How does voice payment technology works, how many people use it, and is it a revolution in banking that will change the future?
The era of Connected Customers
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Have you heard about Connected Customers? People who are continually linked to information flows and services via smartphones, wearable devices, social networks. They need a just-in-time response from everything digital around them. And Connected Banking? Connected banking means better customer experience because of closer relations between customers and banks, a higher level of trust, and openness. Being connected is a mindset that makes banks reimagine what services they are offering and whether their input is enough for clients. In such a way, new services appear and the banking sector begins to apply AI, use voice technology in banking not only to satisfy their clients’ needs but also to stand out and follow a socially responsible way of serving. They work not only to provide services and receive payments but to help, support, and recommend. An example of a country, which pays a lot of attention to it is Australia, an active contributor to the digitization of the financial industry and wiring the country with technologies.
That’s why technology in the financial industry is the first and foremost helpful hand for clients. In a client-oriented society, developments and improvements are made for clients. Banks that are going through technology changes will experience benefits, a good reputation, and more clients.
How do voice recognition technology change banks?
What do people purchase autonomous voice assistants for? One of the most frequent functions these assistants perform for owners is:
- searching quick facts
- asking for directions
- product or service searches
- for business
Adding items to a shopping cart takes 26% and making purchases is at 25%. So, people use solutions like google voice payment for banking purposes and online shopping. The development of AI and machine learning is expected to leverage the quality of voice recognition software. For the financial industry, voice payments bring new changes as the number of phone calls to the banks reduces, people visit branches less often – everybody tends to pay bills online. Some statistics say that there would be no need to hire people for the position of a bank assistant as their work will be replaced with robotic systems and data-over-voice technology solutions. Paying bills by voice increases the level of customer experience. Everything which is automated and allows you to solve issues on the go is excellent as it saves time and money. People adore things in some clicks, and today they can reach any information or services just saying it to the device.
Voice Payments Software on the Market
Voice payments are still not widespread completely. However, Business Insider’s report on voice payments estimates that there will be 77.9 million users of voice payments by 2022. Let’s have a look at the companies that support voice recognition payments.
Tesla is linking cars to a connected home with the help of data-over-voice technology. And, why not link cars to bank accounts? Tesla, in partnership with Alexa, is searching for voice technology solutions for Tesla models. With the help of Alexa smart systems, they are going to provide drivers of cars with the option to use voice assistants to pay for the fuel at gas stations in the U.S. The transaction uses an Alexa pay account and drivers do not need to swipe their credit cards or log in. Imagine you are driving fast to your child’s school performance and once you remind yourself you had to place a monthly sum for your credit card and today’s the last day. You call Alexa or Siri to check the balance on your bank account and conduct payment right now. Or you can call your touch screen stereo if your smartphone’s battery is dead. Easy payment is done only with the power of your voice!
Creating Alexa – a cloud-based voice service, Amazon made it possible for its users to add products to a wish list, re-order items, check their order status, and more of the convenient features only by giving a voice command. Among the features, Alexa offered to pay for the products and services using your voice.
IoT technology and wearables make shopping and online payments impressively easy. Google voice assistant allows users to shop at the nearby store. Venmo allows peer-to-peer transfers. Alexa can help with paying off credit card bills. Amazon users can ask their assistant “Alexa, what time is my bill due?” And, how much bills cost and what’s the difference in amount with previous bills. Users can also set up notifications not to miss the deadline of payments. They can trigger payments via Alexa by asking “Pay my electricity bill”. During the conference Money2020, Amazon announced that people whose utility relates to the Paymentus Instant Payment Network (700 billers) will soon be able to receive notifications and know when their bills are due with the help of Alexa assistant.
Amazon’s voice-based payments technology became valuable for banks as well. The ones that adopted this technology are:
- in 2016 – Capital One US
- in 2017 – National Australia Bank, American Express US, US Bank, USAA, Enrichment CU US, Ally Bank US
- in 2018 – Westpac Australia, HDFC Bank India
The banks allow voice commands for account enquiries, spending tracking reports, payments, financial news search, and more.
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There is one more great voice assistant. Google Assistant and its Voice Match are also some of the benefits for Android and iOS users. Xcel energy developed Google action to make bill payment easier. Users of Google Assistant-enabled devices can ask Google action to show monthly due dates and balance information. Need to pay bills? Just say “ Hey Google, pay my Xcel energy bill”. Xcel provides 3 million homes with electricity. The question of saving energy is always relevant and the company noticed the positive impact of using voice assistants in payments.
