IBM and Visa Tie Up To Turn Everything Into Mobile Payment System

Today, Visa and IBM Watson revealed a partnership to use the Watson IoT platform to expand digital payments to connected cars, wearables, and other devices. It was held at the Genius of Things Summit in Munich, Germany as part of the grand opening of a $200 million IBM Watson global Internet of Things headquarters. Payments will depend on the Visa Token Service, a digital identifier for payment processing that first launched in 2014. Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay were version one of these tokens. The IBM Watson IoT platform will help Visa scale to the 20 billion wearable and connected devices expected by 2020, said Brett Greenstein, vice president for IBM Watson IoT.

Turning Everything Into A Payment System

IBM said that consumers' devices, cars, or even running shoes, could be turned into a POS payment system. In one scenario, a driver will be alerted when the car's warranty or certification is near its expiration or if specific car parts need some replacements. The driver might then click a button to order parts, or schedule a service appointment. As for running shoes, IBM noted that a customer with a wireless running chip could be able to receive a signal when it's time to replace the footwear. The digital alert will give the customer with suggestions of other shoes, at the best price, from a selected retailer.

Keeping It Secure

IDC senior vice president Vernon Turner called the collaboration as a step in the right direction for everyone to be able to monetize IoT while looking forward to better secure transactions. To protect security on IoT devices, Visa changes the account information found on a plastic credit card with a unique digital identifier that doesn't disclose those account details. "This isn't us waving a flag saying, 'hey look at this technology.' If we get this right, we're going to make consumers lives easier, solve merchant pain points and I think these will move very quickly as a result," said Visa's McCarthy.


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