Mobile payments have transitioned from "concept to adoption," according to the MasterCard and Prime Research's second annual mobile payments study.
The card network and research company tracked more than 13 million social media comments across Twitter, Facebook, blogs and web forums around the world, and found improved sentiment for mobile payments among consumers and merchants.
For example, "adopters," or people who have used mobile phones to make payments, drove 81% of social network conversations in 2013, a dramatic increase from 2012, when only 32% of people discussing mobile payments on social media had actually used a mobile payments product. In 2012, 68% of the conversations about mobile payments were driven by non-adopters, MasterCard and Prime Research report.
Confusion over mobile payments is also declining. In 2012, the third-most discussed topic was whether consumers should use mobile payments; in 2013, the second-most discussed topic was which mobile payment method to use. The findings suggest consumers are ready to adopt mobile payments in greater numbers, which would be welcome news for payment companies frustrated with sluggish consumer adoption thus far.
Both consumers and merchants are supportive of mobile payments, the study finds. Eighty-six percent of respondents from the two groups view mobile payments positively, and merchants account for 22% of conversations and carry an 88% positive sentiment rate, the study says. Ninety percent of merchant conversations are driven by those who have implemented mobile payments, and non-adopting merchants are predominantly using social media to seek mobile payment advice from other merchants, the study says.