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Connected technologies ranging from wearable devices, chatbots, connected appliances and autonomous vehicles are becoming increasingly integrated into our daily lives. These technologies offer significant value when it comes to how we travel, for example when booking flights and hotels, arranging ground transportation, recommending restaurants, tracking weather, and effortlessly planning itineraries.
Consumers are open to the shifts that connected technologies can bring to travel and realize the potential value that they offer. However, they also have real concerns over trust and privacy, and how their personal data is managed. Worldpay recently examined how consumers feel about the advancements in connected devices and how comfortable they are with the implications for security, privacy and payments in travel. Here are some of the report’s findings:
Consumers are familiar with connected technologies: Worldpay found that one in three people worldwide are very familiar with the term “Internet of Things” (IoT) and how it might affect everyday life. Consumers are most familiar with connected home devices such as Amazon Dot and Nest thermostats, as well as virtual assistants such as Alexa or Google Now.
They realize the convenience that these technologies can offer: Many consumers agree that allowing chatbots or personal assistants to plan travel is valuable. Three out of four respondents said that they’d consider allowing a virtual assistant to purchase an airline ticket, while 41 percent said that they’d at least probably consider the option. When Worldpay asked respondents if they would let a virtual travel assistant purchase a fast-track pass if they were running late to the airport, forty percent said that they would consider letting their car pre-order airport services.
Enthusiasm for connected technologies varies from country to country: According to Worldpay, consumers in developing countries are more open to virtual assistants taking control of itineraries. Ninety-four percent of respondents in China, 89 percent of those in Brazil, and 65 percent of those in the UK said they would use virtual assistants to book entertainment while on holiday. Respondents in China were also more likely than those in the U.S. and UK to strongly consider letting their virtual assistant change their travel itinerary based on the weather or personal preferences.
There are concerns around privacy and fraud protection: Issues around privacy and security pose one of the biggest problems for consumer adoption, especially given the high cost of travel-based transactions and the association with fraud for purchases made abroad. Almost three-quarters of respondents agreed that they had concerns that smart device manufacturers might share their personal data, while over half said that they were uncomfortable sharing their personal financial information with a chatbot or personal assistant in order to get a better service. Meanwhile, three-quarters of respondents are worried about a connected device being hacked.
Consumers demand a high level of control over their connected devices: They aren’t fully ready to give complete autonomy to their devices. Worldpay found that 70 percent of respondents want final say on any payments made via connected technologies, while only 29 percent of respondents said they would be comfortable giving their payment details to a bot or personal assistant for use on their behalf. Meanwhile, about half of those polled would prefer fixed limits for how much a connected device can spend on their behalf, rather than the machine making decisions based on their lifestyle and previous behaviour.
To learn more about consumer’s attitudes toward connected devices, download Worldpay’s report, “The Connected Traveller.”