Many disruptive technologies come from startups, but just as many seem to come from companies that have been around for decades. Whether developing a new system in-house or providing a necessary proving ground for a partner, these older companies are bringing fresh innovations to the payments industry. (Image: iStock)
Tim Hortons
Tim Hortons, founded in 1964, has been eager to deploy cutting-edge payment technology. It offers both an interactive card from Dynamics Inc. and a mobile wallet based on Host Card Emulation, a technology that enables mobile payments from more phones. (Image: Bloomberg News)
The Japanese toy and video game company, founded in 1889, built a Near Field Communication card reader into the controller of its latest game consoles, the Wii U and the New 3DS. This technology allows users of the contactless Suica fare card to purchase downloadable games without typing a card account number. (Image: Bloomberg News)
Microsoft, founded in 1975, has its own unique way of selling digital games. Its customers buy stored-value cards in stores, but rather than type in a code to redeem them online, they show a QR code to the Xbox One video game console's built-in camera. Microsoft also lets gamers buy content with Bitcoin. (Image: Bloomberg News)
Amazon.com, founded in 1994, may be one of the younger companies on this list but it's also been one of the more experimental when it comes to payments. The e-commerce giant maintains its own virtual currency and ties mobile payments into its range of Fire mobile devices. Its e-commerce offerings, such as Login and Pay with Amazon, extend the company's shopping cart to other merchants' sites. (Pictured: Amazon Coins)
Walgreens, founded in 1901, is taking a fresh approach to banking, prepaid and rewards. Its Balance Financial Prepaid MasterCard combines a rewards account and a prepaid account into one card. Walgreens also places kiosks in its stores, allowing customers to manage their accounts without a PC — and without a bank branch. (Image: Bloomberg News)
The Walt Disney Co., founded in 1923, is a pioneer in wearable payments. Its MagicBands, which function as contactless payment cards, hotel keys, theme park passes and more, are used by about half of the people who visit Walt Disney World. (Image: Bloomberg News)
Starbucks, founded in 1971, is one of the few early success stories in mobile payments. The coffee chain launched a mobile payment app in 2009 in just 16 stores and has since aggressively expanded the app's acceptance and capabilities. In 2013, Starbucks reportedly handled 90% of the volume of mobile payments made in the U.S. (Image: Bloomberg News)
Apple, founded in 1976, has made two big splashes in mobile payments. iTunes and the App Store, which sell a significant amount of digital media through phones, have roughly 800 million user accounts. Its new Apple Pay mobile wallet focuses on point of sale and in-app payments, benefiting from a significant promotional boost by banks, credit unions and retailers. (Image: Bloomberg News)
McDonald's, founded in 1955, has grown to a global corporation that supports a variety of emerging payment systems in different countries. In the U.S., it actively promotes the Softcard wallet; in Sweden and other countries, it uses Seamless' SEQR app; in Canada, it is a participant in one of the first NFC-based mobile debit deployments with Interac Flash. (Pictured: McDonald's ad for Softcard)