Friday February 17, 2017

IBM and VISA Want Automatic Payments for Usage and Potential Repairs

IBM and VISA and have collaborated on how to get IoT devices to charge you in real time for usage. For example you purchase a car and want to drive out to the beach. Your car payment could be arranged to be based on usage instead of a set monthly payment. When you get to the beach, the car would report back how many miles you drove and charge you accordingly. The first thing that popped into my mind was what if your account was short the cash? Do you now get to walk home? Does the car stop you mid trip and announce that you can't go further?

The second example was the most sinister to me. In the future there could possibly be a system where your car reports that your fan belt is wearing out to the car manufacturer. You are automatically charged for the repair and sent coordinates where to get it fixed. This is wrong on so many levels. Ever bought an ink cartridge for a printer? I bet that 99% of you that responded yes have experienced the phenomenon where the printer says that the cartridge is empty; but it is at least one third full. Am I really going to trust my car manufacturer to be honest about a potential repair?

Then we have to trust that someone else doesn't hack our IoT accounts, IoT cars, IoT shoes, IoT washing machines. We just had this report about 5,000 IoT devices at a college getting hacked.

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In a similar vein, you might pay for the washing machine in your house based on how often you do laundry or how big the load is. And your connected running shoes can alert you when it’s time to replace the pair, delivering recommendations of shoe models, retailers and prices on your phone.

"It’s the combination of data coming off the sensors, tied to a device about your preferences. Payments is usually what completes the commerce experience. It’s all of that coming together that hopefully creates those magic moments," says Jim McCarthy, executive vice president, innovation and strategic partnerships at Visa.