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Finance brands tap payment tech

News, 09 September 2015

ROME: Consumers welcome the convenience of new payment technologies that offer simpler ways to pay, and so improve the shopping experience, according to a new global study.

The Retail Social Listening Study by MasterCard, the payments provider, involved analysis of 1.6m unprompted online conversations around shopping and retail, across 61 markets in order to understand consumer expectations.

Convenience emerged as the most positively discussed aspect of new digital payment methods in shopping and retail-related conversations (77%), with the travel sector leading the way in share of coverage.

Consumers specifically highlighted their preference for not necessarily having to take their wallet on every trip and being able to use mobile payments when they travel.

Rewards and benefits were another popular subject of conversation (38% share of coverage of the six aspects measured), followed by discussion of which retailers do and do not accept newer forms of payment (21%).

The study said that consumers talked extensively of their wish for retailers to integrate new payment systems, with conversations about fashion being most prominent in terms of sector.

And fashion-focused shoppers were also the most keen to shout about retailers who accepted new methods of payment, such as contactless and mobile payments.

"The wave of social engagement we see every time new payment innovations are rolled out truly reflects the demand and desire for new and more convenient ways to pay,” said Carlos Menendez, executive director for international markets at MasterCard.

"It also shows that payments have really moved into the heart of the shopping experience – causing frustration when not accepted and engagement when fast, easy and personal,” he added.

While MasterCard referred to consumers now expecting to shop at the "speed of life”, its rival Visa has talked about thinking of itself as a "liquid” brand that can be present everywhere consumers want to undertake transactions.

The services of such payments providers are increasingly being integrated into different experiences. "Payments used to be … a bolt on to a shopping or browsing experience. And now it's becoming endemic to that experience," according to Chris Curtin, Visa's chief brand/innovation officer.

Data sourced from MasterCard; additional content by Warc staff