Crunch the numbers and compare forecasts, and it gets tricky to determine which parts of the world will actually embrace new payments technology quicker.

A MasterCard Inc. "mobile preparedness" study in 2012 indicated that Singapore, Canada and the U.S. were the countries most prepared to offer payments technology and innovation to serve willing consumers. But the study also showed the U.S. ranking 10th when it came to "consumer readiness" for adopting mobile payments.

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