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Mastercard study shows that 43 percent of social media users interested in biometrics

Mastercard released its fifth annual Mastercard Digital Payments Study, which found that 43 percent of social media users expressed interest in biometrics and other forms of authentication to deliver improved security, lower fraud and move beyond traditional passwords.

The report, which was compiled in partnership with PRIME Research and Synthesio, stated that biometric authentication conversations were driven by new developments in facial recognition and fingerprint and touch authentication.

In fact, these authentication technologies accounted for 51 percent of these conversations, with the majority of these discussions being overwhelmingly positive.

Social media users discussed several new face recognition-based technologies including the Mastercard Identity Check Mobile app, Google’s Hands Free app and a Snapchat patent to incorporate a payments platform with real-time services.

In addition, many users complained about entering, forgetting and resetting passwords as well as discussed replacing passwords altogether with easier, improved authentication.

The report also found that digital wallets, artificial intelligence and connected devices dominated social media conversations on digital payment. More specifically, social media users discussed how the success of new payment technologies and techniques will be dependent on the improvement of security measures and protections.

Digital wallets comprised 75 percent of all mentions in Mastercard’s study, as social media users mentioned in-store, online and in-app wallets more than 2 million times (with 84 percent of these taking place on Twitter).

Consumers also discussed additional functionality like storing loyalty cards and supporting closed-loop public transportation systems.

The activation of newer technologies such as artificial intelligence and smart home assistants was the second most discussed payment topic throughout 2016.

The study analyzed more than 3.5 million conversations from the past year across social media channels — including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Weibo — covering 188 global markets.

The report reflects insights into new mobile payments product and category trends across regions and countries.

“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.”

Wearables topped the list of emerging technology topics, driven by partnership announcements from technology developers and payment providers.

In addition, smart assistants, virtual reality and artificial intelligence also emerged as new payment technology interests.

The Internet of Things was also heavily mentioned in conversations taking place in North America (44 percent) and Europe (34 percent), as many social media users discussed the possibility of the IoT transitioning into the Internet of Payments where payments could be enabled in any connected device.

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