CEO, Global Transform. Lead authority entrepreneurial C-suite leadership. Listed Global 100 CIO, 100 Women to Watch, CREA Global Award List.
The Internet of Things (IoT) provides the capability to create a vast network of interconnected devices. With increases in bandwidth and 5G connectivity, the foundation exists for technology to simplify our lives and create seamless experiences in our homes, vehicles and lifestyles.
One area where IoT opens an opportunity is for integrated payments within devices to enable decision-making flows through response and learning-preference pattern recognition. This article will look at where this technology could be heading and what it will take to get there.
The Future Of Integrated Payments
Phones already have integrated payment capabilities, but other devices could also soon integrate with payment systems through APIs. Fridges, for example, could sense the contents to make recommendations to purchase based on consumption behaviors and integrate payment authorization to the supermarket. Integrated payment capabilities within cars could open a world where fuel payment can be authorized from within the vehicle.
With evolution, the decision and recommendation algorithms can influence the profits of retailers based on recommended goods. While there is always likely to be a human element in purchasing, AI-based technology holds increased power for algorithms to influence these decisions.
These examples, however, will require clear authorization points before payment is initiated. This will also require insights about predictive purchasing trends and tailoring of purchasing based on device-provided recommendations.
From my experience designing integrated payment environments for customers, there needs to be a balance of the flow of decisions and recommendations that feeds into the payment flow for the purchase. Equally important, there needs to be a delicate balance of ascertaining the parameters for driving re-purchases with the ability for customers to make their own decisions and maintain safe payment authorization.
As IoT applications expand, the ability to ensure platforms and devices can communicate seamlessly will also be essential. Right now, there is a lack of industry standards. Common standards and integration protocols will be necessary to unlock device interaction and enable effective data exchange.
As this area of technology develops, we can also expect regulators to devote additional resources to creating industry-strength guidelines to ensure fairness to suppliers and consumers.
Building The IoT: Real-World Practicalities
While there has been strong adoption in the move from credit and debit cards to mobile-first technologies for payments, IoT integration will still require a much deeper level of trust.
Building confidence will be central to adopting integrated technologies and sharing personal data with devices. Companies creating IoT technology will need to ensure they can offer strong security when it comes to protecting personal identity and storing personal data.
Consumers will also have to become comfortable with appliances having the awareness to recommend purchases and complete payment. This requires comfort with the collection of household data based on consumption patterns and control levels for purchases initiated based on set guidelines.
Unconscious bias could also inadvertently be built into algorithms for IoT interactions and recommendations biasing outcomes and results of the algorithmic analysis. Consequently, care must be taken in the design to minimize this type of bias.
As IoT integrations begin on a piecemeal basis with the ability to learn from our preferences on purchases (or, with other IoT devices learning from our preferences), industry leaders must provide protocols and standards around identity management, data privacy and appropriate safeguarding of technology-aided decision-making linked to organizational databases and personal finances.
To be prepared for this future, the next-generation technology executive must be equipped with an increased depth of sophistication in understanding data privacy implications, machine learning capabilities and unthought-of customer experiences.
Technology leaders must explore possibilities of IoT for their industry, as the application of IoT will be use case specific. It’s equally important to establish mechanisms for an independent review of IoT-based devices to spot bias based on cross-sectional population usage.
Pre-release ethical protocols should be developed and followed, and these protocols should be followed up with evaluations of ethical adoption based on early IoT technology releases. In all cases, technology leaders must determine how ongoing ethical monitoring and refinement is built into technology release standards and updated released IoT devices.
For the experienced entrepreneurial executive, IoT holds the potential to create the next technology revolution and bring together innovative collaborations to create the IoT reality. Reliance on innovation, collaboration and customer-centric ethical leadership remains central to the next technology revolution.
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