Technology

Drone deliveries could support contactless payment to fight fraud

Worldpay has created a concept system that uses drones and their landing mats to verify deliveries.

As drone parcel delivery moves closer to reality, payment processing firm Worldpay has unveiled a concept contactless payment system built into drones and their landing pads to help combat fraud.

The proof of concept system works by storing a user’s payment details in their drone landing pad, and when the parcel-carrying drone arrives those details are read automatically, verified by the seller and then the delivery is released.

The idea is to help combat instances of parcel fraud, confirming parcels are being delivered to the right place and providing proof of delivery.

Worldpay’s Motie Bring said: “There is undoubtedly a huge potential market for drone delivery when it becomes a reality. Along with cost-cutting benefits, drones could also be the answer to reducing congestion and pollution, and enabling faster delivery times.

“Our data suggests that consumers are becoming increasingly open to the notion of drone delivery, but there are still several logistical hurdles that need to be addressed before it becomes mainstay.

“The weight of the package and flying distance both remain potential barriers to adoption, in addition to ensuring that parcels are delivered to the correct customer.

“This is where payment technology will play an important role. By verifying the identity of the recipient before releasing the parcel, our proof of concept is an example of how technology can address the common problems associated with home delivery.

“The volume of parcels in transit will only increase, as shopping online increasingly becomes the channel of choice for UK consumers. Merchants should, therefore, explore new ways of innovating their supply chain capabilities, to keep pace with demand.”

Worldpay says its technology is “drone agnostic”, meaning it could be clipped on to any drone model without altering its design.

However, the company is yet to reveal any future plans for the technology.

Amazon is among the firms to have already begun testing drones as a viable delivery option over short distances. The e-commerce and technology giant has run a trial in Cambridgeshire.

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