Press Release

Dutch consumers worry Virtual Reality will make us more anti-social

Worldpay creates VR proof of concept to support seamless secure payments in a virtual world

May 25, 2017

25th May 2017 – Amsterdam — Despite their appetite for Virtual Reality (VR) experiences, Dutch consumers worry that widespread VR adoption will come at the expense of genuine human interaction. New research from Worldpay, a global leader in payments, has found that 41% of consumers surveyed in the Netherlands believe people may become more anti-social as the popularity of VR increases.

Adoption is also being held back by the high cost of VR devices, with 50% of respondents to the research citing this as their top concern when it comes to VR purchases. Security is of nearly equal concern to Dutch consumers, with 41% saying this is their biggest worry regarding making payments in a VR world.

On a more fundamental level, more than one third (39%) of respondents admit they cannot yet see how VR will benefit their everyday lives and 27% say they have no need for the technology.

Despite these reservations, 38% of Dutch adults surveyed believe VR will eventually be used by everyone. Confident in the hype, if not the technology itself, 44% believe Augmented Reality (AR) and VR technologies will explode and one day become as popular as the smartphone.

There is also a strong appetite for VR within more traditional shopping experiences. For instance, 49% of respondents believe VR has the ability to change the way we shop and 45% would like to see VR used in more stores today. Although, three quarters (75%) say that the ability to visualise and experience a product or experience in VR/AR would not change their likelihood to impulse buy.

Commenting on the findings, Rogier de Boer, VP of Business Development for EMEA at Worldpay said: “Although consumer appetite for VR is growing, there is a long way to go before the technology goes mainstream in The Netherlands. In addition to scepticism about the value of VR, consumers are uneasy about storing their payment details in a virtual world. However, it’s worth remembering that people only recently became comfortable with mobile banking and shopping on our smartphones. Consumers just need a bit more time to get acquainted with making payments in VR, and companies have a responsibility to ease their transition by offering a seamless and secure shopping experience.”

To help overcome the perceived security barrier, researchers at Worldpay are investigating how shoppers can pay using a credit or debit card while remaining immersed within a virtual environment. The global payments processor has created a proof of concept, which provides the same levels of convenience, and security that shoppers have in-store and online, without needing to leave the virtual world.

The prototype design uses Host Card Emulation (HCE) to virtualize the purchasing process. The payment uses EMV* technology. For purchases under €25, the prototype works in the same way a contactless payment would – with a tap of the (virtual) card across a (virtual) card machine. For purchases over €25, Worldpay has created a technology called AirPIN. This first of its kind allows the consumer to see a range of numbers whilst immersed in the virtual world, and then collect the four numbers that make up their PIN, one by one, using their virtual controller.

Commenting on the proof of concept, de Boer added: “Innovation is what drives us and our clients. As technology moves on, so do the needs of consumers. As a leading payments company, it is our responsibility to consider where the next generation of payments will take place. We have built this prototype to provide a seamless, secure payment option for consumers in a virtual world. The benefits for merchants experimenting with virtual and augmented reality could be significant. While it is very early stages in its development, we believe that the sky is the limit when it comes to the industries which will find this technology useful. As more companies experiment with VR/AR in their endeavour to drive higher customer engagement, they need to consider if VR technology can support purchases as well. Whatever sales channel, it’s vital to make the payment process both slick and secure for customers. A compelling, immersive and seamless VR experience may even have the capability to increase sales.”

* EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, and is a global standard for credit and debit cards that uses computer chips to authenticate (and secure) chip-card transactions.

About the data
The research was conducted by research house Opinium in March 2017 and interviewed 16,000 consumers who have heard about Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality in Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, United States of America and United Kingdom.

About Worldpay
Worldpay is a leading payments company with global reach. We provide an extensive range of technology-led payment products and services to around 400,000 customers, enabling their businesses to grow and prosper. We manage the increasing complexity of the payments landscape for our customers, allowing them to accept the widest range of payment types around the world. Using our network and technology, we are able to process payments from geographies covering 99% of global GDP, across 146 countries and 126 currencies. We help our customers to accept more than 300 different payment types.

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Nitesh Khetani
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