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"Apple Pay will forever change the way all of us buy things," Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said as he introduced the feature last month.
Now, that won't happen overnight. And Apple Pay won't be alone. But make no mistake: The transition to mobile payments has begun.
Mobile payment transactions in the United States alone totaled $1.59 billion last year. They will more than double in 2014 to $3.5 billion, according to research firm eMarketer. They'll more than double again in 2015 to $8.95 billion.
By 2018, eMarketer projects that U.S. consumers will make $118 billion in mobile payments.
Numbers like that are attracting a lot of powerful companies to fight over the spoils. Big profits await the winners.
This war matters to investors, too. Picking a winner will mean big gains. Picking a loser means missing out. The sooner investors sort out who's who, the sooner they can start profiting from mobile payments themselves.
We've already analyzed this trend and, even this early in the war, have spotted several winners and losers.
Let's get started.
The Mobile Payments War Is Here
The mobile payments shift will be complicated by bones of contention: fees and data.
Credit card companies and the banks that issue those cards make billions on usage fees. They want to find a way to keep that money coming as consumers shift to mobile payments.
About the Author
David Zeiler, Associate Editor for Money Morning at Money Map Press, has been a journalist for more than 35 years, including 18 spent at The Baltimore Sun. He has worked as a writer, editor, and page designer at different times in his career. He's interviewed a number of well-known personalities - ranging from punk rock icon Joey Ramone to Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Over the course of his journalistic career, Dave has covered many diverse subjects. Since arriving at Money Morning in 2011, he has focused primarily on technology. He's an expert on both Apple and cryptocurrencies. He started writing about Apple for The Sun in the mid-1990s, and had an Apple blog on The Sun's web site from 2007-2009. Dave's been writing about Bitcoin since 2011 - long before most people had even heard of it. He even mined it for a short time.
Dave has a BA in English and Mass Communications from Loyola University Maryland.