Slideshow 9 Failures that May Yet Succeed in Payments

  • July 20 2012, 2:47pm EDT
10 Images Total

(Image: ThinkStock)

PayPal Mobile

PayPal, in 2006, began allowing users to make purchases by sending text messages to numbers printed in ads. It shuttered this service in favor of PayPal's smartphone app. Today, PayPal seems to be going back to its roots with a point of sale system that uses just a phone number instead of an app. (Image: Bloomberg News)

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PayPal Credit

PayPal is not used to being beaten at its own game, but in recent years it had to concede that its home-grown instant credit system, Pay Later, was no threat to rival Bill Me Later. PayPal bought Bill Me Later in 2008 and has since woven the service into its mobile wallet. (Image: Shutterstock)

Google Checkout

Google launched its online payment system, Checkout, in 2006 and absorbed it into the mobile payment system Google Wallet last year. Though Checkout had its issues, its userbase gives a strong boost to the younger Google Wallet. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Decoupled Debit

There are a few success stories in decoupled debit, but there are also many failures. Decoupled debit systems may have broader appeal as the basis for new mobile wallets. (Image: Shutterstock)

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JPMorgan Chase no longer advertises its "blink" contactless cards, but the readers that merchants installed to accept contactless payments may smooth the transition from plastic cards to mobile-phone payments. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Visa's Payment Portal

Visa's latest approach to the digital wallet,, builds on its experiences with the short-lived Rightcliq. The earlier portal had coupons, social tools and a payments hub, but it "was never a true digital wallet," Visa said. (Image: Shutterstock)

Beenz and Credits

Internet-only currencies like Beenz flared out long ago, but Facebook gave virtual currencies a new life with its successful Facebook Credits. Though Facebook is phasing out credits in favor of real-world currencies, it encourages developers to create their own digital currencies as a substitute. (Image: Shutterstock)

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BillMyParents shifted its strategy away from an online payment system that requires parents' approval to a more conventional debit card with some parental-control functions built-in. But the approval model is getting a second wind from PaidPiper, which says the structure can also be used for corporate spending. (Image: Shutterstock)


Biometric payment systems seemed to go bust with the 2008 failure of the fingerprint-payment system Pay By Touch. The biometric payment model is finding a fresh audience at tanning salons, where clients in beach attire may not have enough pockets to carry a wallet. (Image: Shutterstock)