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五大移动支付翘楚 掀行业新热潮

喜欢长期投资的投资者会渐渐成为“大趋势”的尾随者。这就是说,经济中的重大变化都会带来长久的投资潮——因此,几乎可以保证利润。

大举进军移动支付领域就是浪潮之一。

数据门户网站Statista估计,用移动支付完成的交易总量从2011年的1060亿美元上涨至2013年的2350亿美元——两年间涨了120%。

此外,Statista还估计到2017年全球移动交易总额将达7210亿美元。

当然,这些都只是推测。除此之外,那些坚信这一大趋势是经济转型标志的人与那些从这一趋势中寻求特定行业进行投资获利的个人投资者之间有很大不同。

虽然在这个新兴的移动支付领域许多事情尚未确定,但未来几年,这个大浪潮中将产生一部分行业翘楚,它们是:

Ebay

由于并购了PayPal,ebay较早站在了移动支付市场的前沿。如今,通过计划性的给PayPal用户提供一定信贷额度,ebay正从一家技术和电子商务结合的公司转型为一家更偏向于提供金融服务的公司。

因为华尔街大亨Carl Icahn最近未能成功将PayPal从ebay拆分出来,所以想要让ebay这一移动支付玩家发挥其潜能的唯一途径就是购买它的股票。值得庆幸的是,Icahn认为ebay公司不善经营PayPal的观点与PayPal的大获成功的现实相悖。

2013财年,ebay的支付业务为61亿美元,占该财年138亿美元总交易收入的44%。2012年和2011年分别占42%和41%。

同样重要的是,PayPal的总收入与总支付量持续上涨,令人印象深刻。去年的支付交易收入为61亿美元,比两年前增加41亿美元,上涨49%;同样,去年PayPal的总交易额达1797亿美元,比2011年的1118亿美元上涨60%。

显然,任何一家每年能有1000多亿美元现金流的公司在支付领域极富潜力。虽然ebay的电子商务与之尚未协调好,但是对移动支付感兴趣的投资者可以考虑该公司的股票,因为PayPal有很大发展空间。

VeriFone

虽然许多消费者并不熟悉这个VeriFone这个名字,但VeriFone却是安全电子支付行业的佼佼者。该公司的传统业务侧重于商家使用的触屏收银机和PIN键盘,但是移动支付业务正成为VeriFone的重要业务。

VeriFone的PAYware移动技术让商家可以把移动设备当成一部信用卡读卡器,并且这部读卡器操作简单还带有插入式的附件。考虑到VeriFone业已在安全交易方面树立了自己的品牌,消费者和商家更能肯定PAYware是安全的。

不可否认,VeriFone是一家老企业,但它正努力改变以适应新环境——一个市值只有37亿美元的小市场。然而,VeriFone仍然是支付终端市场的领导者,占“EMV-enabled”终端市场60%的份额——也就是说,国际银行卡组织Europay, MasterCard和Visa都是用此类销售点终端设备,其巨大的市场份额不容小觑。

此外,在过去的12个月由于涨幅达73%,VeriFone股票搭上了强劲的顺风车,其合理的远期市盈率为17。

当然,硅谷的议论与移动支付公司Square有关,它提供了一个类似的接口接到PAYware.尽管在Jack Dorsry(Twitter创始人之一)的掌控下,Square拥有时尚的外表以及感性的故事,但根据一些报道可知,Square资金缺口仍然很大,销售情况十分惨淡。

无论如何,只有那些资金雄厚的风险投资家可以买进Square的股票。如果你是一个散户,下一个最佳选择(如果它又是一个相当棒的核心业务,也许是一个更好的选择)就是VeriFone。经过近期一系列成本削减措施,VeriFone的管理可能与其业务规模相匹配,也给支付部门未来的成功提供一个跳板。

或者说,那些想要Square移动支付技术的人至少会对它的股票进行一次买断。

Visa

Visa仍是支付处理的全球领导者之一,因而它自然能适应移动支付革命。

现在,Visa正从全球的非现金热潮中受益。美国大约80%的支付是非现金交易,欧洲有的国家甚至超过90%。得益于这些市场里较高的交易费用收费基线以及新兴市场里因信用卡和借记卡渗透加速所带来的强劲增长,Visa的股价一路攀升。

虽然销售网点的交易量增加是Visa股票的一大驱动力,但Visa不可能永远依靠于刷卡消费。Visa公司早在2002年就开始发展非接触式支付技术,这种技术现在发展成为payWave。

PayWave技术将一片芯片植入你的银行卡,进行交易的时候则需要专门的读卡器。这种举动非常精明,因为它将传统的银行卡与负载近地技术的磁条相结合,这也是移动支付领域里让人津津乐道的创举。

