Credit card giant MasterCard is debuting a new study today, called the MasterCard Mobile Payments Readiness Index, which analyzed 34 countries and their readiness to use three types of mobile payments: person to person, mobile commerce and mobile payments at the point of sale. MasterCard actually developed a proprietary algorithm that takes publicly available data as well as MasterCard-owned data to rank countries on their potential to adopt mobile payments.
The study showed that while it is still early stages for mobile payments adoption, Singapore, Canada, the U.S., Kenya and South Korea are the most prepared markets to accept this technology. Additional findings include that young affluent consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 years old are the most willing to use mobile payments as they recognize the value of using mobile payments instead of cash or payment cards. While this demographic was predominantly male in most countries, women showed higher levels of interest in countries such as China, Egypt and the Philippines.
The study also revealed that 9 of the 10 markets with the highest consumer scores are in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa. Of the three mobile payment types, more consumers had actually engaged in m-commerce in 71 percent of the countries surveyed.
In developing economies, consumers are typically drawn to mobile payments for access to the larger economy, both national and global, as well as to a regulated and secure economic infrastructure. Consumers in the developed world are drawn to the convenience of mobile phone payments, says MasterCard.
Partnerships and collaboration among financial institutions, telcos, governments, technology providers and others is also key to reaching critical mass, says MasterCard.