Visa, IBM's Watson Team For Consumer Payments Through IoT Devices

The Internet of Things comprises billions of sensors around the world and many of those sensors will ultimately lead to transactions.

As many of those transactions will involve payments, IBM and Visa are now teaming so that those payments can be made through any IoT device.

IBM’s Watson, of Jeopardy fame, already allows businesses to connect to billions of connected devices, sensors and systems globally, from which Watson gains insights.

On the other side, Visa’s global payments already are used by more than 3 billion consumers.

The idea is to tie the two together, so that payments can be made by any smart or connected device, such as a smartwatch, appliance or a car.

Companies would use the Visa Token Service via IBM’s Watson IoT platform, which uses a unique digital identifier rather than payment account information found on payment cards.

Future methods of payments through IoT devices can only be imagined. Here are a few scenarios suggested by IBM:

  • As a connected car ecosystem connects to the Watson IoT Platform, a driver would be alerted when a specific car part needs replacing. With this information, the driver can order parts with the push of a button or schedule a service appointment at their preferred local garage.
  • The driver could pay for gas through a direct interaction between the car and the gas pump.
  • An avid runner with a fitness tracker or running chip could receive a digital alert when it’s time to replace the running shoes, including a recommendation of the best model, at the best price, from a preferred retailer. Additional relevant and tailored recommendations could be offered, including nutrition and equipment recommendations, based on individual performance, local climates and shopping preferences.

Among many other transformations, the Internet of Things will dramatically change how things can be purchased. It may not affect how much money someone has, but it will significantly facilitate how that money can be moved around.

It also will greatly extend the meaning of mobile payments.


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