MasterCard survey highlights 2013 as year mobile payments were truly accepted

5 March 2014

A recent study and infographic published by MasterCard alongside PRIME Research has revealed that 2013 was the year when consumers welcomed mobile payments into their lives.

The firms analysed more than 13 million social media comments across Twitter, Facebook, online blogs and various forums around the world to gauge attitudes towards the financial technology.

During the research it became clear that sentiment has improved towards mobile payment and that there has been rapid growth in consumer use and merchant acceptance.

The study found 85,000 comments about mobile payments across the various areas they analysed, with these discussions coming in 43 markets and 26 languages around the world.

The research pointed to these facts as an indication that 2013 was the year when mobile payments transitioned from "concept to adoption" to "adopters".

Most (81 per cent) of the conversations on the various online channels studied were driven by individuals who had made use of mobile payments in 2013, a significant reversal from the previous 12 months, when just 32 per cent of those discussing mobile payments had actually used them.

Of the 85,000 posts, 66 per cent were classed as neutral, 28 per cent were positive and six per cent detailed negative experiences.

Some of the confusion seen among consumers and merchants in the 2012 survey has been replaced by discussion that focuses on the quality of mobile payments and the improvement they offer to the buying and selling experience.

The research shows consumers have moved from questioning whether to use mobile payments (the third most discussed topic in 2012) to deciding which mobile payments option to use (the second most discussed topic in 2013).

MasterCard and PRIME Research also found that consumers and retailers in the US, Australia and China are the most positive about the wider use of the technology, while those in the UK, France and Canada are the most sceptical about getting involved in payments through mobile phones.

By Gary Cooper

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