BARCELONA -- Global financial groups battled Monday to control the lucrative future of "mobile money," which will enable people to use a smartphone to go shopping instead of cash and credit cards.

MasterCard, Visa and online payments service PayPal struggled for a slice of the industry as the world's biggest mobile fair, Mobile World Congress, opened in Barcelona, Spain.

It is a market with potentially rich rewards.

The mobile money industry is expected to grow from $13.8 billion in 2013 to $278.9 billion by 2018, according to a study released this month by global research group MarketsandMarkets, which estimates there will be about 5.3 billion mobile phones worldwide this year.

MasterCard announced a new digital payment system that lets people use a wide variety of devices including smartphones.

The system, known as MasterPass, stores customers' banking and personal information in a "secure cloud" online where it is available for the moment of payment whether in a store on when browsing the Internet, the group said.

Banks and stores will be able to issue their customers with MasterPass-connected "digital wallets", which would accept credit and debit card information, including cards other than MasterCard's, the group said.

Shoppers would be able to use MasterPass on the web without having to key in their bank information and delivery address for each purchase.

But they also could make payments with the new system in other ways, including by waving a smartphone equipped with Near Field Communications, or NFC, technology near a special reader.

MasterPass will be launched in Australia and Canada by the end of March before expanding to other markets.