Mastercard enlisted the services of Prime Research to conduct a study over social media channels—including Twitter, Facebook, and blogs—to see what people are saying about mobile payment technology. The study was conducted worldwide to gauge where people stood on the subject. Three of the most talked about issues that consumers cited were security, customer support, and confusing information given to the users.
The six-month study was concentrated on users’ desire to use the new system of payment in 43 separate markets, using 26 different languages. There were several interesting points that arose from the study. The early users of mobile payments were almost perfectly split on their opinions about the service, as 58 percent gave it a positive rating. Of the people who have not used the technology, 76 percent thought it was a good thing, that it would be quick and convenient, and that it was an innovative step that would benefit users.
The three most vocal international groups were Europe, the United States, and the Asia-Pacific region. Europe was the most vocal and the most cynical of the three, with France and the UK leading its way. Consumers in Europe are enthusiastic about the ease-of-use this technology offers, but say the acceptance of it is much slower than what projections have speculated. Many Europeans have concerns about the security of the technology and whether it will actually gain worldwide acceptance.
Other regions, such as Latin America, find that they are still unsure as to what the technology actually is and how it works. The service fees cause concern for virtually all of the countries observed, surpassed only by the biggest concern of all…security. Many of the discussions monitored were people discussing their experiences, good or bad, and recanting articles or news clips that they have seen.
While mobile payment technology offers a great deal of convenience for users and projections show that the market will experience explosive growth (to the tune of $998.5 billion by 2016), there is still skepticism about it that only time —and effort on the part of mobile payment purveyors— will ease.
Edited by Brooke Neuman