Future of Autonomous Invisible Transactions

IoT The Future of Autonomous and Invisible Transactions


IoT The Future of Autonomous and Invisible Transactions

White Paper


3. Forewords
4. Executive summary
5. Introduction
6. What are IOT payment?
8. The drivers for IOT payments
9. IOT payment models
10. Trust & accountability
12. Key technology enablers
14. Business impact
16. Conclusion
17. Authors and acknowledgements


Drs Henkkuipers
Innovation Manager at Strategy & Innovation Rabobank Tech Lab

“Thanks to its well-structured and thorough approach, this white paper gives you an excellent
overview of IoT payments. It explains many of the different types of technology that are applied
within this field, and it also discusses the varying business opportunities that arise.
Not only does it bring you up to speed with what IoT payments are about, but it also highlights
which developments can be expected in the coming years and what challenges lie ahead.”

Franck Leveque
Partner & Mobility Practice Head for Europe, Founding Member of Mobility Practice Frost & Sullivan

“This white paper provides insightful, practical perspectives into IoT payment
solutions, and highlights the core necessity for trust and accountability.
These trusted automated payment solutions will be a fundamental component
of the transformation of the automotive industry as its business model shifts from a one-time
sale to value creation throughout the vehicle life cycle, whether one talks about electric vehicle charging,
the download of new vehicle features on demand and other connected services, or shared mobility.”

Executive summary

We are currently witnessing three
trends that are combining to drive the
IoT payment revolution:
of digital payments,
with 779 billion transactions
conducted digitally in 2020.

Massive growth
in connected devices,
tripling in five years to 38.5 billion
in 2020.

The increased use
of Artificial Intelligence,
driven by growing compute
power and better algorithms.

Given this backdrop, perhaps it is not surprising that the IoT payments market is expected to be :
worth $27.6 billion by 2023, impacting every industry and disrupting the current payment model
landscape. Indeed, we believe that the IoT Payment Revolution is no longer a mere possibility,
but a certainty, driven by the significant benefits that it will deliver:
For consumers,
a truly frictionless experience
for repetitive or low-value purchases,
saving them time and effort,
and reducing stress.

For merchants,
a seamless experience for
their customers leading to higher
conversion rates, increased revenues
and more repeat custom

For all businesses creating
new offerings based on IoT
and Artificial intelligence,
the ability to embed automated
payments into their value propositions
to create truly innovative, end-to-end
solutions for their clients.

To harness the power of IoT payments,
businesses will have to understand and
master several technological aspects,
including device authentication,
lifecycle management, interoperability,
communications, and Artificial
Those organisations which successfully
understand the possibilities created
by IoT payments and how these could
transform their industry, and which
develop the right capabilities needed
to leverage their true potential, will be
able to gain significant competitive
advantage in the coming years.
Many attractive use cases exist:
from electric vehicle charging, to
highly convenient walk-in/walk-out
shopping experiences, through to
sustainable commerce solutions
enabled via the sharing economy.

However, to achieve these benefits,
managing the topics of trust and
accountability will be crucial.
People need to trust the device
triggering a payment, and the
delegation of the person or
organisation accountable for


The IoT payment revolution

the payment must be verifiable.
We therefore believe that regulatory
frameworks will need to evolve rapidly
to accommodate Object-Initiated
Transactions (which will exist alongside
the Merchant and Customer-Initiated
Transactions of today).

In this paper, which draws on
Worldline’s extensive payments
experience and research in this area,
together with the insights gained
through working with our clients
and partners, we seek to help you
understand the potential of IoT
payments in your industry, and to
identify the key actions you need
to take today to position your
organisation for this future.


The first physical currency was minted
by King Alyattes of Lydia over 2,600
years ago. These simple coins evolved
into banknotes in 16611. However, up
until 1871, the monetary transactions
enabled by these currencies remained
physical: a tangible exchange of cash.
The first electronic money transfer was
made in 1871 by Western Union using
a telegram2. Nearly 150 years later,
in 2020, 779 billion digital transactions
were completed worldwide3.
And yet, the fundamental basis of
these transactions has not changed:
they are triggered by one person
(sometimes representing an
organisation) making a payment
to another person (or organisation).
More recently, there has been a huge
growth in the number of devices
connected to the Internet, from an
estimated 200 million globally in the
year 20004 up to 38.5 billion in 20205.
Twenty years ago, a small percentage
of households may have had a single
device connected via a modem or
router. Now, a vast range of objects are
connected, from toasters and watches,
to light bulbs and thermostats, through
to cars and trains.
In the last decade, we have also seen
a rise in the use of Artificial Intelligence
(AI), fuelled by the increased availability
of compute power coupled with readily
available state-of-the-art open source
algorithms. We are now starting to see
Increase in digital payments


Rise of AI

More IoT devices

Figure 1: Drivers of the Iot payment


AI being used to make decisions on
behalf of people or organisations and
to take actions fully autonomously6.
In this paper, we explain how
these three trends are combining
to create what we call “The IoT
Payment Revolution”. With electronic
payments already ubiquitous, and
with increasingly powerful connected
devices able to run AI algorithms,
we are on the verge of a world in
which these devices will autonomously
trigger payments to organisations,
people and even other devices.
The question now facing business
leaders in all sectors is not whether
IoT payments will become pervasive,
but rather how this change will impact
their products and services, and
what they need to do now to prepare
for this future.
Drawing on Worldline’s extensive
payments experience and research
into this area, together with the insights
we have gained through working with
our customers and partners, in this
paper, we seek to help you answer
these questions.
We start by defining exactly what is
meant by IoT payments and detailing
what is driving their growth. We then
cover three important topics for
which businesses need to be ready:
the impact on underlying payment

There has
been a huge
growth in the
number of
devices, from
an estimated
200 million
globally in the
year 2000 up
to 38.5 billion
in 2020.
models, the challenges of trust and
accountability, and the technologies
that need to be understood and
mastered. Finally, we describe some
of the main use cases which can
provide inspiration as to how your
industry may be transformed.


