By Brian Kilcourse, RSR Research
Retail payment systems are in the throes of a revolution. Alternative forms of payment are emerging, offering new flexibility to consumers both inside the store and in new shopping channels, and causing a shift from cash and checks as the primary tender to credit and debit, stored value and gift cards, and even innovative payment structures like PayPal and eBillMe. New payment form factors are fast emerging too, most notably contactless payments using the mobile phone as a "digital wallet." What is fascinating about emerging payment types and form factors is that consumers are leading the charge.