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Square Has Already Won Mobile Payments. Here's Who Stands to Benefit

Jay Jenkins
December 23, 2013

Source: Square.

Brandon Workman of Business Insider Intelligence thinks that Square and, more generally, card reader technology, has already won the fight for mobile payment dominance. 

But alas for Foolish investors, Square is a private company (for now). Where does that leave an investor to turn?

Opportunities abound in every corner of the payment processing universe
There are Square's competitors scurrying to catch up -- like eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) subsidiary PayPal. These are the companies developing applications for smartphones and tablets that link either directly to a specific retailer or to a generic payment platform (like PayPal). Square has an early and dominant lead, but PayPal has the brand and existing customer network to find scale as the technology evolves.

Then there are the payment processing networks that facilitate the transactions between consumer and vendor -- the giants being Visa (NYSE: V) and MasterCard (NYSE: MA). These companies maintain the vast systems that communicate with the consumer's bank or credit card company and securely transfer funds into the vendor's account. Of course, Visa and MasterCard don't provide this service for free. They act as toll collectors and collect a fee on each