接下来,只要把芯片从借记卡里取出,放进你的智能手机里,看——移动支付马上成为了可能。

如果这家支付处理的大公司能获得足够多对Visa品牌满意的消费群体以及足够多迷上payWave技术的商家,那么接下来就仅仅是简单的按比例增长问题了。

Apple

一直以来人们对苹果的iBank都有各种猜测。毕竟,从可查询到的记录来看,这家科技巨头已经为之投入了约1500亿美元。

虽然,苹果目前与硬件联系较为紧密——尤其是苹果的龙头产品iPhone占公司总收入的一半——要使苹果保持强劲的发展态势,未来可能需要更加侧重于软件和附加服务。

移动支付无疑是苹果众多新机遇的首选。

2012年,苹果公司推出了苹果存折管理银行卡和优惠券。2013年,苹果又推出了在设备上使用的指纹扫描仪以提高安全性。当前,分析人士猜测,苹果可能会于Visa合作来增强移动支付能力。

这明显是向移动支付靠拢。

虽然批评者会指出,有关苹果支付的谣言早已漫天飞了,但值得注意的是,苹果的移动电商业务进展明显,即使它还没有一个专门的支付工具。

2013年假日季,包括iPad和iPhone在内的iOS设备拉动了整个电商业上涨23%,这个数字是Android设备的5倍。此外,iOS用户平均每单消费93.94美元。

显然,苹果公司知道如何促进电商发展。虽然将电商的成功转化到移动设备上并不容易,但是我们可以借鉴过去这些成功的经验。

谷歌

既然提到苹果的移动支付就不得不提谷歌。

像苹果公司一样,谷歌公司投入了610亿美元现金和短期投资。因为上一季度谷歌控制了85%的Android OS智能手机市场,所以谷歌很容易进入到智能手机领域。

当然,就谷歌钱包技术而言,谷歌已经取得了很大的进展。

谷歌钱包有很多功能。相比苹果,谷歌最明显的优势是“点即付”功能,这项功能利用了近地通讯(NFC)技术,现已被许多Android设备使用——这项功能正是当前iPhone所没有的。

此外,通过为谷歌钱包推出众多功能,包括以gmail附件的形式汇款,与特定的积分项目同步以获得最大的优惠,比如航空里程积分,谷歌公司并不仅仅是把谷歌钱包当做一款支付工具。

使用谷歌钱包最明显的好处就是购买谷歌应用市场里的商品或者Android授权的内容非常方便。消费者只要了解了谷歌钱包的这个用途,那么在未来几年,随着越来越多的智能手机搭载NFC技术,越来越多的商家在店里安装兼容的读卡器,市场可能具有巨大的潜力。

近三年来谷歌与其他公司一样对谷歌钱包支付技术进行了测试,谷歌钱包在移动支付市场的份额还在加速上涨。

Investors who like long-term investing tend to be slaves to “megatrends.” That is, big-time shifts in the economy that provide durable investing themes — and therefore, almost guaranteed profits.

And one of those trends is the push into mobile payments.

Statistics portal Statista estimates that mobile-payment transaction volume rose from about $106 billion in 2011 to more than $235 billion last year — a 120% increase in two years.

Furthermore, Statista estimates mobile transactions could top $721 billion globally by 2017.

Of course, these are just projections. And furthermore, there’s a big difference between folks who believe in this trend broadly as an economic shift and individual investors looking for a specific trade to profit from this trend.

There are no sure things in this emerging mobile payments space, but there is a short list of leaders that look like front-runners to ride this megatrend in the years ahead.

Here they are:

Ebay

Ebay has long been at the forefront of mobile payments with its PayPal arm. And now, with its plan to offer lines of credit to PayPal users, eBay is transitioning from a tech and e-commerce company into a more of a financial-services player.

Since Carl Icahn petitioned unsuccessfully recently to win a spinoff of PayPal from its parent, the only way you’re going to play this mobile payment player’s potential is to buy eBay stock. But thankfully, Icahn’s claims that eBay has mismanaged this division don’t seem to be standing in the way of big success at PayPal.

Consider that eBay’s payments business represented 44% of transaction revenue, tallying $6.1 billion of the $13.8 billion in transactions recorded in fiscal year 2013. That’s up from 42% in 2012 and 41% in 2011.

Equally important is that the gross revenue number and total payment volume of the PayPal division continues to grow impressively. The $6.1 billion in payments transaction revenue last year was about 49% higher than the $4.1 billion recorded just two years ago; similarly, PayPal’s total payment volume of $179.7 billion last year was up an impressive 60% from $111.8 billion in 2011.

Any company that moves around more than $100 billion in cash each year clearly has a lot of potential in the payments space. And while the e-commerce arm of eBay is a bit incongruous, investors interested in mobile payments should consider this stock because of PayPal’s enormous potential.

VeriFone

Though it’s a name many consumers may not recognize, VeriFone is a leader in secure electronic payments. Its legacy business focuses on things like touchscreen cash registers and PIN pads for merchants, but mobile payments are becoming increasingly important to the future of VeriFone.

