IBM & Visa Team Up To Turn Everything Into A Mobile Payment System

Consumers make millions of purchases each year through their phones with systems like Apple Pay, PayPal, Samsung Pay, and other programs. But soon, people might be able to use any number of other connected devices to buy products or pay for services, as IBM and Visa announced a partnership to bring payment systems to a number of “smart” products. 

IBM said Thursday that its collaboration with Visa will turn everything from cars to appliances into into potential points of sale (POS) through its Watson technology.

Through the program, which will be developed over the next five years, the companies will allow businesses to introduce secure payment options to any device that connects to the internet.

In the future, the collaboration will give customers access to Visa payment services via the IBM Cloud. This would allow consumers to create their own network of personalized payment systems.

For example, IBM says that consumers’ cars, or even running shoes, could be turned into a POS payment system.

In one scenario, a driver would be alerted when the car’s warranty or certification is about to expire or if specific car parts need replacing. The driver could then click a button to order parts, or schedule a service appointment.

As for running shoes, IBM says that a customer with a wireless running chip could receive a signal when it’s time to replace the footwear. The digital alert would provide the customer with recommendations of other shoes, at the best price, from a preferred retailer.

“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,” Harriet Green, general manager, IBM Watson IoT, said in a statement.

Of course, by allowing all of your connected devices to become payment devices, consumers are allowing their payment information and personal data to be transmitted more often.

To that end, Visa and IBM say they will ensure that all consumer information remains secure through Visa’s Token Service.

The service works by replacing sensitive account information, like the 16-digit account number, expiration date, and security code, with a unique digital identifier that can be used to process payments without exposing actual account details.