Social media conversations about payments increasingly focused on mobile and biometrics

Mentions of biometric payments on social media reached a potential audience of 111 million people in 2018, and references to data privacy tripled from 2017, according to the sixth edition of Mastercard’s Digital Payments Study. The study shows that consumers expect digital technologies to deliver on-demand or “always on” payment capabilities, Mastercard says in the announcement.

Mobile payments were the topic of 27 percent of conversations on social media about payments, and were mentioned 20 percent more than in 2017, while references to mobile wallets more than doubled over the past year. The study also notes indications of mobile payment adoption in markets across Asia and Africa, while conversations among consumers in India made up 30 percent of those about mobile wallets, three times more than the U.S., which was the country with the second most mentions. Nearly all mobile wallet conversations were favorable, Mastercard says, and 30 percent of posts about them praised the speed, efficiency, and simplicity of products currently on the market.

Mentions of biometrics were primarily in reference to either voice payments or fingerprint scanners, according to the study. Up to 11 million people viewed references to tokenization, and while one in five conversations related to data focused on breaches, 13 percent noted the potential of biometrics, tokenization, blockchain and other digital security technologies to reduce the risk of breaches.

A recent report suggests Mastercard will apply the behavioral analysis technology it acquired with NuData to address the largely untapped African payments market. In conversation with Biometric Update, Mastercard executive Bob Reany said the results of early trials of biometric payment card technology have validated the consumer preference for using biometrics to secure payment authorization.

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