Consumers Express Interest and Confusion Over Mobile Payments

— March 05, 2013

At Mobile World Congress, MasterCard, in partnership with Prime Research, released a global Mobile Payments Social Media Study tracking 85,000 related social media comments across Twitter, Facebook, Online Blogs and Forums from around the world. The study shows a high volume of conversation and consumer interest in adopting mobile payments but cites security, customer support and confusion over the array of options available today as barriers to entry.
 
The study looked at social commentary over a six-month period and analyzed consumer conversations around mobile payments to assess people’s willingness to adopt mobile payment services.
 
The analysis across 43 markets and in 26 languages shows:
  • Social media commentary concerning mobile payment technology among Early Adopters is mixed in tone (58% positive/factual) while those yet to adopt are more positive overall (76% positive/factual).  Most posts praised aspects including innovation, convenience and speed.
  • Users based in Europe are the most vocal in expressing opinions about mobile payment technology overall followed closely by Asia-Pacific and the United States.  The most positive regions overall are Asia-Pacific (China and Australia) and the United States while the most skeptical regions overall are Europe (France, UK) and Canada.
  • Some skepticism is evident in Europe as consumers discuss mobile payment security and general reservations about the feasibility of worldwide adoption as points of concern.
  • Users in the UK express excitement about the convenience and innovation of mobile payments but report inconsistency in acceptance and uncertainty over the timeline for market-wide availability.
  • Across the Latin America and Caribbean regions, non-adopters express a need for clarification on the mobile payment technologies offered as well as a clearer understanding of the cost implications mobile payments may have on their current lifestyles. While adopters mention convenience as a benefit, they also convey concerns for the safety of their payment information.
  • China, Thailand, Australia, Japan and Singapore are the most active countries in mobile payment discussions across Asia. Of statements presenting unique commentary, users discuss product experiences and ask questions or share opinions about news stories originating in traditional print and broadcast media.
  • Discussions in the Middle East and Africa tend to either retell or redistribute stories which originate in traditional media with the highest shares of discussion stemming from South Africa, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Nigeria.
  • In the United States, users show interest in the compatibility of mobile payments with other payment systems during the transaction process. Other drivers of discussion center on value, longer-term benefits, as well as security. Similarly, conversations stemming from Canada present similar priorities despite lower volume.

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