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Say it and Pay: The Rise of Voice-Enabled Payments and How They're Changing the Game

Payment innovation has used the body as a proxy for the payment experience. Voice-enabled payments allow users to directly command their devices to perform transactions, providing a frictionless payment experience.

Say it and Pay: The Rise of Voice-Enabled Payments and How They're Changing the Game

There is a lot of talk going on around innovation in payments. From mobile to contactless, payment methods have evolved dramatically in recent years.

Moreover, we have also noticed a growing trend in payments that has people using their bodies as a proxy for their payment experience. By either waving their hands or authenticating through their fingertips, more and more people begin to take advantage of technology. This article will focus on people using voice commands to make a transaction and the benefits of this innovative feature.

How to pay with your voice

First, let’s start by explaining how voice-enabled payments work. Similarly to paying with an online wallet, users must link their debit/credit card or bank account information to a particular device. In this case, we are talking about a voice-activated device. The difference is that the user can directly command their gadget to perform a transaction with their voice rather than through manual prompts.

The process is as follows: once customers choose their preferred payment app, they are greeted with a confirmation screen. Here, customers must authorise the transaction via a password or biometric authentication. After this, the payment recipient verifies the amount and sends an email, text, or notification with their confirmation.

The process goes as smoothly the other way around. A merchant can prompt their voice-activated device to send a money transfer request, and the customer will receive a notification to confirm the requested amount.

Voice automated payments

Banks and payment service providers (PSPs) have to continuously look for ways to make their customers’ payments experience as seamless as possible. What can be more frictionless than asking your phone to pay on your behalf? The likes of Google Voice Assistant or Siri can be used for initiating peer-to-peer (P2P) or business transactions. Of course, this fact is based on the existence of the two digital wallets, Google Pay and Amazon Pay; however, with more PSPs dipping their toes in the innovation pool, more is expected to come.

Voice-based payments trajectory

According to an OC&C Strategy report, there was over USD 2 billion worth of voice-settled payments in 2018. By 2030, the voice-based transactions industry will reach over USD 14.5 billion. This projected growth is based on increasing market demand.

The younger generation has a particular attraction to this type of payment. As reported by Mercado Group, youngsters prefer adding voice commands to their mobile banking experience, especially for the following types of payments:

  • 12% pay their bills by using voice commands
  • 10% send money to their peers with their voice
  • 6% research general banking information through voice-based prompts
  • 11% perform other types of payment-related activities.

Helping disabled people pay with their voice

Voice-based payments can also significantly help visually impaired individuals who rely on old-fashioned screen readers (software such as text-to-speech, sound icons, or Braille devices).

With voice-enabled technology, this category of disabled people can quickly look up their bank balance, order food, play music, and so much more.

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