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IBM, Visa to turn any connected device into a money maker with Watson IoT

Be it a watch, ring, fridge or car, IBM and VISA are set to make any connected device into a Point of Sale.

By Ellie Burns

IBM and Visa have entered in a first-of-its-kind collaboration which will turn cars, fridges, washing machines, watches – well, pretty much any connected device – into Points of Sale with Watson IoT.

The plans to monetise the IoT are part of a series of announcements related to IBM’s $3 billion investment to bring Watson to IoT. Announced at Big Blue’s Genius of Things Summit, which marked the opening of the new $200m Watson IoT HQ in Munich, the tie-up will enable businesses to quickly introduce secure payment to any device connected to the internet.

The partnership will see IBM’s IoT Watson platform, used by more than 6,000 Big Blue clients, pair with Visa’s global payments services that are used by more than 3 billion consumers globally.

Be it a watch, ring, fridge or car, companies can infuse secure payments across their entire product lines using the Visa Token Service, a new security technology that replaces sensitive payment account information found on payment cards with a unique digital identifier, via IBM’s Watson IoT platform. As a result, IBM and Visa could support payments and commerce on many of the 20 billion connected devices estimated to be in the global economy by 2020.

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“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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The collaboration between Visa and IBM also looks to the future, with plans for all of IBM’s Watson IoT Platform customers will have access to Visa payment services via the IBM Cloud. As a result, rather than approaching businesses on a one-by-one basis, IBM and Visa will provide all customers with access to these capabilities, so they can begin to build personalized commerce experiences and proactively make recommendations based on consumers’ unique needs.

“The Internet of Things is not only driving a more connected world, it’s changing the way we live, shop and pay, by moving data and the point-of-sale to wherever the consumer wants it to be,” said Jim McCarthy, executive vice president, innovation and strategic partnerships, Visa Inc.

“With the power of Watson’s cognitive technologies and IBM’s leadership in IoT and security, they are the ideal partner to help us deliver secure payments to ‘virtually anywhere’ and on the enormous scale of the IoT.”


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