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Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) recently announced a partnership with Square that put the mobile payment processing platform into the spotlight. Many see the end of cash in sight and magnetic stripes may follow. However, Square isn’t the only player set to capitalize in the growing market.
PayPal (NASDAQ:EBAY) claims 100 million active users. With David Marcus taking the helm at eBay, the company is very likely to get aggressive in the mobile payment processing space. Marcus was the former CEO of Zong, a mobile payments start up acquired by PayPal for $240 million. PayPal introduced the first iteration of its mobile payments platform, called PayPal Here, in March of 2012.
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Both Starbucks and eBay seem to recognize that customer experience will be at the heart of mobile payment success.
“We think we can redefine a Starbucks customers’ experience,” said Square CEO Jack Dorsey to USA Today.
“We need to produce an amazing experience for consumers in Payments,” said Marcus to TechCrunch.
In a PayPal blog post, former boss John Donahoe wrote about Marcus: “He’s going to lead PayPal with that ‘founder’s perspective,’ to bring start-up energy to PayPal’s unmatched global reach and digital payment capabilities.”
Marcus will need every bit of that go-to attitude. Square reported in September that it was processing over $8 billion in payments on an annualized basis.
Gartner expects worldwide mobile payment processing transaction value to pass $171.5 billion in 2012. With about 2.75 percent of that up for grabs, there are a lot of players in the field.
Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) is testing a system that would allow customers to pay through their Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) devices. Apple has been working on its mobile wallet application called Passbook, which could also make an appearance at Starbucks.
Visa (NYSE:V) CEO Joseph Saunders said in an interview with USA Today that “Being able to use a mobile phone to effect a transaction instead of a card, well, it’s simpler to use.” Visa reportedly has a stake in Square, and is testing its own mobile payment application called payWave.
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) also has its own digital wallet, a service that my synergize well with the company’s increased push toward monetizing content distribution.
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