By 2021, there will be 35 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices installed around the world. IoT devices are all around us, from the time we wake up until we enjoy the last moments of entertainment before going to bed. The numbers are a wake-up call to e-commerce companies to ensure that their payment systems boast connections to the many devices that can potentially be used to make a payment.
Imagine being able to visit a gas station and make all payments for fuel from your car, or having a smart fridge that automatically orders and pays for items you need. As Jocelyn Brown reports, the importance of the IoT will ensure these experiences are available sooner rather than later. What technologies will form part of this new revolution?
Smart voice assistance for payments
Already, digital assistants such as Alexa (Amazon) allow purchasers to place orders via services such as Amazon Prime without the need for a card, phone, or other device. These assistants already have your pertinent credit card or other payment gateway information, so you can place an order simply by instructing your assistant to do so.
If the assistant is also connected to other retailers it supports, buyers can also make purchases directly from those sites via voice control. In these cases, the payment gateway (or link between the customers’ bank and the seller’s chosen merchant account) is completely secure. In order to guarantee safety, sellers should only deal with payment gateway services that are PCI-compliant, and protected by quality SSL certification. The SHA-256 SSL encryption standard is recommended for maximum security.
Robust payment infrastructures
The IoT has exploded onto the scene, due in no small part to the rising number of online consumer devices everything from smart watches to connected water filters that detect when a filter needs to be replaced or repurchased.
Even household devices and cars can be become payment endpoints. Honda presented Dream Drive at CES in Las Vegas almost two year ago a suite of apps based on an ‘in-vehicle payment’ concept. Drivers can make restaurant bookings, pay for movie tickets and parking, and stock up on a plethora of non-vehicle-related items, all from the car’s infotainment system. Smart watches such as the Apple Watch and others by by companies like Garmin also enable users to connect with banking apps to control expenses and perform additional tasks.
Fashionable payment devices
A plethora of brands are making shopping a higher-tech experience, with a variety of fashion-centred payment devices. These include bracelets, smartphone cases, and keychains. Fashion designer Adam Selman, meanwhile, is integrating invisible payment chips into an upcoming high-end fashion line, having teamed up with MasterCard to do so.
It’s an exciting time for IoT-enabled payments, with a host of new technologies taking advantage of the interconnectivity of devices to offer seamless payment. New developments include payments via voice assistant, vehicles, and even fashion clothing and accessories. On the home front, connected devices will soon be able to advise dwellers regarding the items they need to replace, purchasing these items directly if instructed to do so.
The author is freelance technology writer, Jocelyn Brown.