Visa and IBM want to make every connected device you own a cash register

IBM has teamed up with Visa to create thousands of potential points of sale, using Watson’s Internet of Things (IoT) platform to bring all devices online.

Makers of cars, desks, fitness devices, and smart home appliances will be able to integrate Visa’s payments platform seamlessly, according to the company’s press release.

IBM’s Watson IoT platform is already used by more than 6,000 clients. The partnership with Visa opens the platform to new makers, who want to integrate payments worldwide without developing their own payments solution.

Visa has developed a Token Service, a new technology that replaces the unique digital identifier found on credit and debit cards. It is similar to the tech used in contactless payments, which is less secure than the PIN card system.

20 billion devices by 2020?

IBM and Visa expect the service to support “any of the 20 billion connected devices estimated to be in the global economy by 2020.”

The Internet of Things is now a reality due to the convergence of several technologies, including wireless communications, micro-electrical systems and of course, the Internet. (A “thing” is any object with embedded electronics that can transfer data over a network — without any human interaction.)

Examples are wearable devices, environmental sensors, machinery in factories, devices in homes and buildings, or components in a vehicle.

“IoT is literally changing the world around us, whether it’s allowing businesses to achieve unimaginable levels of efficiency or enabling a washing machine to ensure we never run out of detergent. And behind this transformation are companies like Visa and technologies like IBM’s Watson IoT platform,” said Harriet Green, General Manager, IBM Watson IoT.

“This combination of IBM’s industry leading IoT technologies with Visa payment services signifies the next defining moment in commerce by allowing payments on any connected object, with new levels of simplicity and convenience for everyone.”

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