Digital wallets continued to gain prominence in smartphones and laptops worldwide and dominated the discussion of new ways to pay, with the topic now topping 83 percent of Asia Pacific conversations and 75 percent of global conversations tracked in the 2017 edition of the Mastercard Digital Payments Study.
Consumers are also 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, where the Philippines is included, as shoppers imagine completing a purchase with the simple nod of their head.
Now on its fifth year, the study, developed in partnership with PRIME Research and Synthesio, analyzed more than 3.5 million conversations from the past year across several social media channels, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Weibo. The report reflects insights into new mobile payments product and category trends covering 188 markets across the globe.
“Technology is making the promise and the potential of a less-cash life a reality for more people every day,” said Marcy Cohen, vice president 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 farfetched.”
Increased acceptance of digital wallets in-store, online and in-app generated more than 2 million mentions. Beyond the payment, consumers looked forward to additional functionality like storing loyalty cards and supporting closed-loop public transportation systems. Activation of newer technologies like artificial intelligence and smart home assistants was the second most discussed payment topic throughout 2016, generating strong consumer interest as people discussed how they might shop with newer, smarter devices.
Among emerging technology topics, wearables took the lead driven by partnership announcements from technology developers and payment providers. Smart assistants, virtual reality and artificial intelligence was another interest; while the hot topic of the Internet of Things becoming the Internet of Payments centered on enabling payments enabled in any connected device.
In conversations, people continually noted that the success of new technologies and new ways to pay would be dependent on the security and protections delivered beyond what’s available today. Consumers expressed interest in improved 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. In Asia Pacific, consumer excitement around new biometric and authentication technologies, particularly in India, drove positive sentiment 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.