Field Report from Burning Man

The Internet of Everything and Payment by Things

republished from MobilePaymentsToday

At the present moment, mobile payments are thought of as mostly a payment system through the use of mobile phones. These phones allow us access to our online accounts through websites and apps, and even mobile banking can allow for a “pay by phone” at point of sale if you’ve forgotten your wallet.

However, in the not-too-distant future, wearable technologies such as Google Glass may supplant your phone. A “Glass payment” does sound a bit odd, doesn’t it?

Another potential development is the expansion of personal tracking devices such as a FitBit or UpBand. Why not use tiny antennae to send payment information from a bracelet? There’s the possibility of embedded devices, small chips under the skin, for convenience and security. The evolution of devices will make point-of sale devices redundant, as consumers bring their own; transaction services integrated into their own personal devices.

There are endless opportunities for businesses and consumers to exploit this new data tidal wave. Currently, big data and payment systems are, for the most part, information that is collected based on our interaction with POS devices or credit cards. Just imagine what will happen when you connect all of these devices in even smarter ways — when your refrigerator knows what items are past their use-by date, re-orders them and pays for them with your tacit consent; when your health insurance pays you for losing weight; or where Google Glass offers you the ability to pay at a store based on a unique price tailored to your tastes.

We expect our transactions to be secure, or to be compensated if there’s a breach. We expect our point of sale service to be fast. We expect the device we use to have multiple purposes. It’s when we challenge ideas about money devices and their form that the future of payments gets interesting.

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