Sentiment moves from ‘Why mobile?’ to ‘What’s next?’ in last 24mths
More interest on enhanced digital experiences enabled by m-payments
ACCORDING to the latest MasterCard research, consumers have shifted their focus from questioning the security of mobile payments to now discussing the possibilities of enhanced digital experiences on devices.
At the recent Mobile World Congress (MWC 2015) in Barcelona, MasterCard announced the findings from its third annual Mobile Payments Study, developed in partnership with Prime Research.
The study tracked 19.1 million global social media posts across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Forums, Weibo, Google+ and YouTube throughout 2014, up from 85,000 posts in 2012.
In the Asia Pacific region, top markets for overall conversations around mobile payments were India, Indonesia, Japan, Australia and China, MasterCard said in a statement.
The study also found that merchant conversations had a remarkable visibility boost in 2014 in Asia Pacific, representing 65% of the total conversations (compared with only 11% in 2013).
The study results not only show a remarkable growth in volume of conversations, but a change in both the tone and focus of the social discussion, MasterCard said.
Positive conversations surge
Overall sentiment around mobile payments continues to improve. In 2014, at least 9 in 10 conversations in the Asia Pacific region (90%) and across the globe (94%) were favourable. This is compared with 82% and 77% in Asia Pacific and globally, respectively, in 2013.
The most positive conversations in Asia Pacific were centred on experiences with mobile payment solutions, praising availability, convenience, and most importantly improved transaction experience (96% favourable tone). Globally, the most frequently discussed positive topics were innovation, rewards and loyalty and convenience (91% favourable tone).
Positive safety and security conversations
In Asia Pacific, 76% of the safety and security conversations in 2014 were favourable, up from 57% globally in 2012 when it was the most negative topic appearing in the research. Across the world, nine in 10 (91%) discussions around safety and security were positive, up from 20% in 2012 when it was the most negative topic appearing in the research.
Confusion and concern over safety and security, cited in both the 2012 and 2013 studies, have now been replaced by consumers celebrating more secure solutions.
Top markets for safety and security-specific conversations in Asia Pacific were India, Indonesia, Japan, Australia and the Philippines.
Benefits of mobile payments
Although security conversations were among the most positive in the study, the volume of these conversations was low.
Conversations on digital innovation and the enriched experiences delivered by mobile and connected devices drove the majority of social discussions both in Asia Pacific (32%) as well as globally (71%) among stakeholders in 2014.
Convenience was the most positive aspect of mobile payments (96% positive sentiment in Asia Pacific; 94% globally). Consumers were most excited to share specific purchases made with mobile devices, particularly how they could utilise them for everyday purchases.
Along with convenience, additional reward incentives – like coupon redemption and loyalty programmes and points – were discussed frequently within innovation (11% of stakeholder conversations in Asia Pacific; 24% globally). The additional potential benefits to be integrated into mobile payment offerings reinforce consumers’ loyalty to using mobile devices (28% of conversations were driven by consumers in Asia Pacific; 58% globally), and point to opportunities for MasterPass and other digital payment services.
“The conversation shift and trend of improving sentiment around mobile payments is encouraging,” said Raj Dhamodharan, head of the Emerging Payments Group at MasterCard in Asia Pacific.
“It shows that more and more consumers are embracing new payment technologies, in part driven by the enhanced convenience and security offered.
“The potential for greater innovation in mobile payments is significant. And as more connected devices come to the market – such as wearables, smart TV and refrigerators – commerce will follow.
“Businesses need to continue to develop new mobile payment solutions that enrich the consumer experience – or risk being left behind in a world where smart technologies rule,” he added.
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