Mobile payments—those you make without cash, check or a credit/debit card—are expected to total more than $720 billion worldwide by 2017, more than doubling the volume achieved in 2014.  Mobile purchases in the U.S. are forecast to nearly triple from $50 billion to $142 billion by 2019, according to Forrester Research.  The increasing penetration of smartphones into the consumer market drive this phenomenal growth. One in three people say they pay with their phone simply because they purchased a smartphone, while another 20 percent choose to pay via mobile device simply for its convenience.  Yet in the short history of mobile payments, essentially since 1997 when Coca Cola installed a Coke machine that accepted text messages as well as cash, people have made mobile payments using an array of interesting technologies. 
SMS Payments were among the earliest methods for purchasing with a mobile device. SMS (Short Message Service) is better known today as texting. Using SMS payments, your text message travels to a mobile payment service provider, which processes the transaction between you and the merchant. The cost of the purchase appears on your monthly phone bill.
You can pay via Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) using your smartphone to buy from a website if the site has installed the necessary WAP software. This methods lets you buy with a single click and is most often used to pay for digital content, subscriptions and related services. 
Mobile Card Readers, such as our ProPay JAK, plugs into your smartphone audio jack. It encrypts the customer’s card data when you swipe the card, ensuring security compliant with PCI regulations. A smartphone app allows the customer to sign for the transaction and, optionally, to receive a receipt by email.
In the past few years, NFC (near-field communication) has come to the forefront. It allows your mobile device to exchange data with an NFC-equipped point of sale system when the two devices are within a few centimeters of one another. Your mobile device acts as a credit or debit card and is perhaps the most secure method for making mobile payments in use today. Devices that use NFC use a special “secure element” designed to be tamper proof. That “secure element” may be a chip (as in iPhone 6) or may exist in the cloud. 
Mobile wallets use NFC hardware technology along with software on your mobile device. Wallets are available for both Android and IOS devices. You enter a PIN, choose the payment account (VISA, Mastercard, or your checking account, for example). Then, simply hold your mobile device near the NFC reader to transmit payment information to the merchant.
Quick Response (QR) codes, invented to automate manufacturing processes by Denso-Wave, a subsidiary of Toyota,  are now being used to make mobile payments. Paying by QR code requires the merchant to place a machine at checkout that displays a unique code for each transaction. Likewise, you need to download an app provided by the QR mobile payment company. You make a purchase by scanning the code the merchant displays with your mobile device. The app then debits your bank account or the credit/debit card you previously registered. This method of mobile payment is popular in Europe and Asia. In the U.S., QR codes are used widely for advertising, but are only at the starting gate as a method for mobile payment. 
Mobile payments are poised to flood the banking systems like a tsunami. When you consider Android and IOS smartphones alone, ignoring tablets and other mobile devices, they have been the fastest-selling technology products in human history. In the U.S. about half of all adults carry a smartphone.  Worldwide, two billion people will carry one by 2016, increasing to one-third of the world’s population by 2018, according to eMarketer.  ProPay is positioned to help you sort through the options that work for your businesses—whether yours is a small business or a multi-national—with an array of products and services that deliver convenience, security and reliability…and that can help you ride the mobile payment wave.