The IoT payment revolution


What are IoT payments?
We define IoT payments as payment transactions that are triggered by IoT devices
with a certain degree of autonomy (requiring low or zero human interaction), as shown in Figure 2.




Figure 2: Autonomous payments
triggered by IoT devices.

What are IoT devices?
ARM has defined IoT devices as
“pieces of hardware, such as sensors,
actuators, gadgets, appliances, or
machines, that are programmed for
certain applications and can transmit
data over the internet or other
networks. They can be embedded
into other mobile devices, industrial
equipment, environmental sensors,
medical devices, and more7.”
This is a very broad definition, which
encompasses small devices (such
as a thermometer or light switch)
with limited compute power, through
to general purpose devices such as
mobile phones (when they are used
to sense our environment), through to
large objects such as a fridge, a car or
industrial machinery. In all cases, these
devices are both connected and exist
in our day-to-day world (rather than
running software in a data centre).

How autonomous are
IoT payments?

Level 1

One defining characteristic of IoT
payments is that they are triggered
by IoT devices with a certain level of
autonomy, based on data that they are
collecting and analysing. This is why,
for example, we would not consider
a person using a mobile app to make
an account-to-account bank transfer
to be an example of an IoT payment.
However, if the mobile phone uses its
knowledge of the person’s location to
trigger a payment automatically (with
limited or no user interaction), then this
would be considered an IoT payment.
Similarly, if connected cameras are
used to detect who is boarding and
disembarking from a train and the
correct fares are then automatically
charged to the individuals, we would
also class this as an example of an
IoT payment.

The device has permission to access
a user’s bank account. The outcome
of such a transaction is only to provide
information regarding the permissible
data available in this bank account
around payments.
For example: a smart speaker at home
configured to access a user’s bank
account through a voice service to
offer information such as their account
balance, last month’s main transactions,
or how much a specific device has paid
in the last month on behalf of
the consumer.

Compared with other sectors, the
payments industry is already highly
automated and digitised, relying on
the secure connection of millions of
devices (such as payment terminals,
contactless cards, cash machines
and smartphones). As such, the
technologies to support this are already
well established. However, today,
these payments are still predominantly
triggered by humans. Tomorrow,
with the advent of the IoT Payment
Revolution, these payments will
increasingly be triggered autonomously
by machines.
As shown in Figure 38, we have defined
four levels of increasing autonomy
for payments. IoT payments must
operate at levels 1-3. Here we explain
the characteristics of each level of
autonomy in more detail:

IoT payments are payment
transactions that are
triggered by IoT devices
with a certain degree
of autonomy.
7. https://www.arm.com/glossary/iot-devices
8. First published by Worldline here: https://worldline.com/en/home/knowledgehub/blog/2020/march/from-automaticto-autonomous-payments-can-things-pay.html


The IoT payment revolution

Level 2
The device must request the explicit
consent of the user before triggering
a payment. Payment permission must
be granted by authentication means
(e.g. biometric or non-biometric).
For example: at a fuel station, the
device asks the user for their consent
with a push notification to their
smartphone before triggering the
refuelling payment directly from their
(bank) account in a system based on
reading the vehicle’s licence plate, to
ensure that it is the authorised user
who is refuelling the vehicle.

Level 3
The device makes a payment
automatically (without asking the
explicit consent of the user) under
pre-defined deterministic conditions
set by the user to trigger the payment.
For example: a smart printer in
an office is configured so that when
it is low in toner, an order and payment
for the toner replacement
is automatically triggered.

Level 4
(Fully Autonomous)
The device conducts a payment
automatically using a combination of
pre-defined deterministic conditions
(as per Level 2) and, additionally, uses
adaptive behaviours of the device
depending on the context.
For example: a system in a smart city
that manages an annual repair budget
initiating prioritised purchases and
payments to suppliers based on the
elements that need attention or repair
in the city at any moment such as
streetlights, garbage containers, etc.

Advanced IoT payments
Today, we see IoT payments
being applied to relatively simple
cases (for example, where the location
of a person or object is used to trigger
a payment). However, we can imagine
scenarios where devices use multiple
data sources and sophisticated
AI algorithms to transform people’s
day-to-day lives.
An example of this could be a

connected fridge that orders food
automatically when it detects that
supplies are low, based on an assigned
budget and taking into account the
changing preferences of the household
and even dietary recommendations
provided by a nutritionist. The fridge
might also interact with various
e-commerce solutions to find the
best option in each case and book
a delivery slot, after confirming
availability for receiving the order by

a member of the household.
This example shows how an IoT device
combined with Artificial Intelligence
and some rules can fully replace the
existing modus operandi in which a
human completes the order and makes
the payment from their smartphone.
There are many other situations
in which we will see how payment
capacity can be transferred to things
with different levels of autonomy.


