor for online businesses are seeing explosive growth. PayPal-owned Braintree grew 111% YoY in the number of cards on file in Q4 2015, while Stripe and Klarna now have multi-billion dollar valuations.
Mobile Point-Of-Sale (mPOS) startups like Square and ShopKeep have pioneered a whole new payments niche—accepting payments via tablets and smartphones. Coupling their transactions capabilities with new apps can revolutionize a small business’ inventory management, marketing, loyalty and even payroll.
Mobile Peer-to-Peer payments in the U.S. are forecast to grow from $5.6 billion in 2014 to nearly $175 billion by 2019 as consumers increasingly skip the hassle of writing a check or going to an ATM. But smartphone vendors like Apple could cripple the dominant player of 2016 (Venmo) if they make a serious push to own the space.
If your job or your company is involved in payment processing in any way, you know how complex this industry is. And you know that you simply can’t understand where the next big digital opportunities are unless you know the key players and roles in each step of the payments “supply chain:”