The study, conducted by Kelton Research, shows 62% of Americans who use a mobile phone would be open to using their device to make purchases.
Among 18 to 34 year olds, 63% say they would be at ease using their handsets to make purchases, compared to just 37% of those over 34. In fact, 65% of 18 to 34 year olds say they feel more "naked" without their phones than their wallets, compared to 34% of those in the 35 and older group.
Gender is also an issue, with 51% of men claiming they would be at ease using mobile payments, compared to just 40% of women. Nearly half of men (49%) would also be impressed by someone paying a bill by a mobile app, compared to 45% of women.
As usual, security and privacy is the biggest concern, with nearly two in three respondents saying they need confirmation that their personal information is safe in order to be comfortable making a transaction.
Mung Ki Woo, group executive, mobile, MasterCard, says: "Consumers are already living a mobile lifestyle so using their phones to make payments on a daily basis is a natural next step. 2011 is the beginning of the NFC mobile payments era, and consumers are eager to get their hands on the first commercial deployments in the U.S."
MasterCard has been working with Google on m-payments while its arch rival Visa recently revealed that its digital wallet is coming to customers in the US and Canada this autumn.
Meanwhile, the country's telcos are also getting in on the act, with AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile planning to pilot their mobile commerce joint venture in early 2012 and Sprint Nextel hoping to roll out a similar service by the end of the year.