MasterCard’s ‘selfie pay’ was widely discussed across the region, demonstrating consumers’ keen interest in biometric authentication

 TWEET: Ahead of #MasterCard’s Innovation Forum, research reveals #DigitalWallets are driving excitement in #EmergingMarkets #MasterCardInnovates

Dubai, UAE, 28 September 2015 – Ahead of the MasterCard Innovation Forum 2015, to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 29-30 September, a MasterCard study revealed that digital wallets are the main topic of discussion online when it comes to payments innovation in some of the world’s biggest emerging markets including the UAE, India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Nigeria.

The MasterCard social listening study, in partnership with PRIME Research, analysed over 10,000 online conversations this summer, focusing on innovation in payments, to discover what people in the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific are most excited about and what safety and security concerns they have about adopting the latest technology.

The study also found that people’s greatest concern when it comes to taking up innovative payments technology is how vulnerable their data could be to hackers and criminals. The announcement that MasterCard is looking into facial recognition software that would allow people to use a selfie to complete a transaction was widely discussed across the region, showing that there is interest in using biometrics to make payments both easier and more secure.

Of all the emerging markets, India was where most discussions on payments innovation took place – with nearly half the total number of posts (48%) – followed by Indonesia (22%) and Nigeria (10%). Overall, the majority of posts were driven by news-story sharing with 95% positive/factual tonality.

The study demonstrates that emerging markets are ripe for innovation, and this is one of the driving factors behind the organization of the MasterCard Innovation Forum in Kuala Lumpur, which brings together experts from the financial services industry, merchants and the public sector to discuss the future of payments.

Raghu Malhotra, Division President, Middle East and North Africa, MasterCard said: “The findings from MasterCard’s latest social listening research demonstrate the incredible appetite for innovation in emerging markets. In terms of payments technology, people everywhere are looking for newer and more convenient ways to pay provided it is secure and easy to use. From mobile payments to contactless technology, MasterCard’s innovations are changing the way people pay for everyday items, providing unrivalled levels of ease and convenience.”

The two day Forum will see delegates hearing more about innovation in the payments and financial inclusion space, trends in relation to digital convergence and commerce, the rise in e-commerce through digital and social strategies, as well as the future of risk management given the critical importance of safety and security in payments.

Many of the innovations in payments to date have been facilitated by the expansion in mobile telecommunications, and the easy availability of mobile phones across the world. Therefore for MasterCard, constantly innovating to meet the challenges of tomorrow is crucial. Together with its partners, it is constantly developing new technologies that make transactions not just smarter and faster, but also more convenient and secure.

At the MasterCard Showcase which is happening alongside the Forum, delegates will also get to experience, first-hand, some of these innovative payment technologies brought to life for the Global Connected Cities of tomorrow.

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About the Innovation Social Listening Study

The study, conducted in partnership with PRIME Research, analysed over 10,438 social media posts from 1 May to 30 July 2015 in seven APMEA markets, (China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria, UAE and Kenya), on the topic of innovation in the context of MasterCard and its industry peers. The social media channels included within the study were Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Forums, Weibo (CN), Google+ and YouTube. Using PRIME’s proprietary human-based social media analytics methods and technology, the research firm identified trends on innovation in payment and safety & security concerns.

About MasterCard
MasterCard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardMEAand @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

Stephanie King, Hill + Knowlton Strategies, 04 3344 930,