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Apple Could Kill Off VeriFone

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The recent phenomenon known as mobile payments has caused me to start looking at some possible casualties in that all-important process known as the business transaction.

There are several factors at play, not the least of which is speed and that thing known as "convenience," which customers always appreciate.

In assessing the future of how consumers shop and pay for their products, it has inspired me to look at the current state of not only cash and checks, but credit card companies MasterCard (MA) and Visa (V).

What I've realized is that not only are their prospects becoming more in doubt, but it may not be out of the realm of possibility they may be killed off by tech giants Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG).

But it doesn't end there. There is one other company (among others) that needs to start panicking -- payment processing giant VeriFone (PAY - Get Report).

Consumers can't ever be without is their cellphones. This is a known fact. With that, vendors such as Starbucks (SBUX) and McDonald's (MCD), which recently formed partnerships with Square and eBay's (EBAY) PayPal, are becoming more open to the idea of adopting mobile payments. These payments are expected to become the world's currency by 2016.

Making matters worse is the fact that Wal-Mart Stores (WMT), the world's largest retailer, has started to look for ways to utilize Apple's iPhone to help lower its $12 million per second in cashier expenses at its U.S. stores.

If Walmart is pleased with its recent Apple trials and moves forward with mobile payments, it would force other retailers including Target (TGT) and Best Buy (BBY) to follow suit -- particularly Best Buy as it is now looking for ways to increase profitability.

This would present a pretty significant chunk of VeriFone's revenue, which it may never again see.

What this means is that VeriFone has four years before 2016 and the dominance of mobile payments to adapt or die. But its recent quarter inspired very little confidence that it can avoid extinction.

I've always thought the stock was expensive and it has done little to change that sentiment as it recently reported a miss. What's more, the company has to now work to regain the trust of investors to whom it failed to disclose damage caused by a fire in a facility in Brazil that hurt its revenue by an estimated $10 million.
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