What does the Future of Payments look like?

Collaborators: Suraj P Suresh, New Moray L.E.T.S & Discord XR Design Community, Simon Beeson (Architect/Educator)



This is a speculative design project in collaboration with the New Moray Local Exchange and Trading System ​(L.E.T.S) to adapt their daily activities to Augmented Reality


Now how can one go about understanding how the future of payments would look like?



Speculative Design

To understand the most probable future, I'm using speculative design methodology. It helps us prepare for challenges and shape a more responsible future.

Design fiction allows us to imagine unrealized objects and alternative values. I combined the speculative design practices of futurologists Stuart Candy and David Mayman.

So I went on to map out what could be the possible scenarios of future payment systems. 

If you see the map below, digital eye-wear payments (VR/AR) is in the preferable zone which we could see happening in the next 3-5 years competing with the smartphone payments market.

No one can predict the future, so how can we take calculated risks?

Is the hype real?

Models like Gartner’s Hype Curve help by providing an objective map to understand the real risks and opportunities of innovation. This aids in avoiding premature adoption, giving up too soon, adopting too late, or holding on too long.

Now I know that the direction to go about is towards Augmented and Virtual Reality, and I came across New Moray L.E.T.S (N.M.L) a time bank that operates in Forres, Scotland. A time bank is a group of people who provide services within the community for a local currency that is only accepted by the members. 

The objective is to keep wealth in the locality. There are over 150 local businesses and community members registered. Currently, they operate on a Facebook group posting what they have to offer and what they need.

They were interested in my approach and were curious about how their operations would look in AR/VR.

👤User Research

To better understand the needs of the members of the community I invited them to a workshop that I organized.

Workshop with the community members
Data analysis from the workshop

📊 Qualitative & Quantitative Data Collection:

To further understand the user needs and behaviour I made use of various engagement tools to talk to local businesses and community members to identify similar trends.

Data Collection from user surveys

Engagement tools

🔑 Key Insights


of local businesses and community members want to purchase locally


of local businesses and community members actively make choices to purchase locally


of community members stated that convenience is the key factor before they make a purchase


of local business owners are willing to try and incorporate new technologies to sell their products

😞User Pain Points



The above design is an interface that directly answers the pain points that the current members of the community face while putting up offers and accepting requests.

But now one question remains!

How does one interact with such a system????


Case Studies

CASE 01: UXDA (view)

UXDA is a financial UX Design agency that’s 100% focused on financial services. Their objective is to humanize the financial industry by improving customer experience with emotions. This case is their design concept on how banking in XR would look like.


MasterCard unveiled an augmented reality shopping experience with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., incorporating Masterpass and Identity Check Mobile with iris authentication for safe and seamless payments.


GFT Technologies is an international provider of innovative IT solutions and IT-based new business concepts. This case is their design on how banking in XR would look like.



From the above case studies and general resources, interactions in Mixed Reality can be broken down into a few basic low-level gestures.

1. Pointing:

The participant uses their finger to point at objects in the extended reality area to select and de-select, this gesture is one of the most natural gestures that come to a person intuitively.

2. Sliding:

The participant uses their finger to adjust a slider but a lack of haptic feedback may cause a negative experience for the participant.

3. Touch/Press/Tap:

The participant uses their finger to press another natural and intuitive gesture that has been commonly used on touchpads, and touch screens.

4. Pinch & Pull:

This gesture can be used together or individually, pinching and pulling are used for selecting and dragging objects from one place to another and breaking the gesture places the object in the new space. Pinch gestures could also be used for zooming in and zooming out.

5. Eye Tracking:

The headset tracks the participant’s eye movement and selects the highlighted object.

6. Voice:

The participant speaks for certain activities/tasks like search and edit.

7. World Locked content:

When the xR content is locked into a participant’s environment i.e. content doesn’t move when the participant moves, such content is called world-locked content.

8. Body locked content:

When digital content stays static to your body i.e. it moves when you move, it is then called body-locked content. Content can be locked onto your head, chest or even hands.


Design Sprint

To better identify how payments would look in Mixed Reality, I conducted a design sprint with people from diverse backgrounds in marketing, motion design, development and fintech analysts.



📋 Feedback:



🎮 Interactions

Set 1:

Set 2:

Set 3:

Set 4:

📋 Feedback:

Every participant I showed the video prototype was super excited, and they had to try out the interactions by themselves.

One of the participants even suggested that I could her use left hand as the right click (similar to a computer mouse) and left-handed people could switch the commands based on their dominant hand.

Feel free to schedule some time with me to understand some of the limitations and further scope of this project or if you have any other questions. 

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