The processor Total System Services Inc. has been through lot in its nearly three decades of existence, but nothing compares to the state of the payments industry today.

New entrants such as Square Inc. and Groupon Inc. are challenging the conventional way of reaching merchants and handling payments. Plastic cards may lose prominence as mobile wallets, such as the Isis wallet that launched its test Monday, gain traction. And prepaid cards are opening doors for companies that otherwise would not be able to dip a toe in the payments industry. 

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