Payments are turning up in some new places and will become more effortless. That will be the case as the payment process becomes increasingly integrated with where consumers spend some of their time. As the following article relates, technology is enabling payments to become part of driving a car, doing the laundry, and even trying on clothes in a fitting room.
In 2016, General Motors integrated IBM’s artificial intelligence platform, Watson, giving GM’s OnStar infotainment system the ability to make personalized recommendations or send reminders tailored to the driver. Now, in partnership with Mastercard, GM drivers will be able to execute in-car payments. In early 2017, Ford announced it would integrate with Amazon’s Alexa to allow owners to control their respective products by human voice. With this new integration, Ford drivers will be able to direct the in-car navigation system, control their smart home or even place orders on Amazon.com. The driver’s seat is quickly emerging as a new commerce occasion with petrol, parking and fast food likely to be the categories that will most benefit from the digitization of this new payment environment.
As the home gains brains, the laundry room is beginning to emerge as a new place for payment. While connected appliances are still a niche concept, Euromonitor International research shows that automatic washing machines are the most connected appliances in volume terms among major appliances, accounting for approximately 10% of total volumes. These connections provide new ways for consumers to interact with appliances, including remote monitoring, detergent management and even product replenishment.
Given that many durable goods like washing machines and dryers require continuous replenishment, there is an opportunity to automate the ordering process. The Internet of Things could enable consumption to be more accurately measured for the durable good itself. Both Whirlpool and GE Appliances, for example, have integrated Amazon’s Dash Replenishment Service into their appliances to allow supplies to be automatically reordered based on consumption patterns. More recently both have announced a new collaboration with Amazon that allows consumers to control their home appliances through Alexa’s voice control.
While none of these examples are especially earth-shattering, a key significance to understand is how integrated and seamless the payment process can become. Many mobile apps and online checkout pages have demonstrated the benefits of payment simplicity. That can extend to other places where consumers shop or spend time. Payment providers and merchants that blend the payment with the buying process will see more engaged customers and higher sales as a result.
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Associate Director, Research Services at Mercator Advisory Group
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