Social Networks Know What's Next for Mobile Payments

Mobile payments are quickly becoming an integral part of consumers’ daily lives. In order for businesses to stay competitive, it’s important for them to stay on top of the trends in the industry.

Social media is an important way to accomplish that. It has emerged as a major influence on the mobile payment processing landscape. Payment service providers, financial institutions and merchants are monitoring online conversations and developing processes and technology based on what consumers want in terms of mobile payment experiences.

So what are consumers talking about online and how will those conversations influence the future of the payments industry?

According to a 2014 MasterCard Mobile Payments Study, the conversations on social media surrounding mobile payments have seen a shift over the last year. While consumers previously focused on issues of security, today people are busy talking about “what’s next.”

After analyzing 19.1 million social posts across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, forums, Weibo (CN), Google+ and YouTube, the study uncovered a number of trends in social media conversations:

Consumers are interested in learning more about “enriched experiences delivered through mobile payments, such as convenience, loyalty and rewards.” General sentiment has also improved from 2013, with 94% of conversations leaning favorably towards mobile payments overall.

So what do these conversation trends tell us about what to expect in mobile payment technology? Consumers want improved overall customer experience, easier-to-use wallet interfaces with more advanced and comprehensive features, increased number of businesses that accept mobile payments and a wider range of mobile devices tha tare technologically capable of making mobile payments.

Conversations surrounding safety and security have shifted to be more positive. In 2014, 91% of social media discussions on this topic were positive, a huge increase from just 20% in 2012.

Overall, consumers were excited to share their purchases made via mobile payments on social media and discuss the convenience factor with their peers.

Major companies across the globe are playing a vital role in the online mobile payment atmosphere. Who are the key players driving the conversation about mobile payments on social media? The top movers are Apple, OpenTable, Starbucks, MasterCard, Amazon, eBay, Google, Bank of Beijing and Verizon.

Of all of the companies joining the online discussion, the “Device Makers,” such as Apple and Google have the strongest influence in social media conversations, while “Wireless Network Providers,” like Verizon have less of an impact.

Consumer opinion will continue to shape the future of mobile, digital wallets and wearable technology. With so many people conversing on social media, we’re able to get quite a comprehensive look at the general consensus.

Tami Cohorst is Vice President of Abtek.

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