The Internet of Things (IoT) is all around us. Avoiding it is impossible. From smartphones to the cars we drive, a growing number of the devices we use just to live our daily lives are connected to the internet in some way. This reality is shaping the future of the consumer environment as much as the home environment. One area where we see this playing out in real time is electronic payments.
In the early days of electronic payments, transactions were handled primarily using debit and credit cards. The consumer would insert his or her card into an electronic terminal that would read it, check it against a database of rejected cards, and then process the transaction if the card was approved.
It all seemed pretty advanced back in the day. Indeed, it was. But we have come quite a way since those early days. Today you do not even need a debit or credit card, or even a processing terminal. You can use your smartphone to pay for things with a single tap of the thumb. And it’s going to get better, according to big data specialists at Rock West Solutions.
Payment Systems and Data Streams
A smartphone is, at its core, a rudimentary IoT device. It connects to the internet through either a wi-fi or cellular signal to send and receive data in much the same way a desktop or laptop PC does. It is not very complicated compared to some of the other machines now generating data throughout the cyber universe.
Be that as it may, the data streams generated by smartphones have truly defined how we use big data in the modern era. Because the cell phone is the number one consumer device used to generate data, those who want to take advantage of said data must tailor what they do to how smartphones are used. That brings us to the greater IoT.
Electronic payments facilitated by smart technology are largely the domain of cell phones right now. But that is going to change in the very near future. Manufacturers are already developing other devices capable of facilitating electronic payments by themselves.
You have probably heard of the smart refrigerator capable of taking inventory and then creating a list of items that need to be purchased. What if that same refrigerator could actually place an order with the grocery store, make payment for that order, and arrange for delivery when the consumer arrives home from work? Well, that’s where we’re headed.
Infrastructure and Data Processing
Making the IoT and electronic payments more compatible requires new infrastructure and better data processing. In terms of the former, banks and payment processors are now beginning to look more seriously at infrastructure improvements that include new hardware, new blockchain technologies, and even tokenization.
A better and more robust architecture will be necessary to handle all of the different payments the IoT of tomorrow will generate. It will have to be able to handle payment transactions from smartphones, cars, consumer electronics, wearables, etc.
Where data processing is concerned, all of this new infrastructure has to be supported with better ways of handling data streams. The thing is that said data streams will become more complex as time marches on. That is the nature of big data. It is up to companies like Rock West Solutions to develop the analytics and signal processing software capable of managing these data streams.
The IoT is already influencing the world in which we live. It is set to revolutionize electronic payments in the very near future. Won’t that be fun?