Lately, it seems like you can't go a week without hearing about how some new mobile payment platform is poised to revolutionize how you spend money.
No doubt you've already heard about some of the big players, like Square, PayPal's Zong and Google Wallet, that are slugging it out for space in your digital wallet. More recently, the Merchant Customer Exchange, a proposed mobile payment standard backed by retail behemoths like Walmart (WMT) and Target (TGT), announced its entrance into the fray.
Now add another to the list. The e-commerce platform Braintree just scooped up social payment app Venmo, in the hopes of combining the former's established consumer reach -- it already handles $1 billion in mobile payments, representing 10% of all mobile commerce transactions -- with the latter's funky social features like one-click peer-to-peer payments.
With all this heated activity in the mobile space, it's no wonder that e-commerce granddaddy PayPal struck back with the announcement that it will issue payment cards to over 50 million consumers in the U.S. next year to be used at millions of stores across the country through Discover Financial Services.
What's in Your Digital Wallet?
There's no getting away from it: If you don't already make purchases using your smartphone, you will soon. Currently, 20% of all e-commerce purchases happen on mobile devices, and that figure is doubling and tripling year over year, according to Braintree's Ready. Ernst & Young predicts mobile payments will reach $245 billion by 2014.
With so many competing mobile payment options out there, it's hard to get a truly good reading on which will best suit your needs as a consumer. Check out the slideshow below for a look at the players vying for space in your electronic billfold.