The Internet of Things is notoriously insecure — unsecured, or poorly secured IoT devices have contributed to a number of cyberattacks, and these are on the rise as the number of devices increases. There are more than 8 billion connected devices today, with over 20 billion estimated for 2020.
Even more worrying is the number of payment instruments connected to the IoT. A device being taken over is bad enough, but payment information being compromised on a vast scale would make it far worse. This nightmare scenario is growing less likely because of the rise of tokenized data, which even if intercepted, is worthless to the hacker. This is thanks to Visa and other major players in the payments ecosystem, who are overseeing a move away from plastic cards and even 16-digit primary account numbers or PANs, into the world of digital, tokenized, faster payments.
Visa’s payments network is vast, and processed some 1,700 transactions per second in 2016. (This scale is often used to show how slow and inefficient blockchain-based payments are by comparison.) So the transformation will not happen overnight. Mark Jamison, global head of innovation and design at Visa, joined Bank Innovation 2018 in San Francisco earlier this month to discuss how Visa is approaching this challenge, and the rapidly evolving payments landscape generally.