NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Technology has shaped the way we live in nearly every facet of life. One aspect that's poised to have the most impact, though, is the digital wallet.
Consumers are transitioning from paying with credit cards and cash to using whatever is easiest and most convenient for them, potentially saving a few dollars or earning rewards in the process. Companies like eBay (EBAY), Square, and potentially Apple (AAPL), are changing the way we pay for everyday goods and services.
Mobile payments are destined to be a key component of the evolving "digital wallet," and investors need to be aware of this emerging market. Battle lines in the war for market share are already being drawn.
PayPal's vision for the digital wallet
According to data from Ernst & Young, mobile payments are expected to be big business, with the market reaching a massive $245 billion by 2014. The shift is coming rapidly, as payment methods are moving away from credit cards, debit cards and cash to smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.What isn't clear yet is what this market will look like, Sterne Agee analyst Greg Smith wrote in a recent research note. "We found contrasting views as to how the mobile payments landscape will evolve, and in particular, whether NFC
Even though non-traditional payments companies are entering the space, firms like Visa (V), and MasterCard (MA) are not going to go down without a fight, perhaps part of the reason why Visa made an investment in mobile payment specialist Square last year. Channing Smith, portfolio manager of The Capital Advisors Growth Fund (CIAOX) believes that Visa's infrastructure is not going to be dismantled or displaced by others, and that companies such as Apple and Google (GOOG) will "increasingly rely on Visa and MasterCard's infrastructure as the mobile payments trend transitions to mass adoption." Smith is long both Visa and Apple.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV