Mobile Payment System of the Future: PayPal or Isis?

While eBay-owned PayPal’s (Nasdaq: EBAY) new mobile payment solution is getting a lot of media attention, Isis believes its Android-based mobile wallet will be THE m-payment system of the future. But how long will it take? Even though Isis has the backing of AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, its system is not supported by Apple. Plus, its technology is still in trials in Austin and Salt Lake City. Meanwhile, PayPal’s new mobile payment solution, which allows users of its mobile app to scan a QR code or enter a PIN number at the point-of-sale to make purchases, will be rolled out to U.S. retailers this year. Millions of stores worldwide will be able to download the software into their existing cash registers in the near future, PayPal’s Vice President of Retail Don Kingsborough said recently. “The future is actually now,” Kingsborough said at the Money2020 conference in Las Vegas last week, Forbes reported. “Dozens of players have made announcements and they focus on two cities or only restaurants and they think that is what is going to change consumer behavior. You have to be wherever the consumer already loves to shop…these are the table stakes for success,” Kingsborough added. PayPal, through its alliance with Discover, has a significant jump on the competition, according to Kingsborough. Discover sports seven million account holders and acceptance at 20 million locations around the world. However, Isis’s technology will be ready for rollout at thousands of locations by the end of this year, Isis CEO Mike Abbott said at Money2020, Forbes reported. “By the end of next year, 30 million Isis devices will be operating at millions of locations across the U.S. and they will be loaded with hundreds of dollars of offers from merchants,” Abbott said. And, we can’t ignore the fact that more consumers are opting to use Android-enabled devices. Android increased its global market share to 79.3 percent in the second quarter of 2013, while Apple’s market share dropped to 13.2 percent, according to research firm IDC. Both mobile payment providers make an excellent case for their respective technologies, but PayPal may have an edge with the powerhouse-backing of eBay. Who do you think will rule mobile payments in the future?

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