Using a credit card or cash to pay for goods and services is easy, but there are several companies in Silicon Valley that think the process can be made even easier.
Nobody knows more about how to disrupt the payments industry than billionaire Peter Thiel—co-founder of PayPal.
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Thiel's Founders Fund is investing in Stripe, a San Francisco start-up that gives merchants a computer code they can upload to process credit card payments. The account can be set up in just five minutes. Investors have already committed $120 million to the company.
Stripe is taking aim at established players in the payments industry such as PayPal, which says it processed $125 billion in payments last year.
But Paypal isn't sitting idle. The company continues to expand into mobile payments. On Friday, Paypal will debut a payment app for Samsung's smart watch.
"What we're coming up with at PayPal are solutions that actually make lives better, that reduce transaction times," Rocky Agrawal, PayPal's director of global strategy, told CNBC. "And that's where the real value is. Once we start showing value to consumers, they're going to adopt mobile payments."
And you can't talk about disruptive companies without mentioning Jack Dorsey's Square, which just secured a revolving credit line of close to $200 million.
Re/code, the tech news site in which NBC News group is a stakeholder, reported Wednesday that both Apple and Google have considered making acquisition offers for Square.
Beyond processing transactions, there's also a lot of innovation going on when it comes to paying your bills.
Venki Ganesan of Menlo Ventures is investing in a company called Check. Download the app and you're reminded when bills are due, which you can pay instantly: no stamps, no envelopes, no checks. To date, Check has 10 million users and has already raised about $50 million from investors.
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And there is one company that could radically disrupt the payment landscape: Apple. Recent comments from Tim Cook indicate that Apple could launch a mobile payments platform of its own. The move would make sense for Apple given the huge amount of commerce that already goes through its iOS devices.
Analysts see wireless payments becoming more seamless, and investors are fueling disruptive new companies that are shaking up the payments game.
—By CNBC's Josh Lipton.