Originally posted on Gigaom:
When cellular carriers, banks, credit card companies, web giants and start-ups eye the opportunity in mobile payments, they imagine themselves making gobs of money by selling retailers on the merits of their technology. Turns out the retailers might have their own plans.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Walmart (s wmt), Target (s tgt) and a couple dozen major retailers have decided to work on their own next-generation mobile payment system that will compete against the likes of Google Wallet (s goog), Isis, PayPal (s ebay) and many others. It could throw the nascent mobile payment market into even more chaos and make it harder for consumers to know which mobile wallet they’re supposed to carry in their pockets.
It’s unclear when the initiative would launch, how it will operate and how widely it would be deployed. But the companies involved, which include big-box retailers, fast food restaurants, drug stores and vending companies, have a combined annual revenue of $1.38 trillion, a huge pile of money that they would like to defend from the salivating technology and payment industries.