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APAC ready to deliver on the promise of IoT, despite consumers hanging back

September 28, 2017 Business News No Comments Email Email

Asia Pacific is set to become a frontline for the Internet of Things (IoT), driven by a large number of government initiatives and infrastructure investments., while IoT growth is getting big support from governments, new research from Worldpay reveals consumer confidence, specifically in shopping via connected devices, has yet to catch up in Australia, China and Singapore. Chinese consumers indicated the most comfort with IoT, with only 18% uncomfortable with a device ordering a product on their behalf without asking, while Australians showed the least (39% uncomfortable). Across markets, privacy and hacking are top concerns for consumers.

Worldpay’s Connected Consumer research examined the viewpoints of over 20,212 consumers across 10 markets on their opinions about IoT and connected devices in the home, as well as how comfortable they would be making payments via the technology.

With more and more devices connected to the internet every day, it is increasingly important for smart devices to communicate with each other quickly and easily. Some of these smart devices consume services from other devices, which means a payment is needed. The new data released by Worldpay measured consumer comfort with such payments made via connected devices, examples of which include smart appliances, drones and virtual assistants.

China leads the IoT charge, with more than half (61%) of consumers saying they would be comfortable with a device shopping on their behalf, without asking permission. This comfort ranks second in the world out of markets Worldpay surveyed, with only Brazil (81%) surpassing.

However, Singapore sits on a tipping point. While the technology is ready and government support is in place, famously with smart nation planning, consumers still have concerns around IoT purchases made without their knowledge, and 55% would want to approve a purchase before it is placed.

Australians are not ready to fully embrace IoT and are the most likely to demand set rules on what IoT technology can buy and when (50%). With 18% of consumers saying nothing would reassure them, manufacturers and retailers looking to leverage IoT for eCommerce expect to face an uphill battle in Australia.

Privacy and hacking are top concerns for consumers across the three markets. More than 70% of consumers in each market are worried that manufacturers would share their personal data, with a similarly high number worried about the prospect of connected devices being hacked by fraudsters.

Government support and technological infrastructure in APAC prove the region is ready for an IoT future. Incorporating eCommerce payments into connected devices would benefit consumers with convenience and businesses by removing barriers to payment. However, Worldpay’s research shows consumers are still wary that IoT’s benefits outweigh their fears on privacy, security and control, ultimately holding back adoption.

To help businesses overcome the perceived security barrier, Worldpay is trialling an open source software development kit (SDK) to facilitate payments in the Internet of Things. Worldpay Within is an embeddable payments agent that allows smart devices to make and take payments as quickly and effectively as a physical shopping environment. With the number of connected devices estimated to reach 20 billion by the end of this year[1], it is increasingly important for these devices to communicate effectively and securely with each other, including making payments.

Phil Pomford, General Manager for Asia Pacific at Worldpay, commented: “No matter if done by a human or machine, it is vital for consumers to remain in control when they’re delegating payment tasks. Our research has found that 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, being agreed in advance.

“The beauty of technology advancements means that there are many opportunities for virtual assistants and connected devices to make consumers’ lives easier. If machines can offer consumers a ‘concierge’ style service that reduces day-to-day life admin and menial tasks then there is no reason why they won’t want to delegate some of their shopping responsibilities – after all, we would all appreciate an extra bit of time to ourselves. In the end, consumers need confidence that machines can be trusted to make the right decisions and keep their owners informed and in control.”

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