Even as retail giants Walmart and Target struggle to find an alternative to Apple Pay and Google Wallet, PayPal has struck a deal to acquire Paydient, a major mobile wallet tech developer and Apple Pay rival.
Paydient had earned much fame with the development of apps and systems for Subway and Capital One. It also formed the backbone of MCX, the consortium of major retailers which was in the news for its CurrentC payment wallet that used a QR code generated at merchant's end to make the payment through.
Major retailers had been looking at alternatives to Apple Pay since it was launched, as Apple Pay transactions did not as yet accept corporate credit cards or prepaid cards or retailers' proprietary credit cards, which provide a great deal of offers and discounts to its regular customers.
A substantial portion of retailers' revenue and sales was contributed by these proprietary cards, which was one of the reasons why major retailers had been reluctant to accept Apple Pay.
Paydient's offering is rather flexible and allows retailers and merchants to build mobile payments, loyalty cards, and offers into their apps.
Meanwhile, CNET reported that Google took the wraps off a mobile payment service called Android Pay that would compete with Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, a service unveiled Sunday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Like Apple and Samsung's versions, Android Pay would use near-field communications, or NFC, a technology that used an embedded chip to talk with compatible registers. However, unlike Apple and Samsung's services, Android Pay would not be a standalone app, serving instead as the platform for third-party store and payment apps.
The moves point to the intensifying competition for mobile payments, the ability to pay for goods and services with a smartphone, according to commentators.
While a handful of mobile-payments efforts had been around for the past couple of years, Apple Pay, which allows consumers to make credit card purchases with an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus catalysed the efforts. Within 72 hours after its debut, 1 million credit cards had been used on the service.
Mobile payments are expected to experience explosive growth in by next year, estimated to grow to $27.5 billion in US transactions from last year's $3.5 billion, according to market research firm eMarketer.