The Guardian
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‘Social media provides leverage for digital payments’


Social media platforms are currently aiding various discussions on digital payments.According to the 2019 edition of the Mastercard Digital Payments Study, mobile payments represented more than 30 per cent of the total social media conversation around payments in the Middle East and Africa (MEA), with total mentions doubling over the prior year.

Now in its sixth year, the study, developed in partnership with PRIME Research, analyzed more than 3.3 million conversations globally and 90,000 conversations in the MEA from the past year across social media channels including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Weibo.

The report noted that people are looking to newer technologies to have an impact on their lives. In the past year alone, such mentions on social media increased 30 per cent globally since the last study.Today, the report said nearly 20 per cent of all mobile commerce payments are focused on contactless payments and mobile wallets. Beyond these primary focus areas, consumers are interested in how artificial intelligence, QR payments and wearable payments will impact their lives.

Overall, people are increasingly positive toward these newer technologies. In the MEA, virtually all (95 per cent) mobile wallet conversations were favorable, with 22 per cent of posts praising the speed, efficiency and simplicity of these products.

Senior Vice President of Product Management, Digital Payments & Labs for the Middle East and Africa at Mastercard, Gaurang Shah, said: “In the fast-evolving world of digital payments, it is crucial that we listen and understand the views of the people who ultimately use our solutions.

“The Mastercard Digital Payments Study highlights a willingness to adopt the latest payment technology solutions from users across the Middle East and Africa, and reinforces the increasingly important role that mobile payments play in everyday life.”

Among the conversations analyzed, consumers clearly continued to be focused on the security of their money and their data as a foundational requirement. In their posts, people recognize the value of new technologies on delivering this peace of mind across mobile payments.

Looking at the newer technologies, the report noted that biometrics reached a potential 111 million, driven primarily by an interest in voice payments and fingerprint scanners, while tokenization, which showed critical role in supporting and protecting payments of all type, featured in conversations reaching a potential audience of 11 million viewers.While breaking news around data breaches drove one-fifth of data-related conversations, another 13 per cent of these conversations noted the potential of digital security technologies, including blockchain, tokenization and biometrics.

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