Momentum to implement mobile payments grows

Shoppers don't just want, they expect, mobile payments and retailers that aren't on board will be left behind. That's the message behind a new study by MasterCard (NYSE:MA) and Prime Research.

The MasterCard Mobile Payments Study points to 2013 as the year mobile payments transitioned from "concept to adoption." "Adopters," or those who have used mobile payments, drove 81 percent of conversations in 2013. This finding is a reversal from 2012 when only 32 percent of those discussing mobile payments had used a product.

While security concerns around mobile payments still exist, the study reveals that shoppers and merchants have moved from "why use mobile payments?" to "which mobile payment option should be used?" In fact, 2014 may be the year when long-term mobile brand and shopping allegiances are formed, which means those considering mobile payments may be well served by getting on board.

Merchants carry an 88 percent positive rating with many touting mobile acceptance as a competitive advantage. As consumers increasingly turn to mobile options, merchants reluctant to accept these payments may find themselves at a disadvantage.

For retailers, acceptance matters and the most visible topic among shoppers on social media revolved around this fact. It generates 15 percent of the total conversation and 48 percent of merchant conversation specifically. Both consumers and merchants are supportive of mobile payments (86 percent) and this will likely drive adoption in 2014, according to the study.

Interestingly, non-adopting merchants are predominantly turning to social media to seek mobile payments advice from other merchants. Retailers increasingly see mobile payments as a differentiator. Adoption and implementation are coming.

For more:
-See this Prime Research press release

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