In the 1990s, using an online travel site was like visiting a travel agent. You told the software where you wanted to go and when; you got some times, prices, and airlines, then you chose.
Priceline's reverse auction blew up this model, and Kayak's shopping of various travel sites was the second verse in that song. As of Friday, Priceline was worth over $31 billion while Orbitz (OWW), the airline-based site it was once thought would monopolize the space, was worth just $235 million.
The same sort of thing is about to happen in payments, a much bigger industry. It won't be a straightforward price war, but the industry is about to be transformed nonetheless.Most attention is focused on mobile payments, partly due to Square's tie-up with Starbucks (SBUX),
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