The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a term that is used quite frequently in tech and payments industries regarding how businesses accept credit cards across shopping channels. As such, it may be assumed that most people know what it is. It’s not, as the name may suggest, just the Internet having things, i.e. resources, but rather it is the Internet having everything. It is the “next big thing” that will give merchants opportunities, but there is one question on people’s minds regarding IoT; how does IoT affect payments at your business?
For a better understanding of exactly what IoT is and how it works, Payline is here to share the scoop. To put it in simplest terms, IoT is the cloud connection of devices to the Internet. It is machine-to machine instant communication (M2M), and specifically, it is the connection of machines to sensors that collect and share data through clouds. You may immediately think of devices like mobile phones, laptops, Bluetooth, etc. and you would be correct, but that’s not where it ends. This can mean connecting the Internet to anything from washing machines, cars, and even shoes as those and other wearable tech continue to be developed.
So how does IoT affect payments at retail businesses who accept credit cards? Retailers will benefit greatly from the integration of IoT as the technology continues to develop, and as many as seven out of ten retailers will be investing in it in 2017, so says the 2017 Retail Vision Study from Zebra Technologies. It will provide faster payments, improve day-to-day operations (in terms of efficiency and reducing operational costs), and increase revenue. The biggest draw of IoT for retailers, however, will be improving the customer experience.
From the Retail Vision Study, Mobile Payments Today shares big predictions on the horizon for IoT retail in 2017. As the technology continues to develop, these IoT sensors will be able to customize the shopping experience for customers through data accumulation. This will allow merchants to anticipate customer needs both in-store and online and drive more loyalty and customer engagement while they accept credit cards.
Beyond just retailers who accept credit cards, IoT will have an impact on business operations in general. According to Inc. Magazine, half of the 7.5 billion people on earth who use the Internet will be part of hitting 50 billion devices in use by 2020. IoT is going to play a big part in this extra plethora of connectivity, to make the workplace work for merchants.
Eventually, workplace operations like preparing for meetings, giving employees more flexibility and communicating will become more streamlined. IoT provides the means to have settings for presentations and meetings automatically set themselves in motion by simply walking into a room, or allowing employees to virtually “visit” somewhere to experience information they might have had to originally download and process. IoT allows business owners to streamline their everyday life.
Some may say that there is such a thing as too much connectivity, but IoT appears to be ready and able to strike exactly the right balance for consumers and merchants as it becomes more prevalent in business. As Daniel Burrus, founder and CEO of Burrus Research and a world leading technology forecaster, said, “Of all the technology trends that are taking place right now, perhaps the biggest one is the Internet of Things.” Make sure to keep a close eye on what the Internet of Things does next.
So how does IoT affect payments? As we advance, IoT is going to make business processes even easier, and so is Payline. Payments are made simple if you’re using Payline to process them; check out everything we can offer your business from POS terminals to online payment processing.
This piece was written by Lauren Minning, Content Specialist for Payline.