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Halftime: Will Google Win the Mobile Wallet War?

Google unveiled its smartphone pay service “Google Wallet” Thursday, but with a pending lawsuit and stiff competition from the likes of PayPal and Visa, will Google win the mobile wallet war?

Google certainly hopes so. It’s launching Google Wallet in San Francisco with Sprint , Citibank and MasterCard as partners. It will eventually expand across the country.

But Google isn’t the only big name banking on consumers and merchants embracing the mobile payment concept. PayPal, which is owned by eBay , Visa and American Express have all thrown their hats in the ring. MasterCard, while partnering with Google, is also working on its own projects.

What’s more, PayPal has slapped Google with lawsuit, claiming Google stole PayPal's trade secrets on mobile payment technology from its former employees.

So in the battle over the mobile wallet, who’s the winner?

Gene Munster, a Senior Research Analyst with Piper Jaffray, thinks PayPal has a right to be nervous. While it is the winner today, a few years from now it will be a very different story. That’s because the mobile wallet will be more than just a replacement for physical credit cards.

“In five years, people are going to want to integrate coupons across the web,” Munster said. Customers will want to “walk into a store and have a seamless experience.”

And that’s where Google comes in, since they have the ability to aggregate all the coupons across the web. PayPal, Munster said, does not.

Don’t count out Visa, either. So far this “global leader” in the payment market has only laid out a broad road map, Munster said. He believes we’ll hear more details in the fall.

So while today PayPal can claim the crown, Munster said, “If you look five years down the road, it’s going to be companies like Google and Visa [that] are going to be the ones that are going to be really driving this market.”




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Trader disclosure: On May 27, 2011, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders; Pete Najarian owns (AAPL); Pete Najarian owns (MOS); Pete Najarian owns (HPQ); Pete Najarian owns (MS); Pete Najarian owns (TCK); Pete Najarian owns (VLO); Pete Najarian owns (RSX); Pete Najarian owns (TEVA); Cortes owns (SO); Cortes owns (EXC); Cortes owns (KFT); Cortes owns (K); Cortes owns (WMT); Cortes is short Nikkei; Cortes is short EEM vs. S&P long; Cortes is short AUD; Cortes is long the EUR/JPY cross; Cortes is short (CAT); Cortes is short (DE); Grasso owns (AKS); Grasso owns (AMD); Grasso owns (ASTM); Grasso owns (BA); Grasso owns (BAC); Grasso owns (C); Grasso owns (D); Grasso owns (HOV); Grasos owns (JPM); Grasso owns (LIT); Grasso owns (LPX); Grasso owns (MHY); Grasso owns (NDAQ); Grasso owns (PFE); Grasso owns (PRST)

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