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3 Businesses that Didn't Exist 10 Years Ago Because of Mobile Payments

By Nick Nayfack

There's little arguing the impact mobile devices have had on everyday consumer life. Not only do customers use smartphones and tablets to communicate with one another, they're now using portable technology to interact with the digital world around them in addition to purchasing products and services.

According to Forrester Research , there has been a drastic shift in the paradigm of how consumers use mobile devices. In fact, U.S. consumer yearly adoption grew from 19 percent in 2009 to 66 percent in 2014 (1). Portable technology, it seems, is nearly integrated in everyday consumer life.

Noticing the upward trend of mobile payments, entrepreneurs have been flocking to the mobile market to try and hit the jackpot with the next big idea.  Mobile payments are projected to grow exponentially in the next decade as well, which points to further development in the space in the coming years. Forrester forecasts mobile payments will grow from $52 billion this year to $142 by 2019 with both large, national brands and local retailers (1). New and cutting-edge technology has enabled smaller businesses to adopt mobile payment technology at a relatively low investment and at a faster pace, which, on a smaller scale, doesn't affect daily operations as much as it would in larger retailers.

A number of businesses have risen to prominence in recent memory thanks in part to the rapid growth and adoption of mobile payments in the last three years. Here are three companies that can partly attribute their success to the development of portable transactions:

UberTM: The smartphone-based rideshare company was recently valued at more than $41 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal®  (2). As recently as June 2014, UberTM was valued at $18.2 billion, but in time since then, its value has exponentially increased. The San Francisco-based company just collected $1.2 billion in equity that will help expand its workforce, recruit new drivers, test a delivery service and possibly expand into a new vertical: logistics. 

Venmo® Although it's a relatively young company, VenmoT® has burst onto the scene because of its peer-to-peer payment capabilities. Users can send cash back and forth to one another within seconds; each individual connects a credit card or bank account to the application and a wireless and seamless transaction is completed. In July 2013, Forbes called Venmo®  the future of payments for consumers and businesses (3). According to Forbes, Venmo's®  user figures are growing were growing at a 15-percent rate a year ago, or before it hit mainstream popularity.

GrubHubTM: Another application that has greatly benefited from the shared economy is GrubHubTM. The Chicago-based food ordering company makes it easy for users to order and purchase food directly from their smartphones without speaking to a representative from the restaurant. According to startup news website Upstart, the company's revenue climbed to more than $137 million last year (4). In its 10 years in existence, its value has climbed to $2 billion, thanks in part to a user base who are mobile centric and have strong appetites. 

1. Forrester, Nov. 17, 2014).

2. The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 5, 2014

3. Forbes, Jul. 2, 2013

4. Upstart, Mar. 24, 2014

Venmo® , GrubHubTM and UberTM are registered or unregistered marks belonging to their respective owners who are unaffiliated with and do not endorse or sponsor Vantiv Integrated Payments, LLC.

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