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The top mobile payments news of February 2014

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2014 is off to a strong start for the burgeoning mobile payments industry. For the second full month of this calendar year, headlines heralding the expansion of mobile payments were coming hot and heavy throughout February.

Below are some of the top stories to emerge in mobile payments this month.

With the mobile payments arena growing more competitive with each passing month, the battle for supremacy in this fast-growing field is being waged on multiple fronts today. In addition to providing quality, consistent, and secure payment services, customers now expect exemplary customer service to boot. And, on that front, formidable industry heavyweights like Square are losing ground to companies like PayAnywhere, say consumers that are flocking to the fast-growing mobile payments firm owned by North American Bancard.

On Monday, as Mobile World Congress 2014 kicked off in Barcelona, the popularity and prevalence of mobile payments have been more apparent. "Many hurdles have stifled the adoption of mobile payments in the U.S. and elsewhere, not least of which is getting consumers to change their purchasing behavior," USA Today reports. "But MasterCard says consumer and merchant sentiment toward mobile payments is improving."

The battle for the future of digital wallets is still in its infancy and there are still no clear winners in the United States. What is clear, however, is that NFC-based solutions haven’t seen the widespread adoption some industry watchers had expected. The lack of a universal solution and the cost of upgrading merchant terminals are both huge barriers, and they may never really be overcome.

Spot quiz: What is Apple's fastest-growing product by total dollar sales? If you thought iPhones or iPads, you'd be wrong. Growth of both of those is in decline.

Why do we still have credit cards? With all the advances in technology, and all the things our smart phones do, why aren’t we paying for everything using a mobile app? Why are you signing a paper restaurant receipt after paying for dinner? Why am I sliding my card through the reader so I can fill my tank? Why do we have to present a little piece of plastic when we check in to a hotel?

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