MasterCard Study of Social Conversations Reveals Consumers are Embracing the Next Generation of Payments

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The FINANCIAL — In 2015, consumers embraced the increasing choice of digital payments options available to them, moving beyond the simple question of “what’s next?” Across the globe, cardholders are asking banks and retailers to provide real-life, ready-to-use mobile payments options, proven by social media comments more than doubling in just one year.

These insights lead the findings from the fourth annual MasterCard Mobile Payments Study, developed in partnership with PRIME Research. The study tracked 2 million global social media posts about mobile payments across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Forums, Google+ and YouTube, up from 85,000 posts in 2012.

Supporting this increased interest was a continued positive sentiment about mobile payments technology, continuing a two-year trend.

“As more choices are made available to them, the conversation has evolved and consumers seem to be fully embracing the next generation of payments,” said Marcy Cohen, vice president of digital communications at MasterCard.

Expanding Payment Options

Digital wallets including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay and MasterPass dominated – 97 percent – of total mobile payments conversations in 2015, centered on product launches, service improvements and how users are evaluating them. Outside of digital wallet discussions, contactless cards (47 percent) drove conversations, followed by biometrics (33 percent), personal payments (14 percent) and wearables (6 percent).

Conversations about contactless cards focused around opening up global acceptance at public transit systems including those in London and St. Petersburg as well as availability at major sporting events around the world.

Mentions of wearables in the last quarter of 2015 were more than 30 times higher than in the first quarter of the year.

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Conversations Increased Globally

Digital wallets are gaining traction in social conversations worldwide. Within the last year there was an increase in every region including:  Asia Pacific (+159%), Europe (+144%), Latin America and the Caribbean (+20%), Middle East and Africa (+111%) and North America (+519%).

Security Remains Key

The safety and security of mobile payments continues to drive conversations, as more consumers continue to take a positive or neutral view of the services being offered to them (94 percent). This reflects a three percentage point increase over last year and 24 points above the initial 2012 study.

In 2015, the end of passwords and biometrics were among the most engaging topics in 2015, reflected in social conversations in 163 countries around the world. Fingerprint and electrocardiogram (ECG) payments-related technology became an engaging topic for users throughout the year, while facial recognition (“Selfie Pay”) remained a top driver (55%) of biometrics-focused conversation.


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