Electronic cash to replace cards, cheques, and cash in a few years: Study

Forrester research says electronic cash is expected to take off by 2016, thanks to PayPal, while another technology researcher, ABI Research has pegged the timeline two years earlier and said that Google Wallet would start filling virtual pockets in 2014.

Forrester's research is based on interactions with 10 "senior executives", while the ABI prediction is based on its own "Mobile Wallet Strategies" advice to companies bracing for the forthcoming change to our pockets' change. There is a broad agreement on the wireless payment revolution replacing monetary transaction and the only disagreement is when it would happen and who would end up controlling our electronic wallets.

The Forrester research, funded by PayPal, projects a later date for users to start making payments with a wave of the phone.

According to analysts, since PayPal does not have an offering in the space it could do with the time. In the US it is leveraging available phone technology for its cloud-based payment service, which is also available in the UK , but is limited to the PizzaExpress.

Analysts say by 2016 start, companies would have enough time to embrace Near-Field Communications (NFC) payments that allow for secure communication between the phone and the reader, without involvement of the cloud.

Google Wallet, meanwhile, would remain in use and making payments, and according to ABI's projections Apple would enter the game next year altering the field of play significantly.