What Do People Really Think about Mobile Payments?

What Do People Really Think about Mobile Payments?


This one has just popped up into my newsfeed this morning, although it seems as though it may have been making the rounds for some time, but has somehow managed to escape my notice. Actually, there is no way of knowing just how long it has been since its publication, as the authors have given us no date (by the way, why would you want to hide the date on which you published something?).


Anyway, MasterCard and Prime Research, a PR consultancy, have tracked 85,000 conversations across various social media platforms for us with the objective of determining exactly what users — adopters and non-adopters alike — feel about mobile payments. The researchers have discovered that, whereas there is much conversation and interest in adopting m-payments, consumers are concerned about security and customer support and are confused about the multitude of available options. The authors have presented their findings in a beautiful infographic, which I thought I’d share with you.

What Do We Really Think about Mobile Payments?


The researchers have listened to social chatter over a six-month period and have analyzed consumer conversations about mobile payments in an attempt to assess people’s willingness to adopt the new payment technologies that have been popping up all over the world like mushrooms after a spring rain. Analyzed have been conversations in 26 languages and across 43 markets. Here are the main findings:

  • Social media comments about mobile payment technology among the so-called “early adopters” is mixed in tone, with 58 percent being positive. Among consumers yet to adopt m-payments, the share of positive comments has increased to 76 percent. Most praised aspects have been innovation, convenience and speed.
  • European users are found to be the most vocal in expressing their opinions about mobile payments, followed closely by residents of the rather broad Asia-Pacific region (especially China and Australia) and the United States. Overall, the most positive regions are Asia-Pacific and the United States, while the most skeptical ones are Europe (France and U.K. in particular; and why am I not surprised?) and Canada.
  • Skepticism in Europe has been focused on mobile payment security and the feasibility of the new technologies’ worldwide adoption, in general.
  • In Britain, people were found to be excited about the convenience and innovation of mobile payments, but were troubled by the inconsistency in the acceptance of the new services and the uncertainty over the timeline of their availability.
  • In Latin America, non-adopters have expressed a need for clarification of the new mobile payment technologies — vague as that may sound, it tells you just how much people don’t know about m-payments, even at the most basic level. Furthermore, consumers in this region want to have a clearer understanding of the costs associated with the various mobile payments services, and understandably so. Convenience has once again been mentioned as a benefit by adopters, but they were also found to be concerned with the security of their payment information.
  • China, Thailand, Australia, Japan and Singapore are the most active countries in mobile payment discussions across Asia-Pacific. Users in this region share product experiences and opinions and ask questions about news stories originating in traditional print and broadcast media, we learn.
  • Users in the Middle East and Africa, for their part, tend to either retell or redistribute stories, which have originated in traditional media, with the highest shares of discussion taking place in South Africa, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Nigeria.
  • In the United States, users show interest in the compatibility of mobile payments with the more traditional payment systems during the transaction process. Active discussions are also had on issues, such as value and longer-term benefits, as well as security. Conversations in Canada show similar priorities, only, of course, the volume is lower.


Overall, the sentiment analysis of the 85,000 relevant social media posts found that the majority of them were driven by sharing of news stories. The vast majority — 94 percent — of the posts were either positive or factual and only 6 percent were negative in tone, which, the researchers tell us, is a reflection of the original content as it appeared in the news outlets. Here is another way of breaking down that total: out of the 85,000 original social media posts, 28 percent were positive, 66 percent were neutral and 6 percent were negative.


Out of the total of 85,000 comments, 10,000 of the more substantive posts were subjected to human-content analysis, which further narrowed them down to a subset of 450 comments, which had offered the deepest insight.


Now here is the infographic:


What Do People Really Think about Mobile Payments?


Image credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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