Forrester forecasts the mobile payments marketplace to exceed $90 billion in the next three years — yet two of the most well-known and well-funded digital wallet competitors, Google and Square, have fallen short. Why? The answer is simple: These players launched their wallet offerings without a user base, without a merchant base, and without strategic partners that could deliver either.

According to Forrester, most wallet competitors have focused on consumer value far more than on merchant value, when in reality, merchants — who have access to an engaged customer base and control the checkout experience — will be most instrumental in advancing adoption of mobile payments and digital wallets and ultimately determining which solutions live or die.

So what about Apple? “I do expect that over time Apple’s mobile wallet will have greater success than Square Wallet, Google Wallet, or,” writes Senior Analyst Denée Carrington in a new blog post. “But an elegant user experience won’t be enough to do it. . . . To be successful, Apple’s wallet must have a compelling merchant value proposition — like lowering a merchant’s operational costs or helping to drive more revenue — in order to win merchant acceptance and preference at checkout.”

To learn more about this research, visit the eBusiness & Channel Strategy blog.