Full autonomous
Smart IoT Payments
Machine-to-machine payments based on adaptive, context-aware,behaviour-based
algorithms in a transparent and autonomous way.
Example: EV charging. Smart fridge stocking food. Self-maintaining street lamps.


Event-driven Payments
Payments based on pre-programmed deterministic conditions set by
humans (e.g. smart contract clauses enforcement).
Example: Smart printer ordering ink. Smoke alarm ordering battery


Pay-per-Use Payments
Pre-programmed periodic payments based on metered
business model from IoT.
Example: Connected Appliance. Tolling/Pay-as-you-drive.

Access to accounts
Leverage on PSD2 directives to consult
user’s bank account.
Example: Bank’s voice assistant.






Figure 3: Model developed by Worldline for the four levels of increasing autonomy for IoT payments.

The IoT payment revolution


The drivers for Iot payments

Frictionless and
invisible payments
Consumers and merchants are
expecting payment experiences to
be increasingly frictionless, or even
invisible. Frictionless payments
are where the transaction can be
completed easily by the customer with
limited additional interactions beyond
those already needed to access the
product or service. An example of this
is an in-app purchase authorised by
facial recognition. Invisible payments
take this one step further: here the
customer does not need to take any
specific additional action to trigger and

complete the payment. For example,
they may simply connect their electric
vehicle to a charging point and then
drive off when the charge is complete;
payment is handled fully automatically.
Driving this expectation, on the
consumer side, are the attitudes of
Gen-Z, who are expected to increase
their per-capita spending by more than
70% over the next five years9.
Gen-Z is characterised as the first
“digitally native” generation, which
means they expect a smooth digital
customer experience, and that
payments become increasingly
frictionless and invisible.

At the same time, merchants are
looking for ways to increase conversion
rates in their stores, whether bricksand-mortar, online or omnichannel.
Amongst the top five reasons for why
customers abandon their shopping cart
are if their preferred payment option is
not offered or if the payment process
is perceived as unsafe10. Merchants
are increasingly accepting payment
via mobile applications such as Apple
Pay, AliPay, PayPal, Samsung Pay and
WeChat Pay. At Worldline, we have
developed WL Scan & Pay11, which is a
digital self-checkout that puts cashier
functions into any smartphone with a
camera. This solution offers benefits to
retailers by addressing this need for a
seamless omnichannel shopping with
an integrated payment experience.

IoT for next-level
seamless experiences
Moving from frictionless to invisible
payments often requires IoT payments,
as illustrated in Figure 4. In physical
stores, we see merchants exploring
the “walk-in/walk-out” concept, where
shoppers simply enter a store, pick up
the goods they require, and leave (with
payment automatically processed in
the background). An example of this
is Amazon Go which has successfully
opened tens of stores. Even though
there are discussions around privacy
due to the use of image tracking
technology and AI, it does seem that
customers are adopting Amazon Go
as they enjoy the seamless experience
it provides12.



IoT payments

And IoT payments are not only
applicable in a retail setting. They
can enable payments to be initiated
by connected devices such as
coffee machines, washing machines,
agricultural equipment and cars. By
2023, this new market of IoT payments
is expected to reach $27.6 billion and
the market segments that will benefit
from this development include retail,
automotive, smart city and smart
housing, to name just a few13.

Figure 4: IoT to enable frictionless and invisible payments.

9. https://www.bcg.com/publications/2020/how-marketers-can-win-with-gen-z-millennials-post-covid
10. https://www.b2ceurope.eu/how-to-avoid-lost-ecommerce-sales-at-checkout/
11. https://worldline.com/content/new-worldline-com/en/home/solutions/pos-and-terminals/scan-and-pay.html
12. https://www.pymnts.com/news/retail/2020/how-amazons-cashierless-tech-will-or-wont-change-the-physical-retail-landscape/
13. https://www.intellias.com/iot-payments-what-s-ahead-for-contextual-commerce/


The IoT payment revolution

IoT payment models
The payment landscape is shifting towards a new world where a variety of models that support payment
will co-exist, mixing domestic payment schemes, international card schemes, digital wallets,
and distributed cryptocurrency networks. Figure 514 illustrates three alternative payment models
that can potentially be used for IoT payments, which we describe in more detail below.
card scheme payment model

bank credit model

Card scheme owner

Card payment processor



Digital currency model

Instant payment processor

Customer bank


Central bank

Merchant bank


Customer bank

Digital currency network

Merchant bank

Merchant / service provider

IoT devices

Service provisioning
Figure 5: Payment models for IoT payments.

Card scheme payment model

Bank credit transfer model

Digital currency payment

Major international card schemes have
been successfully deploying non-card
payment through payment tokenisation,
which is the process of replacing
sensitive data with a unique identifier
that refers to, but does not disclose,
confidential data.
Today, one of the most common uses
of debit and credit card tokenisation
is to emulate a payment card with
a mobile phone, using Near Field
Communication (NFC) to initiate a
transaction, where the tokenisation
replaces the Primary Account Number
(PAN). As an extra security measure,
the card emulation software (that
resides in a smart phone or in the
cloud) can generate a dynamic card
verification value, which is uniquely
bounded to a single transaction. This
card tokenisation can also be used to
turn IoT devices into payment-enabled
devices. For example, a connected car
can host a tokenised payment card,
which enables payments from the car.
The standardisation of this model is
mainly driven by the card schemes.

