Creating the right payment infrastructure to allow growth, by Roy Aston, chief operating officer at Paysafe

Augmented reality, virtual reality and autonomous vehicles

As technology across the globe continues to evolve and push the boundaries of what consumers think is possible, it is no different in the world of payment tech with a variety of exciting advancements being made. These evolutions are coming in verticals that fans wouldn’t have initially associated with payments, like augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and autonomous vehicles.

As the industry marches forward, consumers are being given a variety of ways to shop and pay with their favorite brands through evolving tech like AR or VR. While these exciting tools are not based on payments, when paired together with efficient payment solutions they provide consumers engaging ways to interact and easily check out with whatever they were searching for.

A prime example of these new technologies can be seen with the popular clothing chain, Topshop. A decade ago, they began using AR and VR retail environments to give customers a unique visual of their catalogue, rather than what they’d see on a standard, static webpage. With this new technology, consumers could now see how a given product may look within their own world.

On the side of autonomous vehicles, the technology is a little newer than AR and VR, but there have still been terrific advancements. Embedded wallets are already available in connected cars, allowing drivers to pay for fuel, tolls, and similar products, all from the comfort of their highly advanced vehicles.

With all of this unprecedented growth in payment technology, the right infrastructure is essential to ensuring these fast-rising trends become permanent parts of the payments world.

Creating an ideal infrastructure

While more advanced cars are already equipped with embedded wallets, that doesn’t mean that every petrol or charging station will be able to accept payment from this kind of new tech. Though AR and VR have been around longer, they’re also a rather expensive technology and adoption rates, particularly within payments, have not skyrocketed yet. According to a recent report, only 3% of customer respondents said they have used AR or VR to purchase a product.

In order to tap into these lucrative, growing markets, brands will need to work with trusted payment providers to work on putting the right infrastructure in place and embracing innovation.

There are plenty of examples of the petrol industry and its retailers responding to consumer needs, like offering an increased number of ways to pay, with payment options being offered from digital wallets to POS terminals. For payments within AR and VR, consumers are becoming more interested, which can be seen in a recent survey, where 28% respondents said they see themselves using AR to purchase goods over the next two years.

Are these payments secure?

With newer forms of media that connect with customers like the ones being discussed here, security concerns can often become one of their larger barriers to adoption. Luckily for AR and VR, customers are not as worried about this when it comes to these products, as only 12% of customers said they wouldn’t use AR or VR to purchase goods because they don’t seem safe.

Additionally, security measures continue to improve across the payments world, with elements of biometric authentication becoming a common component for more payment companies. As fingerprinting, face ID and other security tools become regularly used, consumers will have access to increased measures to protect their security and shop confidently with AR, VR, or autonomous vehicles.

As video games grows, will AR and VR payments as well?

One of the primary ways that users have adopted AR and VR is through video games. This industry is booming, and players are looking for new, exciting ways to experience their games, while developers focus on how they can embrace this new tech to make their games even more engaging. By offering users the ability to make micro-transactions directly within these AR and VR game modes, brands can reduce the annoyance of players needing to remove their headset and get out of the game to pay.

 AR and VR are rather new for gamers, so it can be expected that it’ll take some time for them to be as comfortable using them as they would use their console, mobile or personal computer to buy products. However, as more consumers flock to these types of products, with more cost-effective options making it to the market, brands should be prepared to provide innovative payment solutions to them.

Key takeaway

The evolution within the payments industry shows no signs of slowing and companies who embrace these innovations may find themselves able to provide better customer experiences. And as more users adopt technologies like AR, VR, and autonomous vehicles, consumers will begin to expect more payment options to be available. With that in mind, working with trusted providers on the forefront of payment tech may be a lucrative strategy.

Image: Paysafe

Guest Editorial
This article was produced specially for Fintech Intel by an expert guest contributor.