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The MasterCard Conversation Suite, Powered By Prime Research, Listened In On 85,000 Social Media Conversations To Determine How Consumers Really Feel About The Shift To Mobile Payments. (Graphic: Business Wire)

At Mobile World Congress, MasterCard (NYSE:MA), in partnership with Prime Research, today released the first global Mobile Payments Social Media Study tracking 85,000 related social media comments across Twitter, Facebook, Online Blogs and Forums from around the world. The study shows a high volume of conversation and consumer interest in adopting mobile payments but cites security, customer support and confusion over the array of options available today as barriers to entry.

The study looked at social commentary over a six-month period and analyzed consumer conversations around mobile payments to assess people’s willingness to adopt mobile payment services.

The analysis across 43 markets and in 26 languages shows:

  • Social media commentary concerning mobile payment technology among Early Adopters is mixed in tone (58% positive/factual) while those yet to adopt are more positive overall (76% positive/factual). Most posts praised aspects including innovation, convenience and speed.
  • Users based in Europe are the most vocal in expressing opinions about mobile payment technology overall followed closely by Asia-Pacific and the United States. The most positive regions overall are Asia-Pacific (China and Australia) and the United States while the most skeptical regions overall are Europe (France, UK) and Canada.
  • Some skepticism is evident in Europe as consumers discuss mobile payment security and general reservations about the feasibility of worldwide adoption as points of concern.
  • Users in the UK express excitement about the convenience and innovation of mobile payments but report inconsistency in acceptance and uncertainty over the timeline for market-wide availability.
  • Across the Latin America and Caribbean regions, non-adopters express a need for clarification on the mobile payment technologies offered as well as a clearer understanding of the cost implications mobile payments may have on their current lifestyles. While adopters mention convenience as a benefit, they also convey concerns for the safety of their payment information.
  • China, Thailand, Australia, Japan and Singapore are the most active countries in mobile payment discussions across Asia. Of statements presenting unique commentary, users discuss product experiences and ask questions or share opinions about news stories originating in traditional print and broadcast media.
  • Discussions in the Middle East and Africa tend to either retell or redistribute stories which originate in traditional media with the highest shares of discussion stemming from South Africa, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Nigeria.
  • In the United States, users show interest in the compatibility of mobile payments with other payment systems during the transaction process. Other drivers of discussion center on value, longer-term benefits, as well as security. Similarly, conversations stemming from Canada present similar priorities despite lower volume.

MasterCard Launches MasterPass™

MasterCard today introduced MasterPass - the future of digital payments. MasterPass is a digital service that allows consumers to use any payment card or enabled device to discover enhanced shopping experiences that are as simple as a click, tap or touch – online, in-store or anywhere.

MasterPass is the evolution of PayPass Wallet Services which was announced in Spring of 2012 and has been in production trial with select merchants and issuers. Consumers around the world will now be able to sign up for the service through their preferred banks in Australia and Canada by the end of March, and in the United Sates and the United Kingdom later in the Spring and Summer respectively. Additionally, MasterPass availability in 2013 will expand to other markets worldwide, including: Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Italy, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain and Sweden.

About the Study

PRIME Research conducted the Mobile Payments study across 43 markets in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Pacific Rim. Using PRIME’s proprietary social media analytics methods and technology, the research firm identified 85,000 relevant social media posts over the past six months on the subject of mobile payment innovation in the context of MasterCard and its industry peers; sentiment analysis shows the majority of posts were driven by news-story sharing (94% positive/factual, only 6% negative tone overall which is a reflection of the original content as it appeared in traditional news outlets). Within the 85,000 comments, 10,000 more substantive comments were subjected to PRIME Research’s more granular expert human-content analysis of which a condensed subset of 450 comments offered the deepest insight.

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