Invisible payments are a current buzzword in the payments sectors, but what does this term actually mean? While we dissect it, we also explore the role it is playing in both connecting and transforming ecosystems.

What Are Invisible Payments?

Invisible payments refer to payments made using a virtual card. Forget about debit and credit cards, and cash, invisible payments are made via third-party or branded mobile apps which store your banking details for when you might need them on the go.

These payments are designed to cut down on time and give way to an efficient and hassle-free payment process. Instead of presenting your card at the checkout counter, you can make your way out of the store with the goods purchased and the payment automatically executed using advanced technology activated during your shopping experience.

Consider Uber for example, when you complete your ride the amount is automatically taken off your bank card and loaded on the app, requiring no card payment or cash exchange.

Invisible Payments in the Retail Sector

An app transforms the phone into a mini checkout, allowing customers to scan their goods and accept the payment before making their way out the door. Wasting no time and dealing with no queues, the experience makes shopping a breeze. In a study done at a Grab+Go at 1 Churchill Place, customers’ checkout experiences were reduced from 5 minutes to 27 seconds.

A similar concept, the Amazon “Just Walk Out” concept is brought to life in its Amazon Go store in Seattle where computer vision, deep learning, and sensors detect when items are removed from shelves and charge the customers accordingly, allowing them to walk out without having to go through a traditional check out process.  

Invisible Payments in the Transport Sector

Car manufacturers are taking things one step further and integrating invisible payment technology in the actual designs. Jaguar, for instance, has partnered with Shell on several car models to allow drivers to use built-in touchscreen technology and an app to pay for fuel.

Citroen is also embracing this technology and working on adding contactless payment technology to several models’ car keys. By simply tapping the terminal with the key, payments can be made, with balances reviewed and topped up through an associated app.

Invisible Payments in the Crypto Sector

A field where these payments have proven useful is in the peer-to-peer operated crypto payments sector. With technology that facilitates the transfer of funds from one person’s mobile app to another, the payment process is greatly broadened, bypassing international borders and third-party fees.

Leveraging the ease of cryptocurrencies, apps like Oobit are facilitating payments from one user to another, often requiring little more than a mobile number. This works for in store and online payments or transferring money to family overseas.

The Reality

This invisible payments technology proves promising for convenience and ease of use, however, a few more developments will need to be accomplished before we are likely to adopt it entirely in our day-to-day lives. The technology is there, it's simply a matter of time before we start using it.

Oobit Technologies Pte, 50 Raffles Place #37-00 Singapore Land Tower, Singapore (048623). is a company registered in Singapore (no:201716443G), that has been approved as Appointed Representative of Oobit Technologies OÜ, Harju maakond, Tallinn, Lasnamäe linnaosa, Väike-Paala tn 2, 11415, (no: 14852617 ). Which is authorized and regulated by the FIU (no: FVR001421 and FRK001304).