A place for mobile payments

Why can mobile payment methods fail in certain contexts and succeed in others? That was the focus of my final thesis. During March, April and May 2018, I did an ethnographic research about the usage of mobile payment in different contexts. I interviewed 16 users and non-users about MobilePay, a mobile payment application that was deployed in Denmark first in 2013. At the time of the research, MobilePay was used by more than half of the population of the country. To achieve this investigation, I construct a research in three municipalities of Denmark: Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, and Vordingborg. Through those three months, I examined the ways some individuals interact with the concept of money, the different mode of payments and opinions around it. With a focus on mobile payment, I analyzed the type of payment individuals favor or choose in different contexts like social (ex.: family, friends), spatial (urban versus rural areas) or commercial (ex.: shops, restaurants, flea markets). External factors were also taken into consideration whether it was conceptual like trust, taboo or time. The selected interviewees had different backgrounds, ages as well as motivations (or not) of using MobilePay for personal or for commercial purposes.

I examined some of the factors that can influence the mode of payment selected based on the context throughout the payment process. And if innovation in payment modes has changed individuals’ perceptions and habits or transformed their behavior towards money and related artifacts. With the emergence of new technologies like mobile payment, I was interested to look through this topic and see how it is transforming or shaping different kinds of contexts. And if there are some contexts that are more favorable for mobile payment than others. Denmark, like other Scandinavian countries, is becoming more and more a cashless society. This part of the world represents a great source of inspiration for digital innovation as well as transactional and financial solution development. Based on data collection and other types of resources I got information on mobile payment transactions when chosen over other types of payment methods in certain given contexts. Findings from the outcomes of my research encompass the paradox that mobile payments fail in some contexts and succeed in others. In an honest manner, I aimed to analyze this paradox, respond to the problem and reflect on perspectives.  

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