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Drone-powered payment scheme announced

27 July 2018 - 12:15 by Mike Price

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People who order products via safe shopping online could soon be paying for them through a drone, according to Internet Retailing.

This comes after Worldpay pulled back the curtains on a trial of a brand new platform which will let consumers collect packages with ease and minimise the likelihood of a theft occurring.

Parcels which are left outside a shopper’s property after they are delivered are clearly in a more vulnerable position than would otherwise be the case. Parcels can also be intercepted by scammers posing as the legitimate recipient, leading to problems with the process of shopping online. 

But thanks to the convergence of drone and contactless payment technologies, it could be possible to eradicate this altogether.

The idea is that when a delivery drone arrives with a package onboard, it will only release its cargo once a valid payment card has been presented to a built-in contactless reader.

If the card is not present, or the wrong card is used, then it will simply fly off again and ensure that valuable products do not fall into the wrong hands.

A multitude of different major retailers, including Amazon, are in the process of developing drones which are large and powerful enough to deliver packages to customers over long distances. Further down the line, it seems almost inevitable that fully autonomous UAVs will be making deliveries on a large scale, at which point a system such as this could be even more useful.

Since most people have contactless payments cards, or built in chips capable of achieving the same thing on their smartphones, it should be easy to adopt this scheme with confidence.

The promise of improved security and a reduced chance of fraud will appeal to consumers and retailers alike, which could prompt further investment.