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As mobile has increased in popularity, companies have been clamoring to see who can come up with the best mobile payment options. We are seeing retail companies (like Starbucks and McDonald’s) coming up with ways to accept mobile payments in certain retail locations. Interestingly, Starbucks has already sold $3 million worth of coffee and coffee related goods via its recently launched mobile payment system (Mashable). We are now also seeing Google looking into mobile payment possibilities, according to a recent Bloomberg article.
Even though no single payment system has really taken off yet, a January article published by Mobile Commerce Daily reported that some estimates show that mobile payments in the US alone could still exceed $200 billion by 2015. Other projections put that figure closer to $1 trillion, if technology is done right and payments are able to done simply and quickly (Mobile Marketer). PayPal has also announced that they are already seeing over $6 million a day in mobile transactions (Mobile Marketer).
So with all the talk about mobile payments, should we be worried that cash and plastic will begin show lesser importance? Probably not. This is something that we briefly touch on our Mobile Space podcast on Geekcast.fm. Peter Glaeser, our CEO, discusses what 2011 may hold for the mobile advertising industry, and he mentions that until someone is able to come up with a very convenient, practical method of making payments via mobile, there is no fear of payments via mobile devices taking over. And while the mobile payment system that Starbucks is using sounds promising, there is still a long way to go before paying with a mobile phone becomes the norm.