Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets have already replaced many electronic devices such as cameras that can record video, portable game systems, GPS devices, music players and to some extent, even computers. It's kind of controversial, but they are also replacing some physical items, like books, newspapers, comics and magazines. Some of them integrate IR ports in order to replace remote controls and apparently they are not stopping there, these devices want to replace more items like your entire wallet. Granted, for now mobile payments are here to replace credit or debit cards, but it seems likely that in the future, ID cards such as driver's licenses could be integrated into these devices. Let's get back to mobile payments, which are fairly new and are slowly reaching smartphones everywhere.
Walt Mossberg, who was the principal columnist in The Wall Street Journal and the creator of tech site Re/Code has shared some opinions regarding mobile payment systems in an interview at the Code/Mobile conference. He starts talking about how these systems are just taking off, as merchants need to upgrade to new terminals that support NFC technology, which is used by Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay (although this one supports older terminals thanks to the MST technology) and the companies behind each one could end up helping the merchants. He thinks that these systems are definitely here to stay as smartphones are used when people are in line to pay, so it is easier if the device they hold in their hands can be used to make the payment as well. But this is only the beginning, as more retailers need to accept the payments and users need to upgrade their phones.
He also speaks about how easy it is to pay with these systems, particularly Apple Pay, which launches within any app. As for the future, since these systems are very new, it's hard to predict which company will have more success, but he mentions that Apple has a ton of money, so they could end up behaving like a bank if they need to. He believes that success could depend on the loyalty program implementation, if these companies manage to integrate loyalty cards, coupons or even points on airlines right into their systems, they would be used a lot more.
As for security, he mentions that LoopPay (the company behind the MST technology in Samsung Pay) was the target of an attack, but Samsung's devices remained secure. He talks about the tokenization system in Apple Pay and he feels fairly confident to use it, he thinks it would be hard to hack, so as long as other companies use similar systems, they would be safe. While all of the companies are playing along with the banks, he can imagine some of them taking an approach at providing more services currently offered exclusively by the banks.