Visa study: US consumers ready to pay with connected devices
US consumers ready to pay with connected devices

Visa study: US consumers ready to pay with connected devices

Two-thirds of US consumers are happy to use a connected device to make a payment when shopping and more than three out of four (77 percent) say they want financial services providers to support these new ways to pay.

These are the key findings from a report released last week by payments giant Visa at the WIRED Business Conference in New York City. The survey, conducted in partnership with online publishing and research company, polled over 2,500 US consumers, all of whom at least own a smartphone.

Consumers were asked a series of questions about how they use connected devices to pay today – and how they might like to use them in future. For the purposes of the study, ‘connected devices’ include smartphones, computers and tablets, video game consoles, smart TVs, fitness wearables and smart watches, connected cars and smart appliances.

Read more: Visa and Intel set to cash-in on secure IoT device payments

Well-connected consumers

It’s no surprise to hear that the survey found that the average consumer today is pretty well connected, owning on average four connected devices. Almost as many of these ‘connected consumers’ own a voice-activated device, such as an Amazon Echo speaker or a Google Home Assistant (14 percent), as own a smart watch (15 percent), even though smart watches have been available for longer.

Connected consumers, it turns out, make more purchases, across more product categories than those with just one device, with apparel and footwear leading the way. And within a week of the study, which was conducted in May 2017, 50 percent of more of those surveyed made online purchases through a connected device across 11 out of 19 different product categories. The top three categories were travel services, household repair and entertainment.

Of course, right now, the number of connected devices that directly support online payments is pretty limited – but the survey seems to suggest that a wider choice would equal wider spending by consumers.

It also finds that, when it comes to supporting payments via connected devices, respondents trust banks and payment networks over retailers, social networks or mobile device manufacturers. Sixty-five percent said the former category was  more trusted.

Read more: IBM and Visa team up for IoT-enabled payments

Early days

“The category of payment-enabled devices is still in very early days, yet this research shows just how much consumer interest and understanding is starting to build for what these experiences can offer,” sais Jim McCarthy, executive vice president for innovation and strategic partnerships at Visa.

“As we work with our banking partners to make it easier to put payment credentials onto devices, a few new consumer use cases will inevitably break through and start to really change the game.”

In February this year, tech giant IBM announced it was working with Visa, “to bring the point of sale everywhere Visa is accepted, by allowing businesses to quickly introduce secure payment experiences for any devices connected to the Internet of Things.”

As part of this collaboration, IBM said, companies that create IoT-connected devices will be able to “infuse” their products with secure payment capabilities, using the Visa Token Service, a new security technology that replaces sensitive payment account information found on payment cards with a unique digital identifier embedded in smart products, via IBM’s Watson IoT platform.

Visa’s rival Mastercard is on a similar ‘connected device, connected payments’ journey, as we reported last week.

The full results of the Visa/ survey are available here.