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The Mobile Payments Revolution Is Here

The Digital Wallet's Future Is Now

Visa is ramping up its efforts in mobile payments, launching its digital wallet service.

The relationship between Square and Visa has been beneficial for both companies, according to Rabois, with Square signing up more than 3 million Visa customers following the deal. "We're taking advantage of Visa's expertise in payments, and everything we're building is electronic," he said. Both companies seem to be benefiting from this relationship, with Visa's share price up more than 100% since the deal was announced. Rabois also noted that Visa has endorsed Square Wallet as "the wave of the future," so it's clear the deal is working out on both ends.

Though businesses have already invested significant time and money in their current point of sale systems, technology is making mobile payments easier, thanks in large part to the widespread availability of smartphones and tablets. Square, which started its retail relationship with Apple in just 37 stores, believes that new point of sale systems, such as a tablets, will enhance the customer experience, and lead to greater discussion around purchases.

As mobile payments continue to see mass adoption, Apple is poised to benefit, both on the software side, with its Passbook app, and the hardware side. "We're hoping iPad plus Square Register will be the way to run a business in the future," Rabois said. "There's no installation required, no credit checks, and research shows that 75% of small business owners will buy a tablet for their business. All small business needs is an iPad."

When compared to the trillion dollar-plus payments industry, mobile payments and digital wallet services are still a small slice of the pie, and it's up to Square and others to continue getting their brand out there. Square, which has no sales force, is an innovator when it comes to brand recognition , according to Rabois, and the company is always looking for new ways to grow. "There are businesses that don't know about Square. We need to find ways to get that information out to them."

Judging by the looks of things, I'd say Square is doing just fine.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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