Why 2015 Could Mark The End Of Cash

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Quick, what's in your wallet right now?

My guess is you have some family pictures, a few credit cards and maybe some old business receipts. If you're more old fashioned like I am, you might hold a few greenbacks in there as well... just in case.

Why am I asking? Because I predict that within the next five to ten years you won't need a wallet.

Simply put, I predict a small technology company is going to make all material forms of currency obsolete . And it's going to do so with help from technology juggernauts like Apple and Google.

If that sounds crazy, then consider this. It took a few thousand years to go from coins to paper money and then onto charge cards. It took 18 years for debit cards to surpass checks. Four years after that, more than 50% of all transactions were electronic.

This year, nearly two-out-of-three transactions (64%) will be made electronically.

While many of those transactions will be online, a large portion will come from something called near field communication (NFC) -- a relatively new technology that's getting widespread attention across the globe.

Near field communication essentially lets certain devices "talk" to cash registers and other point-of-sale terminals using a short-distance radio frequency transmitter.

With NFC, all you have to do at the register is tap the reader with your smartphone and out you go with your goods. It's as simple as that.

I'ts only a matter of time before this convenient payment method becomes the norm. Reuters projects the number of phones with NFC chips will double to 550 million phones this year from 300 million last year.

StreetAuthority's small-cap stock expert, Andy Obermueller, has been following this "cash killing" NFC technology for several years now. Here's what he said about NFC when he first told readers about it back in his July 2012 issue of Game-Changing Stocks :

"It's not often that the future lands in my in-box.

But it did last week. Google sent me an update on its new Wallet initiative. The Google Wallet is a new way to pay. It uses a special chip in certain smartphones to transmit your credit card information to a reader that more and more point-of-sale terminals are equipped with. There is no physical exchange of the card and thus no chance of the number falling into the wrong hands.
It's also going to open up mobile payments to a whole new audience, notably among young people and a portion of the population that doesn't use banks. That's because not only is the credit card in Google Wallet available as a prepaid card -- no credit required -- it is also available on a prepaid smartphone through VirginMobile. This will certainly help push this technology into the mainstream..."

The investment possibilities with NFC payments are endless.

As Andy mentioned, Google is heavily invested in this technology through its Google Wallet software. Financial firms Citi, Visa, Mastercard and eventually American Express will administer the electronic payments that Google Wallet and other payment apps use. Verifone Systems, as its ticker symbol suggests, makes the cash-register readers for the smartphone NFC chips.

All of these large companies will likely receive healthy new revenue streams out of the deal. All of which makes me confident that they will ensure each other's -- and this technology's -- success in commerce.

But, as Andy has been telling his subscribers for the past two years, these companies are not where the largest gains are to be made from this NFC technology:

"The winning stock in this space is not likely to be Google. Nor do I think it will be Sprint, which runs the network, and it's not Citi or MasterCard... Instead, the likely winner is a company most people have never heard of... It makes the special chips that go in the phone that "talks" to cash registers..."

That was back when shares of this semiconductor manufacturer were trading around $25 per share.

It turns out Andy was right way before the rest of the crowd caught on. Just look at how shares have taken off since Andy first recommended the company in July 2012:

With this NFC chip manufacturer now up 278% from when Andy recommended it, you might think you've missed the boat.

Not so. In fact, right now there's a potentially huge catalyst for this stock... namely, from a big purchase from one of the most profitable companies in the United States.

In September 2014, Apple officially entered the digital payments market with its "Apple Pay" app, which is compatible with the Apple Watch and the recently-released iPhone 6. As a result, this company's NFC chips will be used in the millions of iPhone 6s and Apple Watches sold in the years ahead.

Even with the 278% gains he's seen over the past two and a half years from this firm, Andy is still calling the stock "The #1 Apple Supplier To Buy Now" for the potentially monumental gains ahead. He's so excited about its growth prospects that he spent the last few months crafting a research report about this supplier and four other key Apple suppliers that he expects to skyrocket in the wake of Apple Pay. To learn more about his latest research, I invite you to check out his special research alert here.

The bottom line: the outlook of wallets and cash is tenuous, but the growth possibilities of digital payments are endless. Embrace it, and enjoy the ride up.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

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