IBM and Visa Transform Connected Devices into Points of Sale
IBM and Visa announced a collaboration that could transform every Internet of Things (IoT) device into a point-of-sale system.
Visa’s global payment system, which reaches more than three billion consumers, will join with IBM’s Watson IoT platform. Watson allows businesses to connect billions of connected devices around the world, and is already used by more than 6,000 IBM clients.
IBM and Visa want any device, from a watch to an appliance to a car, to be capable of completing transactions. With this partnership, companies can use the Visa Token Service to offer secure payments on their products. The Visa Token Service replaces payment account information with a unique digital identifier.
Visa and IBM believe they will be able to bring this service to most of the 20 billion connected devices by 2020.
“IoT is literally changing the world around us, whether it’s allowing businesses to achieve unimaginable levels of efficiency or enabling a washing machine to ensure we never run out of detergent. And behind this transformation are companies like Visa and technologies like IBM’s Watson IoT platform,” said Harriet Green, general manager of IBM Watson IoT. “This combination of IBM’s industry leading IoT technologies with Visa payment services, signifies the next defining moment in commerce by allowing payments on any connected object, with new levels of simplicity and convenience for everyone.”
The two companies envision this partnership working in a number of ways. For example, reports estimate that 380 million cars will be connected by 2021. If a car is connected to the Watson IoT Platform, the driver would be automatically alerted when the car’s warranty is about to expire or if specific parts need to be replaced. The driver could then order the parts or schedule a service appointment with the push of a button. Ford and Exxon are already working on a program that would allow drivers to purchase gas from their car.
“The Internet of Things is not only driving a more connected world, it’s changing the way we live, shop and pay, by moving data and the point-of-sale to wherever the consumer wants it to be,” said Jim McCarthy, executive vice president of innovation and strategic partnerships at Visa Inc. “With the power of Watson’s cognitive technologies and IBM’s leadership in IoT and security, they are the ideal partner to help us deliver secure payments to ‘virtually anywhere’ and on the enormous scale of the IoT.”