Social media platforms give prominence to digital wallets

The advent of the digital wallet is being largely influenced by discussions on social media. The 2017 Digital Payments Study led by MasterCard concluded that social media platforms are boosting the interest of shoppers to adhere to digital payment and that the latter’s behavior is governed by a positive sentiment. However, customers are demanding and expect that services go beyond simple payments.

Tracking discussions on social media

The 2017 edition of MasterCard’s survey- which is the 5th annual edition so far- was based on conversations tracked on social media platforms. According to the survey, 75 percent of discussions revolved around innovative payment methods. This clearly indicates the high-interest consumers have for digital payments as well as new technologies to facilitate purchases in all rapidity and security. The idea of shopping with a click is proving to be more and more enticing.

MasterCard partnered with PRIME Research to dig through more than 3.5 million posts on social media via Synthesio. The study was based on findings from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, VKontakte, Forums, Google, YouTube, and Weibo. The study covered 188 markets across the planet. The study that was produced from that report has given MasterCard some valuable insights into consumer spending using mobile payments . It has also produced interesting results on consumer trends by country and region, giving MasterCard a better view of how and where to target their campaigns.

Shoppers are keen to adopt innovative technologies

Digital wallet earned more than 2 million mentions on social media, mostly being on Twitter. There are certain specific topics and functions that appealed to some shoppers more than others.

Loyalty cards

The survey indicated that shoppers are always on the lookout for loyalty programs and ways to easily store loyalty cards. To push digital payment, merchants should hence take note if this trend.

Closed-loop transportation system

Consumers equally expressed their need for additional features in digital wallets supporting closed-loop public transportation systems. Such a contactless payment system allows usage of a stored-value card for payment of transportation services.

Artificial intelligence and smart home assistants

The second most discussed payment topic on social media in 2016 was the use of innovative technologies like artificial intelligence and smart home assistants. These two aspects triggered unprecedented interest on behalf of shoppers, keen to embrace such technologies for shopping.


The use of wearable mobile payment devices for shopping was the hot topic on social media platforms as technology developers and payment providers negotiated deals. A large number of shoppers in the Asia-Pacific area even fed rumors on the launching of wearables being paired with digital wallets.

Smart assistants

Shoppers expressed their interest to embrace smart assistants for sending and receiving mobile payments. The interest for smart assistants was largely concentrated in North America. Smart assistants are mobile payment readers located at various points around a store, where shoppers can scan their own items and make payments with their mobile device without waiting in the checkout queue.

The Internet of Things

North Americans and Europeans were equally very enthusiastic regarding the Internet of Things. This inter-networking of smart devices may well become the Internet of Payments as payments could be made from any connected device. 

Security of transactions cannot be bypassed

Shoppers want peace of mind and secure transactions. As such, it is clear that the success of emerging technologies will largely depend on of the level of protection and security they offer. Almost half of shoppers were interested in biometric uses, such as facial recognition, and fingerprint and touch authentication. In contrast, many people surveyed were not aware of the methods of security and protection that were being looked at for the future, and more than half did not know what the security protocols in use today were.

MasterCard’s Identity Check Mobile app, a Snapchat patent, and Google’s Hands-Free app intrigued consumers. Other high-end systems for prevention of fraud were highly sought after; consumers no longer want to rely on passwords that can be easily forgotten and can be a real hassle during resetting. 

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