MWC 2015: MasterCard Study Finds Consumers Continue to Warm to Mobile Payment

Zwipe MasterCard biometric payment card

Recently, MasterCard announced that it will be releasing a credit card with an embedded fingerprint sensor, made possible through a partnership with Zwipe.

Consumer attitudes toward mobile payments have shifted radically over the past two years, according to MasterCard researchers. Presenting the findings of their third annual Mobile Payments Study at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, MasterCard representatives said that consumers have a much more favorable view of mobile payments today.

The study was based on social media posts and found two positive developments. One is a massive increase in the sheer number of posts (on Instagram, Twitter, Weibo and so on) discussing mobile payments, which numbered at 19.1 million in 2014, against 85,000 in 2012. The other major trend is in the tone of the posts, which has grown much more favourable over the same period, with favourable posts at 94 percent, over 70 percent in 2012. That mirrors the trend in conversations about security, where 91 percent were favorable in 2014, over 71 percent in 2012. The researchers credit biometrics and tokenization as major contributors to that shift, validating the employment of biometric security by mobile payment pioneers such as Apple, whose fingerprint scanning Touch ID system helped to bring mobile payments into the mainstream.

That having been said, a worrying trend remains in consumer attitudes towards security – namely, that they don’t particularly care about it. Social media posts tended to focus more on innovation and enriched digital experiences, with such sentiments accounting for 71 percent of all conversations monitored. Consumers were also very excited about the convenience of mobile payments, which scored 94 percent positive sentiment.

All told, it’s good news for mCommerce and mobile payment platforms, but it looks like security advances will continue to be driven by expert analysis and concern, and companies’ perceived need to protect users. At least, that’s the case for now, though there may come a time when major security breaches stoke some interest in security from the consumers themselves.