The latest “it” product coming out of Silicon Valley is not a thing but the Internet of Things commonly referred by its pithy acronym IoT. IoT refers to technologies that are supposed to change the world by connecting virtually every object to the internet: your doorbell, your home audio system, your refrigerator, your car. How can banks keep up with IoT? It turns out that the killer app for IoT is actually shopping and commerce. It is called the Internet of Commerce Things. And it is already here and growing very rapidly.
Created nearly three decades years ago, the internet began as a way to let researchers communicate and find information more quickly. Its growth was slow until companies like eBay, PayPal and Amazon created trusted platforms that simplified internet shopping for consumers. Internet banking emerged soon after with NetBank, the first internet only bank, in 1996. Online banking really took off in the 2000s as large national banks created online platforms for their customers. By 2000, 80% of US banks offered some kind of online banking.
Just as automated teller machines (ATMs) modernized banking by removing the teller from the banking transaction, online banking and future IoCT innovations will take this a step farther and remove the physical bank from banking. IoCT for banks may look like Bank of America’s mobile app, which offers customers a way to bank at their convenience and with added features of their Bank Amerideals, providing targeted card-linked offers in the app. For others, IoCT may include developing extra services or benefits for their customers, strengthening their branding proposition or partnering with non-bank companies to offer banking services with a tap, shake or facial recognition software.
Banks are in a unique position to shape what banking for the 21st century will look like when virtually any device can access the internet and become the payment. What makes IoCT possible is card-linking. It links an existing payment or credit card to any digital account or device connected to the internet. The future has arrived and it is up to banks to develop the Internet of Commerce Thing to transform banking again.
Silvio Tavares is President and founding CEO of the CardLinx Association, a collaborative, global, multi-industry association comprised of industry leaders such as Facebook, Mastercard, Samsung and Microsoft. Formerly an executive at VISA and First Data as well as an engineer who patented key payments analytic technologies, Silvio is a frequent speaker at industry and media events.