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A Thing A Bigger Thing

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Is VR commerce the next frontier in payments?

M ore than 12,000 people converged at the Los Angeles Convention Center May 4 and 5, 2018, to experience VRLA 2018, an expo produced by New Realities Inc. that features next-generation immersive and transformative technology. "People come to VRLA from all over the world to see the latest advancements in VR, AR, and everything related to immersive technology," expo organizers wrote.

You might ask, What does this have to do with payments? Plenty. One advancement featured at VRLA was VR (virtual reality) commerce. And Payscout CEO Cleveland Brown was tapped to give a talk on it at the show. Payscout, www.payscout.com , has made the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing privately held companies for four consecutive years. The company prides itself on serving 3,000 global merchants across all merchant risk verticals and processing billions of dollars annually. It also envisions a time coming soon when VR commerce transforms the payments landscape.

Retail and more

"We view virtual reality (and related emergent technologies, such as augmented and mixed reality) as the next frontier for commerce, and in the same way ecommerce disrupted retail, virtual reality commerce is going to disrupt ecommerce," Brown stated. "That's why we recently launched the first ever live, frictionless payments technology for VR retail that lets consumers shop and buy items in VR without having to remove their headset or reach for their wallet. The items then arrive at their doorstep. This is the first ever VR retail application of its kind — one that ties VR to the fulfillment of physical goods at your door — and we think it’s going to be a huge leap for the sector."

Brown pointed out that Payscout's VR commerce technology isn't limited to retail transactions. The company's new VR payments experience allows users to donate to charity in VR — in partnership with Visa. "This year, it was designed to help 2020 Olympic hopefuls reach their gold medal goals," Brown noted. "Next up, we are working on donations to political campaigns and other philanthropic efforts and commerce based initiatives around the globe. We think the possibilities are limitless for this sector."

Data from by ABI Research backs him up. The Oyster Bay, N.Y., consultancy projects that virtual reality in retail and marketing will generate $1.8 billion in 2022, driven by consumer awareness of VR in retail. "Payscout is determined to be at the forefront of this new frontier, leading the charge," Brown added.

Three key questions

Payscout has built live VR commerce use cases for retail/etail, nonprofit, sports and entertainment, and other sectors. However, Brown pointed out that VR commerce is not for every business owner at this time. He shaped his presentation at VRLA to help innovators ask the right questions to determine if they need a VR commerce strategy. He subsequently shared those questions with The Green Sheet as follows:

  1. Are you using storytelling to sell your products or services? If so, there is no equivalent, from a storytelling perspective, to virtual reality as a means to evoke empathy in the user/consumer.

  2. Do you use digital assets (images, videos, etc.) to promote your business? If so, you're much closer to launching a VR Commerce strategy than you think, because we work with companies to re-purpose existing 2D digital assets in 360-degree experiences.

  3. Is your company the type that continues to reinvent and enhance products on your current platform? VR, as a medium, is poised to revolutionize the consumer experience - so if your company prioritizes reinvention and enhancement, it is time to start thinking about your VR Commerce strategy.

To learn more, check out a video of Payscout Chief Operating Officer Juan Sotelo discussing and previewing VR commerce on Bloomberg Daybreak: Asia: www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2018-03-20/how-virtual-reality-will-change-retailing-video .


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