The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series, in which consumer-goods editor and analyst Austin Smith discusses topics around the investing world.

Mobile payments represent the exciting merger of technology and retail that consumers and investors have been waiting for. There are a lot of companies vying for slices of what some have said will be a $600 billion industry by 2016. That sort of potential has companies from mobile, telecom, finance, and retail salivating to get a piece. Today's newest entrant? None other than retail titan Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT). The company has announced that it's working with Target (NYSE: TGT) and a consortium of other retailers in an effort to develop a mobile payment-system that will rival the likes of Google Wallet.

Retail is in its largest period of transition ever. The companies left behind will bankrupt investors, while the few exceptional leaders benefiting from this change will see astounding growth in the years ahead. The Motley Fool has created a free report: "The Death of Retail," which highlights two companies hand-picked by Fool analysts that are set to dominate the future. To check out these two companies and learn more about the future of retailing, click here now -- it's free!

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.