Could VR and smart assistants revolutionize payments?

Consumers today live in an age of ultimate convenience, where it’s becoming increasingly common for relatively complex processes to be completed at the click of a button.

In the financial services industry, developments in technology are taking things a step further, making it possible for people to complete payments and transactions with the slightest gesture or action.

According to the latest Digital Payments Study from Mastercard, customers are showing more interest in new technologies that could make shopping quicker, easier and more secure than ever.

Developed in collaboration with PRIME Research and Synthesio, the report’s latest findings were based on analysis of more than 3.5 million conversations across the biggest social media channels.

Virtual reality was the focus of a lot of positive sentiment, with consumers imagining the potential of being able to complete a purchase with a nod of their head.

Using wearable technology to make payments is also generating a lot of excitement on social media, as are the Internet of Things and smart assistants.

Marcy Cohen, vice-president of digital communications at Mastercard, said: “Technology is making the promise and the potential of a less-cash life a reality for more people every day. This year’s study notes a change in the level of interest for new ways to shop and pay that only a few years ago would have seemed farfetched.”

Another significant outcome from Mastercard’s latest research showed that the subject of digital wallets is currently dominating online debate around payments, accounting for 75 percent of the conversation on social media.

This suggests that those consumers who spend a lot of time online have a strong interest in innovations that could herald a new era of speed and convenience in payments.

However, traditional payment methods such as cash continue to play an extremely important role in the global financial system, so providers need to ensure they continue to provide choice and diversity for all consumers.


Image: iStock/Dangubic

Written by Jack Dougal

Jack Dougal

Jack Dougal is's resident news reporter. He writes regular blogs covering the latest stories and key developments in the global financial services industry.

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