Imagine visiting a shopping mall in virtual reality, or using audio commands from the comfort of your car to order and pay for a pizza while on your way home from the office. This could be the future of retail. For those fortunate enough to attend the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Visa offered the chance to experience both, and what's more, the technology behind these experiences may be closer to reality than we think.

The future of retail: soon we'll be able to make purchases, using our cars

With the number of connected cars rising quickly, and the Ontario government announcing a new pilot to allow autonomous vehicles testing on its roads in 2016, it's only natural to consider the possibility that drivers and passengers will welcome the opportunity to make purchases more seamlessly from the comfort of their vehicles. According to Gartner research, 250 million connected vehicles will be on the road by 2020, and Visa is prepared to capitalize on the opportunity. "We're excited to display our Connected Car for the first time in Canada," said Derek Colfer, Head of Technology & Digital Innovation at Visa Canada in a press release. "As the number of internet-enabled cars on the road increases and internet-connected things proliferate, we will continue to provide Canadians with innovative ways to pay for everyday purchases from the car such as gasoline and drive-through purchases while maintaining driving interoperability and payment security that consumers expect from us."

TIFF festival-goers experience shopping in virtual reality

And if paying for takeout with your car already seems passé, how about visiting a shopping mall without actually stepping outside? With the help of eight-foot video screens, Visa gave TIFF festival-goes the chance to experience a future of retail in which people can shop virtually from the comfort of their offices or homes. Attendees chose between one of two locations, and were able to navigate their way through the stores, selecting and purchasing goods by tapping the screens around them.

Visa teams up with Canadian NFC technology for 'Future of Fundraising Pilot'

Visa is also teaming up with a Canadian near field communication (NFC) mobile application company to offer the first contactless donations in Canadian fundraising history. The pilot project between Visa Canada, The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation and Mobeewave will give foundation staff the ability to collect donations using a standalone smartphone. "More than ever, our donors are looking for easy, convenient and secure ways to donate. And as a social enterprise focused on conquering cancer in our lifetime, we are looking for every opportunity to increase our fundraising capacity while ensuring a donor experience that is second to none," explained Paul Alofs, President and CEO, The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.

Define tomorrow's future retail trends: Discover Ontario's world-leading financial technology sector

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