Instant Payments are currently an
exciting development in many parts
of the world. With Instant Payments,
banks are able to execute money
transfers in near-real-time. This means
that, if a payer wants to pay someone
in Europe, the beneficiary is able to
receive the money within seconds,
assuming that both the payer and the
beneficiary are customers of banks
participating in the SCTinst
(SEPA Instant Credit Transfer)
scheme. The SCTinst covers both
person- to-person payments and
person-to- business payments.
Payment Initiation Services (PIS),
enabled by PSD2- mandated third
party access to accounts (XS2A),
bring tremendous opportunities with
or without Instant Payments and
support most of the IoT payment use
cases that are already feasible via
card scheme payments.

One of the most discussed
technologies for IoT payments
today are cryptocurrencies, based
on a distributed ledger, which bring
attractive technical features to an
IoT environment. Since the ledger is
distributed, it allows IoT devices to
perform peer-to-peer transactions with
or without the involvement of a trusted
third party. It is still uncertain whether
or how the current development of
numerous digital currency initiatives
will lead to some becoming mainstream
in the future. Nevertheless, a possible
scenario would be a move towards
regulated digital currency networks
where central banks will play a
crucial regulating role, and where the
exchange of different currencies will
be possible. Another scenario could be
multiple closed loop cryptocurrencies
that optimise both transaction handling
and cost inside one or multiple IoT
payment ecosystems, ideally in an
interoperable way.

Source: Worldline authors of this report

The IoT payment revolution


Trust & accountability

Consumer resistance
As described earlier, many people
(especially younger generations) are
positive about the smooth payment
experience that IoT payments can
enable. However, others will be
resistant to such a change, perhaps
due to a fear of new technologies
that is often deeply linked to the local
historical and/or societal context.
Beyond this fear of technology, many
unbanked consumers have a justified
concern about the proliferation of such
“unmanned services” because they are
excluded if only digital payments are
accepted15. In response to this, we have
already seen states in the US legislating
against cashless businesses16, requiring
these stores to accept cash payments.
Furthermore, even customers who have
bank accounts may prefer to have the
option to use cash, for reasons
of privacy and anonymity.
In cases where there is no resistance to
autonomous digital payments per se, a
consumer still needs to trust a device
with their financial assets (i.e. have
confidence in its purchase decisions
and spending control) even if it is a

Auditability and
of machine
decisions is
required in order
to make them

wallet with a fixed limit. For example,
the concern that the system may be
fooled by someone intending to steal
from it may be very significant. In the
longer term, understanding and trusting
these systems will be key; auditability
and interpretability of machine
decisions is required in order to make
them transparent17 and win the trust of
the user. Even with such transparency,
ultimately the factor that increases
acceptability and adoption may be
the ability to easily roll back those
transactions that consumers
are not happy with.
Not only do customers need to trust
the device to make an autonomous
payment on their behalf, they also
have to trust that the device is secured
against malicious threats. Given the
huge variety of devices potentially
involved in IoT payments and that the
exchange of data often takes place in
an open Internet environment, assuring
security is especially challenging.
Fraudsters are targeting IoT devices
more aggressively than ever before18.
In particular, in IoT payment use cases,
where there is not a visible human
control, cyber criminals could try to
seize an advantage. It is therefore
up to the payment ecosystem as a
whole to ensure that the security of
IoT payments can be guaranteed, that
the consumer is able to easily control
what devices do with their payment
credentials, and that the consumer is
fully aware of the security and control
that is provided to them.
The key aspects that need to
be considered are how payment
credentials are stored securely on
a device, how access to the device
is controlled (to prevent hacking),
and how the user of the device
will authenticate themselves. We
believe that regulations such as
the EU’s Second Payment Services
Directive (PSD2) will need to evolve
in order to cater for these challenges.
Furthermore, monitoring to detect and
prevent fraudulent IoT payments is also
crucial. We will now discuss each of
these in more detail.

15. https://www.pymnts.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Commerce-Connected-Playbook-Mar20.pdf
16. https://www.wsj.com/articles/philadelphia-is-first-u-s-city-to-ban-cashless-stores-11551967201
17. https://www.cnil.fr/sites/default/files/atoms/files/cnil_rapport_garder_la_main_web.pdf#page=58
18. https://blog.f-secure.com/attack-landscape-h1-2019-iot-smb-traffic-abound/
19. https://www.emvco.com/
20. https://usa.visa.com/partner-with-us/payment-technology/visa-token-service.html


The IoT payment revolution

Securing payment credentials
The frictionless payment experience
created by payment card tokenisation
has made it the preferred approach for
securing payment account information
in IoT payment transactions, thanks
to its standardisation and its adoption
in the payment industry. EMVCo19
mandates a user identity and
verification step before granting any
token request. A similar mechanism
is necessary to ensure that device
owners are aware of token requests
originating from their devices and that
such requests are legitimate. Major
payment companies and card scheme
owners are beginning to address these
concerns. For example, Visa secures
payment functionality for IoT using their
Visa Token Service20 for provisioning a
token to a device to activate payments.

