UK consumers skeptical of mobile payments – study

A study of social media has found that UK consumers, along with those in France and Canada, are the most skeptical of the supposed benefits of mobile payments technology.

The study, which was carried out by Mastercard in conjunction with PRIME Research, tracked 85,000 social media comments across Twitter, Facebook, online blogs and forums in 43 markets and 26 different languages over the past six months.

Mastercard said that while UK social media user are excited about the convenience of mobile payments, they are also aware of the inconsistency among retailers in accepting the technology and uncertainty over the timeline for market-wide availability.

Further skepticism was evident among European consumers over mobile payment security, in addition to general reservations about the feasibility of worldwide adoption, Mastercard said.

Overall, however, the study found that most posts praised aspects of mobile payments technology including innovation, convenience and speed, Mastercard said.

Through observing the posts using sentiment analysis technology, PRIME Research found that 28% of posts were positive, 66% were neutral and 6% were negative.

In conjunction with the studies findings, Mastercard announced its entry into the digital wallet arena with MasterPass.

Mastercard said MasterPass will allow consumers purchase goods in-store using near-field communications (NFC), QR codes and tags used at point-of-sale terminals as an alternative to debit or credit cards.

The service, which is set for launch in summer in the UK, also provides users with a one-click check-out for online purchases, and will remember shipping and card information to accelerate transactions.

In November, market watcher IDC predicted mobile payments will exceed $1 trillion by 2017, driven by mobile commerce, NFC payments and person-to-person fund transfers.

Ed Reeves

Ed Reeves co-founded Moneypenny with his sister Rachel Clacher in 2000. The company handles more than 9 million calls a year for 7,000 UK businesses and employs almost 400 members of staff. Reeves remains...

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