Its PAYware Mobile technology allows merchants to turn a mobile device into a credit-card reader with an easy-to-use plug-in attachment. And given that VeriFone has built its brand around secure transactions, customers and merchants alike can be sure that PAYware is safe and secure.

Admittedly, VeriFone is an old-school company that is trying to adapt — and a small one at that, with market capitalization of just $3.7 billion right now. However, Verifone still is the market leader in payment terminals with an impressive 60% market share of “EMV-enabled” terminals — that is, point-of-sale devices that serve global credit-card kings Europay, MasterCard and Visa. That tremendous market share is nothing to sneeze at.

Furthermore, the stock has a reasonable forward price-to-earnings ratio of about 17 despite a strong tailwind lately thanks to a massive run-up of 73% in the past 12 months.

Granted, much of the buzz in Silicon Valley is about mobile-payments company Square that offers a similar interface to PAYware. However, despite its hip veneer and sexy story with Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey at the helm, Square is bleeding money and almost desperate for a sale, according to some reports.

Only well-heeled venture capitalists can buy into Square, anyway. If you’re a retail investor, your next best bet — and perhaps a better bet given the fact it has a decent core business to fall back on — is Verifone. After a series of cost-cutting measures lately, management might have right-sized the business and given its payments arm a springboard for future success.

Or, at the very least, a big buyout from others who want its mobile payments know-how.

Visa

Visa remains one of the world leaders in payment processing, so it’s a natural fit for the mobile payments revolution.

Right now, Visa is benefitting from the cashless craze at home and abroad. About 80% of payments in America are non-cash transactions, with some nations in Europe over 90%. Visa stock has been riding high thanks to a strong baseline of transaction fees in these markets and big growth in emerging markets thanks to increased penetration of credit and debit cards.

But while point-of-sales transactions are a big driver of growth, Visa isn’t just depending on people to swipe cards forever. The company started deploying cards with contactless payment technology as early as 2002, with its current incarnation in a technology known as payWave.

PayWave technology puts a chip in your card that communicates with specialized readers to make a transaction. This is a very shrewd move because it marries a conventional plastic card with a magnetic strip with the near-field technology that is so often talked about in the mobile-payments space.

Well, just move that chip out of your debit card and put it into your smartphone, and voila — mobile payments are instantly a possibility.

If the payments giant can get enough customers comfortable with the Visa brand and get enough merchants hooked up with this initial payWave technology, it will be simple to scale this up.

Apple

There has long been speculation about an iBank from Apple. After all, the tech giant is already well-capitalized with some $150 billion in cash and investments on the books.

And while the present of Apple is very much tied up in hardware — specifically, its flagship iPhone that accounts for half of the entire company’s revenue — the future could demand an increased focus on software and peripheral services to keep the company humming along.

Mobile payments are surely at the top of Apple’s list of new opportunities.

In 2012, Apple introduced Passbook to organize cards and coupons. Then in 2013, there was the inclusion of a fingerprint scanner in Apple devices as a way to improve security. And now, analysts are speculating that Apple could collaborate with Visa to expand its mobile-payments capacity.

This is a clear move toward mobile payments.

And while critics will point out the rumor mill has long buzzed about Apple payments, it’s worth noting that Apple has made big progress on mobile commerce even if it doesn’t have a pure payments division just yet.

Consider that iOS devices, which include the iPad and iPhone, drove an impressive 23% of total e-commerce during the 2013 holiday season — five times the rate of Android devices. Furthermore, the average iOS user spent $93.94 per order.

Clearly Apple knows something about facilitating online commerce. Translating that to mobile success won’t be easy, but it should draw on these past successes.

Google

You can’t mention Apple as a mobile payments possibility without also talking about Google.

Google, like Apple, has a boatload of capital with about $61 billion in cash and short-term investments. It also has an easy way into the smartphone space with its dominant Android OS that ran 85% of smartphones shipped last quarter.

And, of course, Google has already made strides to address payments with its Google Wallet technology.

The functionality of Google Wallet is broad. The obvious edge over Apple is a “tap-to-pay” feature that takes advantage of near-field communication technology already available on many Android devices — something that is decidedly lacking in the Apple iPhone right now.

Furthermore, Google is looking to do much more than just allow for payments, creating broad features for Google Wallet that include sending money as a gmail attachment and syncing with select loyalty programs to get the most out of things like frequent-flyer miles.

The clearest use for Google Wallet is to provide easy transactions within the Google Play app marketplace or to buy content for your Android-powered device. But if consumers simply get familiar with Google Wallet in this way, there could be huge potential as more smartphones start carrying NFC technology and more merchants put compatible readers in their stores in the years ahead.

Market share matters, as does Google’s nearly three years of experimenting with its Google Wallets payment technology even as others are still getting up to speed on mobile payments.

 


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