Ensuring strong authentification
The basic requirements of PSD2 state
that strong customer authentication
(SCA) has to be based on the use of
two or more possible authentication
elements, categorised as:

(i.e. something only the user knows,
such as a password).

(i.e. something only the user has,
such as a token).

(i.e. something only the user is,
such as a fingerprint or face scan).
In IoT payments, authentication is more
complex than in “traditional” payments
because both device authentication
and customer authentication need to
be addressed, yet often the ambition
is to make payments frictionless or
invisible. We believe that regulations
will need to evolve to cater for these
Object- Initiated Transactions, and now
we describe this in more detail below.

Device authentification
A large proportion of IoT devices
are deployed with a weak security
level; sometimes devices are even
preconfigured with an easy to guess
4-digit password (e.g. 0000), which
remains unchanged during operation.
The lack of a common security
framework poses serious problems
for device manufacturers, service
providers and consumers.
Existing payment authentication
methods are not suitable for many IoT
devices due to resource constraints
such as low power and limited storage
capacity. It is important to determine
and to reach the desired level of trust
without overburdening the computing
capacity of IoT devices. Today, there
is an increasing adoption of standard
authentication methods such as PKI,
OAuth and OIDC to serve IoT use cases
of a specific scope and scale. Further
standards from OAM DM, LWM2M and
TR-069 are also being deployed to
secure the communication between
nodes in an IoT network21.

Consumer authentification
As stated earlier, an IoT payment
transaction must be trusted and
accountable. An IoT device by itself
cannot be held accountable: ultimate
accountability will instead rest with
the person or organisation that has
delegated payment tasks to it. This
necessitates consumer authentication.
The key challenge is to apply the most
convenient authentication method to a
specific payment use case.
As illustrated in Figure 6, there
are various forms of customer
authentication methods and,
depending on the type of usage and
the acceptable level of risk, certain
methods are more suitable than
others. When it comes to customer
convenience, biometric authentication
is becoming increasingly acceptable,
as long as privacy is assured.
For example, voice recognition is a
good candidate for in-car payment,
since voice control is already a common
technology used in connected cars.
In retail, we are seeing examples of
contactless palm scans being used
to authenticate a payment22.

It should be noted that solutions
like face recognition and a palm
scans by themselves still only offer
1-factor authentication. Consumer
authentication could be improved
through the use of continuous
multimodal biometrics and contextual
information checking, where several
sources of biometric information (such
as gait, face, etc.) are combined with
other information (such as where the
person is and what they are doing) to
provide a more rigorous and harder-tofool authentication of the individual.

Objet-initiated transactions
PSD2 defines two ways for initiating
a transaction: Merchant- Initiated
Transaction (MIT) and CustomerInitiated Transaction (CIT).
With MIT, the user has enrolled their
credit card, IBAN or other payment
instrument with the merchant, and then
the merchant initiates the transaction,
for example for one-click orders or
recurring orders. This is not always
appropriate for IoT payments as the
consumer may want to pay for services
for which they have not yet enrolled,
such as toll fees in a foreign country.
With CIT, PSD2 requires strong
authentication and, as described
previously, this is not something an
object can do autonomously for us.
As a result, a new kind of transaction
initiation with its own authentication
requirements is needed. We believe
that regulations will be updated
to cater for these Object-Initiated
Transactions (OIT). Failure to do so
could see a proliferation of entities
providing services by acting as third
parties using MIT. These could become
de-facto standards for Object-Initiated
payments, but they may not ultimately
protect the best interests of consumers
and merchants.

The key
challenge is
to apply the
most convenient
method to a
use case.

IoT payment fraud prevention
As previously discussed, IoT devices
are particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks and therefore the continuous
monitoring of IoT payment transactions
is essential to detect and prevent
fraud. As IoT devices also have the
potential to offer many more data
sources, fraud detection algorithms
can have a more complete picture of
user actions (including before, during
and after the payment is made). For
example, by knowing that an individual
has travelled to a shop in their car and
then used their phone to scan products
in the store, the legitimacy of the final
payment transaction could be assured
with greater confidence.

Figure 6: Various biometric authentication methods.

21. https://www.muutech.com/en/iot-device-management-protocols-lwm2m-oma-dm-and-tr-069/
22. https://www.a3bc.org/carrefour-green-court-first-store-in-romania/

The IoT payment revolution


Key technology enablers
So far, we have described why we
foresee a rise in IoT payments and how
this will potentially impact the dominant
payment models. We have also
discussed the challenges associated
with trust and accountability. Now
we will describe some of the key
technology enablers that businesses
wishing to leverage IoT payments will
need to master. These are illustrated in
Figure 7, which shows our view on how
soon they will need to be adopted and
also the potential impact they will have
on the IoT payment landscape.

