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.