1 March 2017

Digital wallets capture the Asia Pacific imagination

Digital wallets have dominated the payments discussion, with the topic in 83% of Asia Pacific conversations of new ways to pay, and 75% of global conversations tracked in the 2017 edition of the Mastercard Digital Payments Study*.

At the same time, consumers are showing an increased interest in the application of new technologies to make shopping faster, easier and more secure. The topic of virtual reality generated the most positive sentiment globally and in Asia Pacific (100% positive) among emerging technology topics, as shoppers imagine completing a purchase with a nod of their heads.

Now in its fifth year, the study, developed in partnership with PRIME Research and Synthesio, analysed more than 3.5 million conversations from the past year across several social media channels, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Weibo.

“Technology is making the promise and the potential of a less-cash life a reality for more people every day,” said Marcy Cohen, VP of digital communications at Mastercard. “This year’s study notes a change in the level of interest for new ways to shop and pay that only a few years ago would have seemed far-fetched.”

The increased acceptance of digital wallets in-store, online and in-app generated more than 2 million mentions, with 84% of them on Twitter. Beyond the payment, consumers looked forward to additional functionality like storing loyalty cards and supporting closed-loop public transportation systems.

The activation of newer technologies like artificial intelligence and smart home assistants was the second most discussed payment topic throughout 2016. These new ways to pay generated particularly strong consumer interest in the fourth quarter, as people discussed how they might shop with newer, smarter devices.

Wearables was the leading emerging technology topic (37% of all conversations on emerging technology), driven by partnership announcements from technology developers and payment providers. In Asia Pacific, discussions among consumers were particularly positive (93% positive) with rumours of mobile wallet integration with wearables driving the conversations.

Smart assistants, virtual reality and artificial intelligence also emerged as new payment technology interests.

In their conversations, people continually noted that the success of new technologies and new ways to pay will be dependent on the security and protections delivered beyond what’s available today. Nearly half of consumers worldwide (43%) and in Asia Pacific (45%) expressed interest in biometrics and other forms of authentication to deliver enhanced security, reduce fraud and move beyond traditional passwords.

New developments in facial recognition and fingerprint and touch authentication drove over half of biometric/authentication conversations (51%). In Asia Pacific, consumer excitement around new biometric and authentication technologies, particularly in India, drove positive sentiment (66% positive) for safety and security discussions.

Facial recognition conversations focused on the Mastercard Identity Check Mobile app, Google’s Hands Free app and a Snapchat patent to incorporate a payments platform with real time services.
Complaints centred on entering, forgetting and resetting passwords. Consumers expressed interest in getting rid of passwords altogether with easier, improved authentication.

Source: Mastercard. Infographic on the results of the Mastercard Digital Payments Study 2017. The Asia Pacific region views wearables very positively.
Source: Mastercard. Infographic on the results of the Mastercard Digital Payments Study 2017. The Asia Pacific region views wearables very positively.

Hashtags: #MWC2017, #MWC17

*Mastercard, in partnership with PRIME Research, conducted its fifth annual Digital Payments Study, designed to identify expanding conversations on new ways to pay. Mining more than 3.5 million social media posts via Synthesio over the past year across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Forums, Google+, YouTube, Vkontakte and Weibo and covering 188 markets across the globe, the resulting report reflects insights into new mobile payments product and category trends across regions and countries.