Trusted Iot devices
As seen in the previous section, IoT
devices that trigger payments must
be secure. Therefore, we see a strong
need for these IoT devices to have
embedded cryptographic hardware and
enough computing power to ensure
the integrity of data generated in the
device itself before it is transmitted.
To guarantee device identity we must
ensure integrity and confidentiality
of information. This can be achieved
with different levels of security:

secure elements, trusted execution
environments (TEE) or white boxes. The
first two require hardware components
and are not always available on IoT
devices, while software-based white
boxes may not offer sufficient security
for payment applications23.
Identity of an IoT device can also be
provided by a Physically Unclonable
Function (PUF) enclosed in trust zones
or secure elements. These functions
provide a unique identity to each
specific device. They rely on small
variations during the manufacturing
process and give unique features that
can be used to derive private and
public keys to authenticate the device.
Because the device does not store the
private key, rather it is derived from
an unclonable feature of the device,
the security and the integrity of such
devices is greatly improved.

As already discussed, in order to
process payments on behalf of the
device owner, there is a need to
authenticate the IoT device. We see


three authentication protocols that
could prove useful for application in
IoT environments. The first option is
the FIDO Universal Authentication
Framework (or UAF)24, which provides
strong authentication through public
key cryptography. The second option
is the recently published EMVCo
specifications for 3-D Secure (3DS)25,
which is a messaging protocol that
enables consumers to authenticate
themselves to a card issuer when
performing card-not-present (CNP)
transactions. The third candidate
is OpenID Connect, which is an
identity layer on top of the OAuth
2.0 authorisation protocol26. It allows
devices to verify the identity of the
end user based on authentication
performed by an authorisation server.

Device lifecycle
An IoT payment device must ensure
that all communications and processes
are secured end-to-end, from the
device’s own security component to
the payment issuer back-end system.
Device manufacturers and service
providers need to be aware that, even
after the device has been delivered
to the end user and the payment
credential has been provisioned, there
is still a need to manage the lifecycle
of the payment application and the IoT
device itself. Key considerations include
changes of ownership, expiration of
payment credentials, application endof-life and device end-of-life.


IoT interperability

Device life-cycle


Device authentication

Finger scan
Voice recognition


Facial recognition

Artificial intelligence
on IoT





The diversity of IoT platforms and
network protocols complicates
system interoperability between
IoT applications, preventing the
IoT from reaching its full potential.
The interoperability issue and the
lack of standards lead to complex
and costly integrations between
platform applications and device
data, or the prevalence of proprietary
rather than open APIs (Application
Programming Interfaces). To address
IoT interoperability it is necessary to
build middleware platforms or IoT hubs,
enabling intermediary IoT services to
communicate in a common language
and assure security levels for the
connectivity and exchange of data
across different platforms.

Figure 7: Key technology enablers for IoT payments.



For example, in this competition, all white boxes were cracked in 27 hours or less: https://eric-diehl.com/white-box-cryptography-an-open-challenge/

The IoT payment revolution

Communication technology
Most IoT devices rely on wireless
communication technology. Different
wireless technologies are emerging,
each with their own characteristics,
advantages and disadvantages from
both a technical and commercial point
of view.
The two major categories that we see
are LPWAN (Low-power Wide-area
Network) and 5G. LPWAN can operate
on both the licensed and unlicensed
radio spectrum. On the other hand, 5G
(consisting of NB-IoT, LTE-M, LTE cat x)
operates only in the licensed radio
spectrum. Depending on the use case,
and the corresponding business case,
one technology will be more suitable
than the other. Therefore, it is likely that
LPWAN and 5G will co-exist.
LPWAN is designed for IoT applications
that only send and receive small
amounts of data (i.e. a few tens of
hundreds of bytes per day). The main
advantage of LPWAN is its low power
consumption, enabling the battery life
of sensors to last 10+ years depending
on data transmission frequency.
The first implementations of 5G are
providing a better bandwidth and lower
latency and enabling the connection
of a very high number of IoT devices.
The low latency will enable increasingly
frictionless payments as it will speed
up person-to-person instant payments
and mobile payments in general.
Increased bandwidth will enable much
more data to be collected from a much
wider range of sources, which can
feed the AI algorithms that will boost
the level of autonomy of IoT payments.
We can imagine many possibilities that
this will enable. For example, in a 5G
empowered smart city infrastructure,
streetlights could autonomously order
and trigger payments for repairs and
replacements as recently shown in a
demo from Worldline.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI has tremendous potential to boost
efficiency and enable innovative
service development. Worldline has
addressed these topics in detail in
our white paper Hyperautomation in
Payments: Automating complexity at
scale27. This notes that despite its great
potential, AI has not yet been widely
adopted in many areas, including the
IoT landscape.

IoT devices collect large amounts
of data that can fuel AI machine
learning algorithms and neural network
systems to predict consumer behaviour.
Extensive training on user behaviour
and the transactional context is needed
to effectively implement the capability
to execute truly autonomous payments
(at level 3) on behalf of and with the
full confidence of a human user.
Today, most of the information
collected from IoT devices is processed
by a central server in the cloud and
only 20% is processed locally28.
In the future, we will see a shift
from centralised to decentralised
processing. More advanced AI- enabled
devices with greater edge computing
capabilities together with more
resource optimised AI models will be
needed to run autonomous algorithms.

Blockchain technology is a
cryptography-driven solution with
the potential to use a distributed
decision model to replace existing
centralised architectures. It provides an
innovative technological approach to
manage data and execute transactions
in an indisputable way, where accuracy
and reliability is paramount, without
the explicit need for a trusted third
party. As it is based on peer-topeer technology, distributed ledger
technology stacks can perfectly fit
a highly distributed IoT ecosystem.