The matter is, voice command solutions allow users to stay aware of the amount of consumption with energy-saving tips. E Source reports 60% of people said that they were interested in a utility app that uses voice-activated skills. 44% of people reported that time spent with smart speakers replaced time spent with radio and 35% reduced their time spent with smartphones. 59% of surveyed users would encourage their friends to use voice assistant technology.
Among the banks that became users of Google Home voice payments in fintech are:
- in 2017 – Starling Bank UK
- in 2018 – OCDC Singapore
These banks have possibilities of account enquiries, financial news and advice, and payment initiation by your voice.
Siri is a voice payment assistant that sends payments between users or pays bills with the help of spoken commands. How does it work? According to the Oracle documentation, by enabling users to make voice-based payments to registered payees from their mobile devices. Thus, Apple users can voice-command to launch Siri and, then, use the other commands to initiate a money transfer to payees. This is done without even physically accessing the banking application. Siri payments can be made by matching the nickname of the payee registered in the system. The process of payment authentication uses a touch ID as a passcode.
Banks can integrate Siri into their iPhone and iPad apps, and among the ones that already implemented Siri voice recognition are:
- in 2016 – PayPal US, Monzo
- in 2017 – ICICI India, OCBC Singapore, Barclays UK
- in 2018 – ING Australia, Bank of America US
Mostly, banks use Siri to perform voice remittance, account enquiries, and payments enhancing user experience and keeping up with the fintech trends.
Meet Bixby, another voice banking technology. “Bixby is for everyone!”, the web page states. Bixby is also an assistant, the key device of which is Samsung. Its main role is to enhance your user experience by working with the apps you like and helping you do your daily tasks easily and engagingly. Among Bixby’s benefits one can find:
- Routines that are time and effort saving
- Simpler “Quick Commands” option
- Connected life (voice requests management)
- More efficient work done
To add, Bixby is on the list of most used voice-activated banking assistants that have an option of voice-enabled payments. For example, it was integrated into banking
- in 2017 – KEB Hana Bank, Shinhan Bank, and Woori Bank These banks use Bixby in account enquiries, spending tracking, financial news, and voice payments
Also, there was Microsoft’s payment assistant on the market. But, it has experienced bad fortune. Let’s have a look at Cortana.
Cortana was launched in 2014 as a virtual assistant for Windows phone users. Cortana was named after the advanced artificial intelligence guide in one of Microsoft’s games. The fact is, we no longer experience Microsoft OS on smartphones as it was abandoned but Cortana is still available on both Android and iOS platforms. However, Cortana wasn’t as popular as the other voice assistants on the market. According to BBC News, “Microsoft has made a sensible decision to double down on Cortana as a platform to aid productivity gains, closely tied to its business-centric tools and services. Increasingly Cortana will become deeply integrated into specific Microsoft platforms, rather than being a generic voice assistant designed to be all things to all people.”
Nothing makes progress with voice payments in online banking like new ideas and startups. So, startups need to be given their spotlight as well.
According to Statista, in February 2021, there were 10,605 Fintech startups in America, and 9,311 of such startups in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa regions, and 6,129 in the Asia Pacific region. Among these startups, there are the ones that want to offer new ways of voice payments in banking. For instance, there’s My Voice in-car assistant. My Voice is a startup that originated in the UK. The features My Voice uses are as follow:
- machine learning
- speaker identification
- sentiment analysis
- emotion detection
All these features are specifically used to activate advanced voice commands. Among the solutions the company proposes is to perform voice payments from your car. The transactions made while driving are secure. And it is pretty convenient for people to resolve their financial issues on the spot while driving a car. So, it’s like Tesla, in a way. With the ability to unlock one’s voice during the drive, my Voice can become a valuable asset and a convenient tool for paying bills. But, we’ll see that soon.
What’s to consider in Voice payment technology development?
