The exciting world of credit card terminals is coming to VR


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Bloomberg via Getty Images
Bloomberg via Getty Images

In maybe the most boring VR announcement to date, payment processing company WorldPay has decided to bring its services to virtual worlds.

The UK-based company, one of the leading payment processors worldwide, used the HTC Vive for its prototype. In their system, to pay for an in-game item you use the Vive's controllers to pick it up, revealing a bubble with its price. Staring at the virtual price tag for a few seconds allows you to make the purchase, which you do with a virtual version of your real credit or debit card. You then hold your card over a VR payment terminal. And, if you need to type in a PIN, number bubbles pop up all around you in random order so that onlookers can't guess your code.

All in all, this VR payment is almost exactly like real life payments, which doesn't seem terribly innovative. As we've moved away from using credit cards in real life purchases, one would think that there would be a better option for buying things in VR.

Along with gaming purchases, WorldPay says it's also interested in working with companies like Ikea that have started experimenting with VR in their own sales. A useful application once we phase out bulky VR headsets and controllers that would make real life payments cumbersome.

Market research conducted by the company suggests the demand for VR payments will vary a lot by country. While 93 percent of Chinese citizens surveyed said they could see themselves using VR payments, only 35 percent of UK participants did. And zero percent of the people writing this article envision making VR payments anytime soon.

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