Mobile payments have garnered a significant amount of attention in the past few months, especially with Apple's announcement of the Apple Pay service.
It seems consumers will be able to determine the long-term winner of the mobile payment war - but let's not forget that there are other options beyond CurrentC and Apple Pay. Ironically, Starbucks claims to control 90 percent of the current mobile payments market, as 16 percent of all its customers currently use mobile payments.
I think Meijer's decision to support both CurrentC and Apple Pay, much to the horror of the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), indicates how retailers want to allow their customers to use whatever mobile payment service they want to.
I currently own a Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone - and not an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus - so Apple Pay already is out. Nor would I purchase an iPhone just because I want to use the company's mobile payment system. It's unknown if Apple can win the mobile wallet war, but with many consumers using Google Android-powered smartphones, then stores should have at least one alternative service in place for the rest of us.
"Right now they are the only ones really succeeding in this space," said John Haro, CTO of the Vibes mobile marketing firm. "Today they are dominant, but they won't be the only big player forever. They would love 100 percent market share, but that's just not going to happen."
Security concerns and proprietary service obligations be damned, it looks like mobile payments will only continue to grow in the United States. I am curious to see how these services evolve in 2015, but am not in a big hurry to leave behind cash or credit card purchases while in-store.
(Images courtesy of EasyPayDirect and Starbucks)