In a 5G
smart city
order and
for repairs.
The essentials of using blockchain
technology consist of data that
cannot be altered (integrity), no single
point of failure (availability), identity
managed by public/private key pair
(authentication), cryptographic
primitives that deny data access to
unauthorised users (confidentiality),
and that all transactions are signed and
can be audited (non-repudiation).

27. https://worldline.com/content/new-worldline-com/en/home/knowledgehub/publications/download-ai-hyperautomation.html
28. https://atos.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/digital-vision-for-cyber-security-2-2.pdf

The IoT payment revolution


Business impact

IoT payments
will help
accelerate the
development of
sharing economy

As mentioned in the introduction,
there were over 38.5 billion connected
devices in 202029 (triple the number
in 2015). From this growth trajectory,
billions of additional IoT payment
transactions can be expected, yet
most of these opportunities still remain
untapped today. For example, a smart
“personal shopper” could search for
a specific product and close the deal
automatically at the given permissible
price on behalf of the consumer.
Solar panels could sell spare energy
to other consumers/machines, with
dynamic pricing and corresponding
payment transactions being handled
autonomously between two devices,
enabled by blockchain technology.
With so many potential use cases,

it is important to identify which
ones offer the greatest business
opportunities for your organisation now
and in the future. Figure 830 provides
our assessment of the expected
adoption and business potential for
many IoT payments use cases. You
may find it useful to prepare your own
version of this radar for your company,
taking into account factors like market
traction (as assessed thorough
interactions and discussions with your
partners and your clients), market size,
expected transaction volumes and
expected customer adoption.
We will now describe in more detail two
of the more promising examples of IoT
payment use cases: electric vehicle
charging and the sharing economy.

EV Charging
In-car Payment

Wearable Payment

Sharing economy
Walk-in/Walk-out Mobility
Walk-in/Walk-out Store
Circular economy

Smart Vending Payment
5 years


Solar Energy Payment
Smart City Payment

Connected Appliance

Consumer Electronics

IoT Connectivity Payment


Figure 8: IoT payments business radar.

29. https://www.juniperresearch.com/press/press-releases/iot-connected-devices-to-triple-to-38-bn-by-2020
30. Source: Worldline authors of this paper


The IoT payment revolution

Use case:
electric vehicle charging
The market for Electronic Vehicle (EV)
charging infrastructure in Europe is
gaining strong traction31. We believe
that EV charging will bring short and
mid-term business opportunities.
Here we briefly describe an exemplary
customer journey supported by IoT
payments (as illustrated in Figure 9).
Imagine enjoying future rides in your
electric vehicle without worrying about
where to recharge the battery, whether
or not you will have a charging station
made available for you, or where to
get a good meal on the way. In this
idealised customer journey, payments
would become invisible, disappearing
completely into the background.
In such a use case, the car could
use information such as the current
battery level, the number of miles left
to complete the journey, how long the
driver has been driving non-stop, and
their usual habits for taking breaks
and their food preferences. Using all
of this contextual information, the car
can determine what would be the best
location and time for it to be charged.
The car could reserve the charging
point, and potentially even a table at the
food outlet, for the expected arrival time.
The driver can relax and enjoy a coffee
or some food, which will be paid for
automatically using a walk-in/walk-out
model. When the car is sufficiently
charged, the driver will receive a
notification on their phone (or wearable
device such as a watch).When the driver
disconnects their car from the charging
point, the payment for the charging
session is automatically triggered by the
car as the journey is resumed.
This kind of journey could be
implemented based on the card
payment or bank transfer models
described earlier. However, it could
also be possible to use a decentralised
ledger for payments32, where blockchain
enables a payment to be made directly
from the car to the charging station,
even if neither is connected to a
centralised infrastructure.


Car assistant
makes a
and guides me
to a charging

I start
the journey


I enjoy a nice
while waiting
for the car to


indicates low
power level

“En route”

I plug in my car

Figure 9: Exemplary customer journey for EV charging.

Use case: the sharing economy
Among younger generations we are
seeing a shift in attitudes as to how
they consume goods and services.
For them, “consumption means having
access to products or services, not
necessarily owning them.”33 Due to this,
servitisation (the trend of delivering
more and more products “as-a-service”
with charging models closely linked
to the value gained by the consumer)
is becoming an increasingly standard
business model. However, servitisation
requires that you can monitor and
control usage — something that is easy
to do for cloud-based software but
harder to do for physical goods.
Gen-Z are also extremely concerned
about climate change34, which we
expect will drive them to prioritise
sustainable ways of living. We see that
this drive for sustainability, combined
with growth in servitisation, will
propel the sharing economy forward:
individuals who are less concerned with
ownership will be able to share access
to material products with others,
leading to a lower cost for everyone
(paying only for what they need), while
also minimising the environmental
impact. IoT payments will help
accelerate the development of sharing
economy platforms, because they help
to enable pay-per-use business models
for physical products.
These new models are also interesting
for financial institutions. Many have

already developed long-term visions
driven by sustainability, looking at
social as well as environmental benefits.
Today, banks, insurers, pension funds
and asset managers are developing
sustainable finance practices, which are
becoming the new standard. In simple
terms, sustainable finance means
defining and deploying investment
plans which take into account criteria
for Environment, Society and corporate
Governance (the “ESG criteria”).
A good example of sustainable
finance is the Circular Service
Platform35 (CiSe), initiated by
Rabobank, Sustainable Financial
Lab36, Unc Inc and Allen & Overy.
This blockchain-based platform helps
service providers and manufacturers
develop pay-per-use business models,
driven by IoT37, at the same time
promoting the sharing economy.
It is important to note that one
of the reasons why banks have a
great interest in making pay-peruse business models successful is
because they are expected to finance
service providers (and therefore the
associated financial risks have to be
managed properly and effectively).
Another useful example is FINN38 (a
spin-off from ING) that is developing
“Banking of Things” services by adding
payment capabilities to smart devices.
It is a thought-provoking initiative
which shows a possible direction for
how financial institutions can innovate
through business platforms that are
driven by IoT.

