Like it or not, drone-based eCommerce is coming. The big players like Amazon and UPS are already making headway into aerial delivery systems, mostly to save money but also to cut down on roadway congestion and harmful emissions from road-based delivery vehicles. And with this new delivery format come the usual concerns of stolen, undelivered or misdelivered packages.
Payments processor Worldpay has come up with an ingenious solution to combat these issues with a new prototype system that secures proper payment before completing deliveries.
The system involves a portable helipad type mat that is issued to the customer. Each helipad mat is tied to a customer’s credit card (Europay, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, and other contactless payment cards). As the drone is about to make delivery, it would communicate with using EMV contactless payment card technology to verify the identity of the recipient, verify its location and to authorize payment. Once it’s verified, it sends a signal back to the retailer and unlocks the drone’s payload.
The system was designed to work with a variety of drone vehicles, which would aid retailers looking into aerial delivery solutions. The verification system would benefit customers by cutting down on the growing occurrence of misdelivered or undelivered packages.
Greg Worch, senior vice president and head of business development for global enterprise e-commerce in North America for Worldpay said, ” In the next two to five years, drone delivery will be a reality. It will be a common experience. There’s a lot of excitement about this.”
By 2024, 80% of all deliveries will be made by autonomous craft. The drone delivery industry in the US alone has grown from a $40 million industry in 2012 to $1 billion in 2017.