Home > News > Is the World Finally Ready for Mobile Payments?

Comments 0 Comments

Last year was a turning point for mobile payments, according to the 2013 MasterCard Mobile Payments Study. It’s the second year MasterCard conducted the study, which tracks social media conversations to gauge consumer and merchant sentiment toward technological advances in digital transactions.

Based on the insight gained from observing 13 million conversations on Facebook, Twitter, blogs and other online forums, MasterCard projects 2014 could be the Year of Mobile Payments. There was a huge shift in consumer adoption of mobile payment options, with so-called “adopters” driving 81% of the conversations about mobile payments in 2013. In 2012, only 32% of the social media chatter came from adopters.

The report is based on conversations that occurred between March 2013 and December 2013 in 56 markets and 26 languages in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Pacific Rim. PRIME Research conducted the study for MasterCard.

We Want More Mobile

The conversation about mobile payments has changed in a meaningful way, not only for financial services and consumers but also for merchants. In 2012, people were more concerned about whether they should use mobile payments, but last year, the question morphed from “why?” to “which?” With consumers talking about which services to use, businesses have an increased interest in accepting such forms of payment.

The study found that 86% of consumers and merchants are in favor of using/accepting mobile payments, but when it comes to actually using these tools, there’s a lot of room for improvement. Consumers expressed a high level of frustration with the mobile-payment experience, though it is unclear if that unhappiness stems from dealing with the merchant or the payment platform itself. Still, things are obviously getting better: 63% of conversations about the mobile-payment experience were positive in 2013, up from 34% in 2012.

Security a Top Concern

As cool and convenient as mobile payments can be, shoppers maintain a sense of caution. Given the ever-expanding coverage of data breaches, it will be interesting to see how the concerns about security play out in the next edition of this study.

The conversations suggested confusion when it came to security concerns — how do mobile payments systems prevent identity theft, and how do these tools deal with fraud liability? As far as gauging sentiment, 66% of security conversations were negative.

It’s a valid concern, and you should always be careful when trying something out that could put your finances at risk. There’s nothing wrong with trying new tools, but it should be done with care, and you should monitor your bank accounts more closely when doing so. Checking your transaction activity daily is one of the best ways to spot fraudulent charges.

You should also monitor your credit if identity theft is a concern for you. You can pay for a credit monitoring service or there are free tools like the Credit Report Card that let you monitor it for free. The Report Card will update two of your credit scores for free every month. Any unexpected, major changes in your score could signal identity theft and you should pull copies of your credit reports (you can get them for free once a year) to investigate.

More on Identity Theft:

Image: iStock

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Credit.com receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team