Information based on recent announcement of many public tenders for EV charging

The IoT payment revolution



As we have seen, the IoT Payment Revolution is now a certainty rather than a possibility.
Stemming from the rise in digital transactions, the growth in the number of connected devices,
and advances in AI, we see that IoT payments will become a key enabler for increasingly sought
after frictionless and invisible payments.
This will impact payment models. In particular, we expect a rise in the use of bank transfers
and digital currencies for making payments.
Key to the increased adoption of IoT payments will be trust: in the device, in the environment
in which the transaction takes place, in accountability, in security, in retaining control,
and in being able to reverse a transaction if anything goes wrong.
At Worldline, we continue to research these new growth drivers together with our clients and partners,
exploring and testing innovative use cases and technical solutions. We hope this paper has
helped you to understand the potential that IoT payments can offer as well as helping
you to formulate the actions you need to take now to prepare for this future.

Key takeaways
IoT payments
There is increasing growth in digital
transactions, connected devices and
the use of AI. This is resulting in the IoT
Payment Revolution where more and
more connected devices will make
payments autonomously on behalf
of people.

and invisible payments
IoT payments can enable
increasingly sought-after frictionless
and invisible payment experiences,
where consumers have to take
very few (or no) actions to
conduct a payment transaction.

IoT payment models
We expect that IoT payments will drive
the adoption of bank transfer and
digital currency payment models.

Specific considerations must be
addressed relating to trust. In particular,
both the device and the consumer must
be authenticated. We expect that
regulations will need to evolve to cater
for Object-Initiated Transactions.

Accountability for transactions
will continue to rest with individuals
or organisations who delegate devices
to make payments on their behalf.
Verification of delegation and the
ability to roll back unwanted
transactions will be important factors
to address.

Technology enablers
Use our radar of IoT payment
technology enablers to assess your
current readiness.

Business impact
Assess use cases based on the
expected adoption and the business
potential for your company in order
to determine where you should
invest now.


The IoT payment revolution

Authors and acknowledgments

This paper was prepared by the Worldline Scientific Community and authored by the following experts
from across the business:
David Daly,

Worldline Scientific Community Editor-in-Chief, UK
Tony Ducrocq,


Louise Freer-Jones,

Competitive Intelligence, UK
Dalila Hattab,

Head of Financial Services Lab, France
Colombe Herault,

Research Development and Innovation Manager, France
Gregory Herpe,

Project Manager IoT, France
Minh Le (Lead Author),

Head of Connected Vehicle & Emerging IoT Offerings, Netherlands
Jose Maria Lopez,

Head of Business Development Mobile Competence Center, Spain
Santi Ristol,

Mobile Competence Center Director, Spain
Joan Vicent Orenga Serisuelo,

Technical Director Mobile Competence Center, Spain
Peter Timmermans,

Innovation Champion New Technologies, Belgium
Tomas Garcia Zaragoza,

Product Management, Spain

We are also grateful to Gilles Grapinet, Wenlin Jin, Karim Jouhari, Yacine Kessaci, Nicolas Kozakiewicz,
Denis Lesieur, Olivier Maas, Johan Maes, Sebastian Ramatowski and Jeroen Vershuuren, who all provided
valuable insights and feedback during this paper’s preparation.

About the Worldline Scientific Community
The Worldline Scientific
Community identifies and
analyses key trends in society,
business and technology.
By predicting how these trends
will evolve, the community
creates valuable strategic
insights for our clients, helping
them to prepare for this future.

The community is personally
chaired by Worldline’s CEO
and Deputy CEO and is made
up of diverse technology and
business experts from across
the Group.

The IoT payment revolution


About Worldline
Worldline [Euronext: WLN] is the European leader
in the payments and transactional services
industry and #4 player worldwide. With its
global reach and its commitment to innovation,
Worldline is the technology partner of choice for
merchants, banks and third-party acquirers as
well as public transport operators, government
agencies and industrial companies in all sectors.
Powered by over 20,000 employees in more
than 50 countries, Worldline provides its clients
with sustainable, trusted and secure solutions
across the payment value chain, fostering their
business growth wherever they are. Services
offered by Worldline in the areas of Merchant
Services; Terminals, Solutions & Services;
Financial Services and Mobility & e-Transactional
Services include domestic and cross-border
commercial acquiring, both in-store and online,
highly-secure payment transaction processing,
a broad portfolio of payment terminals as well as
e-ticketing and digital services in the industrial
environment. In 2020 Worldline generated a
proforma revenue of 4.8 billion euros.

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