Your phone is your next credit card

ccYou already have your next credit card. It’s sitting in your front pocket.

People have possessed the ability to spend and send money with their smartphones for years, but mobile payments have yet to take off in a big way.

Plastic and cash are still the preferred modes of buying stuff — by a long shot. But four recent events suggest that mobile payments are about to take off in a big way.

1. This week, investors pumped $150 million into Square, the mobile-payments company that lets people turn their smartphones into virtual cash registers. The investment values the company at $6 billion.

2. Last week, eBay opted to spin off payments service PayPal. A big part of the reason: PayPal has been held back by its parent company, and the move is expected to free PayPal to increase its mobile payments presence.

3. Facebook is experimenting with a one-touch payments system, and this week TechCrunch reported that Facebook is about to release a peer-to-peer money transfer feature in its Messenger app.  More