China leads the way in adoption of VR technology.
China is blazing the trail as the global leader in VR and AR technology currently. Based on the new research from Worldpay, almost 100% of Chinese consumers surveyed say they've tried AR or VR technology at least once, and more than half of these technologies at least once per week.
Outside of China, however, interest in VR technology is growing more slowly. In Australia, for example, less than a quarter of survey respondents (22%) say they've used VR technology at some point, and 14% describe themselves as early adopters. It's a similar situation in Japan, where only 19% have tried VR technology - the least of any market surveyed by Worldpay.
At the same time, Worldpay's research does indicate that APAC is slowly but surely beginning to follow China's lead. Sixty-one percent of Australian survey respondents think VR and AR could someday change the way we shop; and in Japan, 70% of consumers say would like to see VR and AR technology used in retail apps.
As VR / AR stands ready to change the way we shop, various players in the retail space are investigating what the future of payments might look like. In May 2017, Google announces that its voice assistant program Google Assistant can now help users make payments through third-party apps or send money to their friends. Hands-free, voice-activated payments have the potential to enable a new fashion of VR shopping, in which the customer is fully immersed within a brand's virtual world and can make a purchase without entering any credit card or personal details, or even needing to physically click a "make payment" button.
Researchers at Worldpay are also investigating how shoppers can pay using a credit or debit card while remaining immersed within a virtual environment. We've created a proof of concept that provides virtual shoppers with the same levels of convenience and security they expect when paying in-store or online. With the right payment experience - shoppers will get a compelling, immersive and seamless VR experience; and merchants will have more chances to increase customer loyalty and bring in sales.