More Americans are cutting up their credit cards, and it's for a reason you might not expect.
The rise of mobile applications and Near-Field Communications (NFC) technology continues to carve market share from plastic payment methods.
And now, the trend is going mainstream in one of the most trafficked businesses in America.
Starbucks Corp. (Nasdaq: SBUX) announced this week that it currently receives 11% of its U.S. and Canadian sales through its mobile application. And that figure is expected to rise as the company continues to market its convenient closed-loop payment system.
The company's President and Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz couldn't have been more excited about the trend.
"Starbucks is a clear leader in mobile payments and we are encouraged by how consumers have embraced mobile apps as a way to pay," he said during an Oct. 30 conference call.
Of course, some analysts predict this is just another fad that will fade.
But as Money Morning explained in the Six Questions that Can Make You Rich, mobile payment applications are here to stay.
The technology answers "yes" to all six questions. Most important, the ability to expedite payments in a more convenient, less onerous manner is a major benefit to consumers of all stripes.
And this isn't just an American trend.
Earlier this month, the head of electronic channels at the Spanish bank La Caixa, Benjami Puigdevall Esteve, said that he thinks NFC technology is going to take Europe by storm in 2014.
And as this becomes a global phenomenon, there's still time to invest and capture your share of an industry poised to reach more $58 billion by 2017, according to eMarketer.
Five Stocks to Buy Now Before Mobile Payments Soar
As consumers continue to do even more with their mobile devices, expect retail companies to adopt new systems to accommodate this growing, profitable trend.
Here are five stocks to buy now that are poised to provide the biggest return as consumers continue to transition from cash and plastic to cell phone payment systems: