Whitepaper “The future of payments”

The Internet of Things needs new payment solutions

The Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming increasingly important, enabling revolutionary, novel business models. This also means that the entire payment process must be automated and adapted to new IoT business models. Efficient, automated and real-time payment methods are necessary to realise these business models economically. The whitepaper "The future of payments: programmable payments in the IoT sector" gives an overview of possible procedures.

According to current estimates, around 75 billion devices will be linked via networks in the so-called Internet of Things (IoT) by 2025. This megatrend will permanently change the industry and bring about new, innovative business models. In order to exploit the associated growth potential, suitable payment processes are required. Currently existing methods generally require human intervention, at least for an authorisation. Micro payments are not economically feasible and full-scale real-time payments cannot be realised. However, in order to really raise the potential of IoT, fully automatic, autonomous payments between machines, so-called M2M payments, must be possible.

In the medium to long term, it is therefore necessary to establish a DLT-based digital euro as a means of payment: programmable payments could thus become a reality. Possible concepts, the underlying technologies and possible use cases are presented in the whitepaper "The future of payments: programmable payments in the IoT sector". It was created in a cooperation between CashOnLedger Technologies GmbH, the Digital Euro Association, the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center and PPI AG.

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Key findings of the whitepaper "The future of payments: programmable payments in the IoT sector":

  • To realise the full potential of IoT, payments must be efficient, automated and processed in real time within new business models. Currently, there is no payment process that fully meets these requirements. There are only a few approaches in this direction.
  • Due to its limitations, the current SEPA payment system is only eligible for a transitional period in conjunction with DLT-based solutions for IoT payments.
  • At first, payments within the IoT can be realised via a trigger solution. This is a technological connection between the SEPA system and a DLT-based application. The payment is triggered in the SEPA system; the DLT system is in charge of performance and data communication. However, this is only a technical bridge solution that does not yet represent a complete automation of payments.
  • A long-term solution is a DLT-based digital euro. It is also suitable for payments between machines (M2M payments).
  • The DLT-based digital euro has the potential to open up a world of new and previously unimaginable or unprofitable B2B models.
  • The whitepaper examines two use cases of IoT payments that can be made possible with programmable payments: an automated payment process in goods logistics and an asset-as-a-service or pay-per-use scenario using machine financing as an example.

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Anja Kamping


Anja Kamping
Managing Consultant

+49 160 97983948

Philipp Schröder


Philipp Schröder
Managing Consultant

+49 160 90829619