Mobile World Congress is always one of the most heavily anticipated events of the year for mobile technology—a veritable high-tech candy shop for technophiles. This year, we can expect to see cutting-edge concepts and real world innovations that will change the way people live, work, pay and play. Here are five key trends in which the evolution of payments will play a huge part.
1. Internet of Things (IoT)
First among them is activating the Internet of Things (IoT) for commerce. Visa hopes to lead the way in making IoT a convenient and secure way for consumers to buy goods. Visa is collaborating with IBM and other partners, including Giesecke and Devrient, Gemalto and Inside Secure, to allow businesses to introduce secure payment experiences throughout the Internet of Things (IoT), making wearables, cars, appliances and many other connected devices potential points of sale. This is a great opportunity for the estimated 20.8 billion connected things prepared to hit the global market by 2020 (Gartner). Merging IoT with payments could help accelerate the arrival of connected cars, which have the potential to do things like assist drivers with finding and paying for parking and reduce wait times at tollbooths.
As we rethink the point of sale for a whole new digital world, we must not forget security. Going hand-in-hand with IoT innovation is tokenization. The Visa Ready Program for Internet of Things now provides IoT device manufacturers with a path to embed secure payments into their connected devices, enabling anything from a watch to a car to initiate payments. Through Visa Ready, device manufacturers will now be able to implement the industry standard for digital payments, EMVCo’s payment tokenization specification. In doing so, Visa Ready partners act as token requestors through Visa Token Service (VTS), which replaces sensitive account information, such as the 16 digit account number, with a unique digital identifier called a token. The Visa Ready Summit at this year’s MWC will highlight advancements, innovations and best practices in tokenized payments from around the globe that are keeping mobile payments secure in a cardless world.
New ways are emerging for merchants and consumers to conduct transactions seamlessly and securely. The ability to authenticate a payment via fingerprint, eye scan or voice recognition may increase digital payment conversion rates. Visa has teamed up with BioConnect, a biometric identity platform provider, to provide ways to authenticate payments without passwords and instead using voice recognition. The Visa Ready Summit at MWC will host a session called “Biometrics: The future of digital payment authentication,” featuring senior leaders from Safran Identity & Security, Samsung and Visa.
4. Virtual Reality
Imagine experiencing a race car event from the point of view of the driver or trying on an outfit you spotted onlin —from the comfort of your home. The promises of virtual reality are getting closer than ever to widespread use. Today, there is an increasing emphasis placed on using VR technologies and tools for experiences beyond recreation and gaming—commerce experiences among them. Stop by the Visa innovation space at MWC for a virtual reality experience using Visa Checkout to purchase a Formula E racing ticket using your voice for payment.
5. Artificial Intelligence
A comparatively simple form of artificial intelligence, chatbots are revolutionizing the customer experience as in-app support in cars and in virtual assistants. Chatbots will become a tool for digital payments with apps such as Facebook Messenger beginning to support the technology. In a closed beta for developers, Facebook Messenger supports payments directly in chatbots without sending users to an external site. At MWC look out for a new voic assistant called Bixby from Samsung too that could provide another option for digital payments.