Monday, February 24, 2014

Mobile Payments Trending in 13 Million Social Conversations: MasterCard Research

Conversations in Asia Pacific Trending Towards Transaction Experience and Merchant Engagement

Kuala Lumpur, 24 February 2014 – MasterCard and Prime Research today released the second annual global MasterCard Mobile Payments Study, which tracked more than 13 million social media comments across Twitter, Facebook, Online Blogs and Forums around the world.

In the Asia Pacific region, the study found that while merchants account for just 11 percent of conversations, they are also beginning to engage. It’s an encouraging sign in light of the fact that merchant availability and acceptance is the second most discussed topic across the region and carries a 78 percent positive rating. The only topic discussed more frequently is the transaction experience. Mobile payments convenience is the next most popular topic and carries an 84 percent rating.

Globally, the study shows improved sentiment toward mobile payments and rapid growth in consumer use and merchant acceptance. Merchants carry an 88% positive rating with many conversations touting mobile acceptance as a competitive advantage. As consumers increasingly turn to mobile options, merchants reluctant to accept these payments may find themselves locked out of the segment.

The research points to 2013 as the year mobile payments transitioned from concept to adoption.  “Adopters,” or those who have used mobile payments, drove 81% of conversations in 2013. This finding is a reversal from 2012 when only 32% of those discussing mobile payments had used a product. 2014 may be the year when long-term mobile brand and shopping allegiances are formed, which means those considering mobile payments may be well served getting involved.

Furthermore, sentiment towards mobile payments among adopters improved significantly from 2012 (58%) to 2013 (74%), with even non-adopters staying positive (79% in 2013, 76% in 2012). This demonstrates that the user experience, technical quality and acceptance network is improving for consumers.

Acceptance at merchant outlets was the most visible topic, generating 15% of the total conversation and 48% of merchant conversation specifically. The research shows that both consumers and merchants are supportive of mobile payments (86%), which will likely lead to more merchant adoption in 2014. In fact, availability of mobile payments when shopping with merchants was the most often discussed positive topic overall in 2013.

 “This type of research offers us valuable insight on how ready consumers are to adopt mobile payments in making their lives easier. It also offers a good indication of how consumers will perceive and embrace emerging technologies”, said Nagesh Devata, group head, Acceptance Development, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, MasterCard.

“Particularly encouraging is the level of conversation and engagement that is starting to take place around merchants which speaks to the effectiveness and importance of merchant communications in the overall consumer experience.”

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