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Enabling commerce across the Internet of Things

To help accelerate growth in IoT Commerce, Accenture and Mastercard are investigating and defining a common framework for commerce-enabled IoT devices.


Mastercard and Accenture believe the core capabilities in our proposed IoT Commerce Framework are key to the successful adoption and deployment by organizations of seamless and secure IoT Commerce solutions. By providing a set of principles for all ecosystem players and partners, the Framework is designed to propose the same interoperability and scale that we’ve come to expect from electronic payments.

A common framework will help build a ubiquitous, secure IoT Commerce experience. Here, in the first of two POVs we examine the first four capabilities in the framework:


  1. Devices

  2. Lifecycle Management

  3. Transactions

  4. Enablement & Management.

The second POV covers the final four capabilities:


  1. Loyalty & Rewards

  2. Technology

  3. Organizational

  4. Ongoing Regulatory and Governance

Each of these will be fundamental to equipment manufacturers, issuers, card networks and commerce service providers seeking to deploy IoT Commerce.

Eight components of the Framework

Devices: We’ve identified several categories of commerce-enabled IoT devices. Each of these categories may include IoT devices with various form factors ranging from devices with embedded sensors and firmware to devices with contactless or remote transactions capabilities that can autonomously make a purchase or generate purchase requisition for user approval via an app on a smartphone or tablet, or via a dedicated UI on the product.

Lifecycle Management: Entails the acquisition, management and termination of the customer relationship, and the merchant’s relationship with the commerce service provider, including a merchant acquisition strategy and common standards like NFC to help drive consumer adoption and scale.

Transactions: Whether the IoT Commerce journey begins with a smart appliance or a connected car, it must allow for a consumer to efficiently and seamlessly complete their desired transaction. As the digital world continues to evolve, customer expectations of swiftness within commerce will only increase—from minimal clicks, to one-click, to no clicks. IoT Commerce must compete against several existing methods, namely web and in-app.

Enablement & Management: the capabilities that commerce service providers, OEMs and issuers require to help enable IoT Commerce. Capabilities include adding the commerce function into an existing commercial product by modifying the physical and technical specifications. Also to be considered is how various payment products are stored by the consumer in the IoT device, and the critical security of this data.

Loyalty & Rewards: Loyalty has a broad reach. It can start with a customer’s loyalty to using a device to facilitate payments or initiate a transaction. Then there’s loyalty to a consumer’s payment preferences as well as merchants they feel comfortable shopping at. Device manufacturers and payment providers will hold one of the most sensitive components of loyalty, due to their foundational role as gatekeepers of credentials (payment cards, addresses, preferences, etc.).

Technology: With all the convenience, control, and commerce that comes with IoT, the technological systems and processes behind them will need to adapt accordingly. Thoughtful, end-to-end consideration, development, and alignment will be required in order to ensure a successful commerce ecosystem.

Organization: There are clear organizational functions that are needed to fully support the development of IoT Commerce. To harness its potential to deliver huge gains in efficiency organizations should consider having an enterprise-wide strategy for integration. Organizations can work to standardize, drive security and scalability, and avoid allowing a patchwork of different solutions, platforms and data that do not mesh together.

Ongoing Regulatory and Governance: Within IoT Commerce the need for a secure environment is paramount. New methods of authentication must also heed the confidence of all players. A key concern across the spectrum of IoT Commerce will also be the potential shifts in liability as consumers store multiple financial credentials on multiple devices.

Toward Seamless IoT Commerce

In these POVs we’ve demonstrated the need for a uniform framework which all stakeholders in the IoT Commerce ecosystem can help develop and use to roll out their offerings. Because some of the capabilities required are fundamental to all participants, we believe there’s an urgent requirement for standardization to help confirm the secure interoperability of IoT devices, at scale.