Caution over IoT payments, Worldpay research shows

Smart home appliances that order and pay for items on behalf of their owners have yet to win over support, according to research by payments company Worldpay.

While Asia Pacific is set to become a frontline for the Internet of Things (IoT), driven by government initiatives and infrastructure investments, consumer confidence has yet to catch up in Australia, China and Singapore.

Worldpay’s Connected Consumer research shows that Chinese consumers are the most comfortable with IoT, with only 18 per cent not easy about a device ordering a product on their behalf without asking. Australians (39 per cent) were the least comfortable. Across markets, privacy and hacking are the top consumer concerns.

Covering more than 20,000 consumers across 10 markets, the research focussed on comfort levels when it comes to IoT technology making payments independently. Some smart devices use services from other devices, involving a payment.

China leads the IoT charge, with 61 per cent of consumers saying they would be comfortable with a device shopping on their behalf without asking permission.

Singapore, however, is on a tipping point. While the technology is ready and government support is in place, consumers still have concerns around IoT purchases made without their knowledge, and 55 per cent would want to approve purchases.

Privacy and hacking are the main concerns across the three markets. More than 70 per cent of respondents fear manufacturers would share their personal data, with a similar percentage worried about connected devices being hacked.

Meanwhile, to help businesses overcome the perceived security barrier, Worldpay is trialling an open-source software development kit (SDK) to handle IoT payments. Worldpay Within is an embeddable payments agent that allows smart devices to make and take payments.


With the number of connected devices is estimated to reach 20 billion by the end of this year.

“No matter if done by a human or machine, it is vital for consumers to stay in control when delegating payment tasks,” says Worldpay Asia Pacific GM Phil Pomford. “Our research has found there should always be a conscious ‘act of consent’, be that via a device notification, button press or a pre-set rule like a spending limit.”

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