Voice payment technology can be set up as easily as any of the online wallets you already have. The voice payment option requires your device to be linked to a credit/debit card and needs all the bank details to be filled in. If you set up your account correctly, you will be able to give your smartphone voice commands to pay anywhere you go. And, it’s great that in a voice payment system you don’t have to open up the app like in a wallet payment one, to make payments. Initiate the payment any time by asking your device with your voice. After you have made a command, the following steps will occur:
- Your payment app will open, greet you, and request a confirmation
- The payment authorization confirmation can be made with the help of filling in the password or biometrics scanning
- Afterward, you will receive a confirmation by e-mail or in-app push notification that your costs have been withdrawn from your bank card
- The same payment process is initiated during a money transfer
However, you can ask your voice command payment app not only to perform payments but also to provide info on your account balance and whether there are any monthly payments to be done according to the schedule.
To develop this kind of voice payment banking app there is a need to consider:
Authentication of real-time biometric voice
Every voice has its speech characteristics: the accent, speed, intonation, timbre of voice to vocal cords’ physical characteristics, and so on. All of these characteristics have to be analyzed so that the app could recognize the right ones. This is also called the individualization of user experience.
Detection of live speech
The system has to be able to differentiate whether it is a person speaking live or recorded audio, or a synthetical voice generated by a machine. First of all, being able to decipher among humans, records and machines make the system able to authenticate its users correctly and additionally secure from hazards and unwanted cyber fraud.
Performance of daily banking operations
Daily banking operations can be performed with the help of natural voice commands to:
- Log in to/log out of your bank account
- Initiate the balance check
- Go through previous transaction records
- Exchange or transfer money
- Confirm different purchases
Also, we shouldn’t forget that voice banking is powered by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. So, it’s good to understand all the perks of AI-based and ML development and adhere to security standards such as GDPR and PCI DSS compliance.
Tough security questions
Voice recognition methods use biometrics data to identify who’s speaking with virtual assistants. The robotic assistants have gone through so many changes and updates that you won’t be able to differentiate whether it’s a human or AI is talking to you. However, there are a lot of privacy concerns around smart speakers. In a survey, 33% of U.S. adults said they had security concerns that stop them from purchasing the devices.
It was estimated that in January 2019, 26% of people showed a strong concern about the speaker’s privacy risk. The number jumped to 30% in January 2020. The reason is in the exposure to recorded conversations. All of the world’s biggest voice assistant providers – Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook are listening to some utterances because machine learning won’t be efficient if there aren’t any improvements in conversations between humans and devices. However, some situations with real leakage of consumer secret information caused many doubts and indicated privacy as a key risk in voice assistant technology.
AI updates will facilitate the ability to understand accents, dialects, intonations, and even more. Fingertips are unique biometrics data, which is an important security measure. 48% of people have used biometrics to make payments. Security is a really big deal and new technologies always give way for hackers to invade personal accounts with faked biometric data.
That’s why violation of privacy is a serious problem, so the question is how banks are going to protect sensitive information when it is spoken, especially, in the public? According to a Biometric update, 2019 has witnessed the first victim of deepfake technology. Deepfake technology uses AI to counterfeit images, video, and audio. Recently, Amazon’s Alexa security bug allowed access to voice history, which allowed hackers to attack and steal personal information. According to a Voice report by Microsoft and Bing, Google Assistant and Siri are used by 36% of people, and Amazon’s Alexa by 25%. So, security remains the main cause of user distrust.
Our Experience in Voice-Activated Payments and Development Cases
Inoxoft has expertise in providing Banking Software Development Solutions that are up-to-date, user-friendly, and with implemented cutting-edge features such as voice payment technology and others. Also, we have experience in creating a voice recognition web and mobile cloud-based solution for AI systems. Although it was not exactly about banking, the platform’s voice recognition features were carried out by our top software experts in AI/ML and NLP. Thus, Inoxoft’s team managed to increase the accuracy of voice analysis, protect confidential information, store valid records in the cloud, build a convenient web platform with consistent and intuitive UI/UX. If you need a solution based on voice-activated payments that require building an app powered by artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing that is also secure and within such security standards as GDPR and PCI DSS, give it a try and contact us! Inoxoft builds top software solutions for the leading companies in the world. Experience quality and dedication on every step.
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Voice recognition technology has all chances to become a boom in the next few years, but people are not intended to trust new technologies completely. According to Yahoo Finance, the global market size of voice biometrics will grow from $1.1 billion in 2020 to $3.9 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 22.8%. Thus, security issues are being gradually resolved. Companies have to invent and create new security measures to make this technology safe and efficient at the same time. And, we are pretty sure, they will.