Although many of the payments people make every day are made digitally, global companies are still doing a lot of paper-based activity. According to Marketwatch, this is very expensive and many companies had it listed as a top priority to improve at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Conference on Payments and Commercial Card.

The second-highest priority was adding more digital and electronic payments, as well as expanding their card programs.

"We are facing dramatic shifts in the global payments environment," said Kevin Phalen, head of Global Card and Comprehensive Payables at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, in a Marketwatch report. "We hope the dialog generated among our clients and other industry participants will go some way to advancing preparedness and efficiencies in global commerce."

Mobile expected to be dominate electronic payment
According to Banking Technology, mobile payments are expected to grow quickly over the next few years, rapidly becoming a popular payment option. People will use mobile phones to pay for more than the new clothes they buy at the mall, however. Smartphones and other mobile devices will be used to pay any number of bills.

A joint paper put together by Payments UK and Consultant Hyperion predicted the emergence of a single, specialized and aggregated mobile payment app that would be used across the board to make electronic payments. Banking Technology pointed to Apple Pay as a mobile payment app that could be a precursor to the app that is being described. However, currently there are several mobile payment apps, such as Google Wallet. Until the competition is beaten by a specific new technology, there will likely be many more mobile payment options.

Don't count card companies out
While mobile payments are growing, large credit card companies are adjusting their strategies to stay relevant. According to VentureBeat, Visa is updating its marketing and reaching out to many different partners, like the NFL, to stay top of mind for consumers.

Google, Apple, PayPal and the products of several other companies could jeopardize the security of Visa's place as one of the leaders in the payment industry in the future.

"This disruption has heightened the bar for Visa," Lara Balazs, senior vice president of North American marketing for Visa, told VentureBeat. "We stand for 'everywhere you want to be.' We have to meet consumers how and where they want to pay."

The rapid advances in technology have caused a lot of things to change, according to Balazs.

"So many industries are being disrupted and electronic payments are part of it," she said. "Companies you didn't even expect have entered the payments space."

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