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    U.S. Mobile Payments Will Top $1B by Year's End

    NEW YORK -- Although its growth has been slower than expected, U.S. mobile payments will top $1 billion this year and balloon to a whopping $58 billion in 2017, according to new research published by eMarketer.

    eMarketer defines mobile payments as transactions for goods and services made by scanning, tapping, swiping or "checking in" with a mobile phone at the point-of-sale.

    Mobile payments nearly tripled from 2011 to 2012, eMarketer estimates, reaching $539 million last year. Still, the market is growing slower than expected, reported Pymnts.com, as delays and adoption issues are facing many mobile wallet initiatives. A congested landscape of competing technologies is another reason for the slower-growing mobile payments market.

    As CSNews Online reported last month, a Berg Insight report concluded that the majority of U.S. mobile payments are currently coming from one source: Customers who use Starbucks Corp.'s mobile application.

    Despite some negatives, eMarketer suggests there is reason to think mobile transactions will grow exponentially. Chief among them in the convenience store industry are Isis, which is being tested at Maverik Inc. stores, and Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX). MCX is a mobile wallet and mobile transaction platform backed by a host of c-store chains including 7-Eleven Inc.; Phillips 66, Alon USA; QuikTrip Corp.; Sheetz Inc.; Wawa Inc.; Hy-Vee Inc.; Royal Dutch Shell plc, Sunoco Inc., RaceTrac Petroleum Inc. and Pacific Convenience & Fuels LLC.

    As reported by CSNews Online yesterday, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., parent of Circle K stores in the United States, is the latest convenience industry retailer to join MCX, among whose goals is to have more control and subsequently lower interchange swipe fees for its retailer customers.

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