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Visa and IBM: Changing the World of Payments by Turning Things into Potential Points of Sale

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As connected devices proliferate at an ever-increasing rate, IBM and Visa have announced a global collaboration to introduce secure payment experiences for devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT).Imagine a commerce-based IoT world, where a consumer can make a purchase using any device, from a watch, a ring, an appliance or a car!


Companies will gain instant access to the Visa Token Service, a new security technology that replaces sensitive payment account information found on payment cards with a unique digital identifier, through Visa’s network of token service providers (TSPs). Companies can then immediately infuse secure, easy-to-use digital payment capabilities across entire their product lines. As a result, IBM and Visa can support payments and commerce on many any of the 20 billion connected devices estimated to be in the global economy by 2020[i].


For Jim McCarthy, executive vice president, innovation and strategic partnerships at Visa, this opens up many possibilities if payment functionality is enabled for cars:


“Drivers could be alerted when their smog certification is about to expire or if a specific car part needs replacing, responding by either scheduling a service appointment or ordering the part that has the combined lowest cost and fastest shipping time,” McCarthy said.


“But this isn’t just a consumer story. For businesses, this point-of-sale model opens up doors to something critical—new ways to increase customer loyalty and business models that plug into previously untapped revenues streams,” said Harriet Green, global head of Watson IoT, IBM.


How it Works

In the future with this collaboration, all of IBM’s Watson IoT Platform customers will have access to Visa services via the IBM Cloud. Rather than approaching businesses on a one-by-one basis, IBM and Visa provide all customers with instant access to these capabilities so they can begin to build personalized commerce experiences that take into account each consumer’s behaviors and proactively make recommendations based on their unique needs.




Watch the video to learn more on how IBM and Visa’s collaboration works.


The Visa Token Service is available to issuers, merchants and independent developers through the Visa Developer Center. Read more on how the APIs work together, explore the documentation and create a test app here.



[i] Gartner, IoT report, November 2015,


Thanks so much for sharing this information. It is exciting to see how different devices can enable payments, certainly household friendly devices such as computers and cell phones are already being used for payments, but I can't wait to see when payments are enabled in cars! 


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