The Toronto Film Festival unfolds — “unspools,” perhaps — in its namesake city every fall, and has become the unofficial kickoff to “Oscar season,” where buzz and critical acclaim can help launch a film on its march through awards season.
This year, for example, films like the Robert Redford-starring Truth, about the fall of Dan Rather, Johnny Depp as a legendarily cruel Boston gangster in Black Mass, and Matt Damon in the lost-in-space opus The Martian, are already creating nominating buzz at the fest. But what’s this, you ask, have you stumbled onto the Indiewire blog, instead of the one run by AVPS, providing you with the up-to-date tech and finance news you’re used to?
Well, famous film fests, to wax alliterative, are multi-pronged beasts, and wide-ranging cultural events, and they’re no longer only about films. Which is why Visa, “in its 19th year of sponsorship of the Toronto International Film Festival, will showcase innovation and activation worthy of the red carpet.”
Quoting a Canadian VP of marketing for Visa, who explains in this Marketwired overview that “similar to stepping into a theatre, our onsite demos at the heart of the Festival, at Roy Thomson Hall, offer guests the ability to be transported in a fun way to experience the future of shopping.”
Visa was there, in other words, to show fest goers, and the press, ways that the world of payments will likely change, in the near-term future where The Martian is already set.
We’ve already told you about using Visa Checkout, to ease the experience of your customers while shopping on your website. In Toronto, Visa kept taking ease-of-checkout, and ease-of-payment, even further.
One highlight, according to the PaymentSource website, was a “a prototype of a car designed to initiate payments, the first step in a five-year plan of changing the way motorists pay for gas and other needs while in transit.”
“The in-car payments mechanism is not intended to be a portal to e-commerce,” the report continues, “drivers would not, for example, shop on Amazon.com while cruising down the highway.” But the article notes that the development of driverless car technology allows for the driver to do other things, including ordering food and gas in advance of the car’s arrival.
Or as described in Marketwired, “by 2020 it is estimated that more than 250 million vehicles worldwide will include some form of embedded connectivity. Visa’s Connected Car will showcase leading edge payment technologies while keeping busy on-the-go consumers in mind…The immersive experience demonstrates Visa’s vision of the future where consumers can seamlessly make many of their purchases without leaving the car.”
Visa also had “an immersive online shopping demonstration,” where festival patrons were able to “step in and be surrounded by 8-foot screens, transporting them into a virtual shopping environment. Attendees can choose between a Parisian-style bakery, complete with romantic music, bright colours, and beautiful pastries, or an old-style Country Western shop, with country tunes and wood accents. Consumers will navigate their way through the stores and select their purchases through touching the screens that surround them.”
Some interesting questions still apply, Payment Source notes, such as “if a motorist purchases fuel before arriving at the gas station, it’s not clear which category the sale would fall under. If the motorist buys fuel before crossing into another region to receive the fuel, there is a question of which location’s taxes apply.”
Which could be the future’s version of the battles over internet sales tax.
And as noted, the aforementioned Visa Checkout — available in the here and now — was rather ubiquitous around the #TIFF, as the fest is known and hashtagged.