Researchers at Worldpay are investigating the use of drone technology to help meet the demands of the booming eCommerce market, it was announced today. The payments provider has unveiled a prototype design that could help pave the way for drone delivery around the world.
Worldpay’s Drone Pay proof-of-concept uses EMV contactless* payment card technology to verify the identity of the recipient, ensuring a parcel is delivered to the correct address. This technology is embedded into a drone landing pad, which is issued to the customer in the form of a doormat. When the drone lands to drop off the package, the card details stored within the doormat are read automatically. If the information matches that of the correct recipient, the parcel is released.
Recent research conducted by Opinium for the payments company suggests that European consumers are ready for drone delivery to become a reality, as public perception towards the concept becomes increasingly positive. Spanish shoppers are ahead of the curve, with 42% of consumers ready to embrace drone delivery. Sweden and Germany are not far behind, with 38% and 37% comfortable with the technology respectively. However, Dutch consumers are lagging behind the rest of Europe, with just 32% open to the notion of delivery via drone.
Appetite for having a drone collect unwanted items is also growing, with 37% of shoppers across Europe willing to try the technology for returns. This suggests that the ease and convenience that sky-bound services could offer will outweigh the concerns surrounding autonomous aerial vehicles. And with EU-wide aviation safety rules on the horizon, which will provide clear and consistent laws for the use of drones in European airspace, unmanned aerial deliveries are on track to becoming a reality.
Mark Fleming, General Manager for EMEA, Global Enterprise eCommerce at Worldpay said: “Our data reveals that consumers are becoming increasingly open to the notion of drone delivery, suggesting there is a huge potential market when it becomes a reality. For consumers, it could offer far greater convenience when shopping online, and for merchants the technology would help provide an excellent shopping and last-mile delivery experience to customers. Drones could also be the answer to reducing congestion and pollution, and enabling faster cross-border delivery times.
“The volume of parcels in transit will only increase, as eCommerce increasingly becomes the channel of choice for European shoppers. Merchants should therefore explore new ways of innovating their supply chain capabilities, to keep pace with demand.”