Someday soon, you’ll be able to pull up to a drive-through restaurant having already selected and paid for your order using a digital terminal in your Internet-enabled car. “We’re at an inflection point,” said Jim McCarthy, EVP of innovation and strategic partnerships at Visa, speaking at the 2017 WIRED Business Conference presented by Visa, in the video above. McCarthy went on to explain that we’re entering the age where every object has the potential to be connected and payment-enabled.
The digital future is all about heightening convenience for consumers, banks and merchants alike—without sacrificing security. Tokenization (replacing sensitive account details with a temporary digital token) and the Internet of Things (embedding connectivity into everyday objects) lead the way when it comes to payment technology, noted McCarthy. “We are looking at 21 billion Internet-connected devices by 20201—or 7 billion mobile phones2—as opportunities for payment and acceptance points,” he said. “This is exponential compared to where we are today.”
How will these innovations impact our everyday lives? Here’s a taste for what’s to come, making transactions more seamless than ever before.
- Your fridge will order another gallon of milk before you realize it’s running low
Using sensor technology, your connected fridge will be able to detect when you’re running low on an item and trigger an order for you. This will only happen after the consumer programs rules and opts in, explained McCarthy. A “smart fridge” could connect to a grocery-delivery service and be at your door before you know it. “These things aren’t that far away,” said McCarthy.
- Your rideshare will initiate deals and offers near your destination
Visa’s use of data analytics allows us to help our merchants connect the dots on consumers’ purchase behaviors and therefore better cater to their unique preferences. For example, mobile parking solution provider IPS recently launched its Park Smarter app, which uses the Visa Commerce Network to offer consumers deals from nearby businesses based on their past preferences. You might even get a discount to a restaurant near your parking destination.
- You’ll continue to be better protected from fraud
Thanks to tokenization, digital purchases made with a credit card benefit from an extra layer of security. Visa Token Service replaces sensitive payment account information found on plastic cards with a digital account number or “token.” Because tokens do not carry a consumer’s payment account details, such as the 16-digit account number, they can be safely stored by online merchants or on mobile devices to facilitate e-commerce and mobile-based payments. More and more, tokens are bound to specific devices, like your phone, which means even more peace of mind. Misuse can be detected and corrected swiftly, without the need for consumer intervention, explained McCarthy.
- Your iris and fingerprint will become more mainstream to authenticate your identity
The days of having to remember a password or PIN are numbered. Biometrics, like using a fingerprint and iris scan, can help you more conveniently transact at ATMs, complete mobile purchases and, soon, pre-order cash at banks and credit unions for pick up. “I can walk up to an ATM, and if I’ve registered my iris, I can look at it and the money [I’m withdrawing] comes out,” said McCarthy.
Using unique traits we all possess, biometrics add an additional layer of security and authentication option. If your sensor can’t read your fingerprint because it’s wet, you can simply use an alternative biometric, like your voice.
- You can fine-tune your account settings from wherever you are
Control over account spending lies in the lap of the consumer and is becoming much more nuanced, according to McCarthy. Using mobile apps or an online dashboard enabled with Visa’s Consumer Transaction Controls, cardholders can cap how much they spend at a certain merchant or impose channel restrictions (e.g. no e commerce) for kids. “I can actually treat my card like a thermostat,” said McCarthy in reference to the highs and lows of those limits.
To learn more about the innovations discussed at WIRED Business Conference, read more on Visa.com.