In-person mobile payments, including "invisible transactions" like your Uber ride, are expected to grow from $9.9 billion in 2015 to $68.4 billion in 2021. That is a fraction of total U.S. consumer spending, which in the first quarter of 2017 reached an all-time high of $11.7 trillion.
Invisible payments operate through software stored on a customer’s mobile phone that can link to a retailer’s payment system. In some cases, the software can transfer funds when certain conditions that a customer pre-authorizes are met. Domino’s Pizza Inc., for example, lets customers order and pay for a favorite pizza, based on a stored profile, simply by opening the Domino’s app on his smartphone. Such frictionless transactions let customers skip swiping or inserting cards or typing passwords. Merchants and financial and technology firms are vying to control the market.