Consumers speak up on voice-controlled payments, banking

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There is a growing opportunity for voice assistants such as Siri, Alexa/Echo and Google Home in banking and payments, according to new research carried out by Experian in conjunction with Creative Strategies.

Conducted in April 2017, the survey highlights that nearly half of consumer participants were interested in accessing banking and financial services via a voice assistant, indicating that there is a significant market opportunity for FIs that can move quickly to capture the wave.

Of the services that were most in demand, top of the list was checking account balances (52%), sending money to another person (47%) and paying bills (44%), according to data provided to PaymentsSource ahead of its publication. However, it is important that voice commerce applications are not simply reinventing the wheel.

“This shows that there is consumer interest, but as brands and consumers, we are viewing what's possible through the lens of what has already been done in mobile," said Cherian Abraham, digital payments executive at Experian. "For example, all top three requested features in voice are possible already through mobile as a channel. Voice lowers the threshold of technology, and makes it more accessible, but it would be an opportunity loss if we stuck with replicating what has already been done.”

However, every silver lining has a cloud. Security and privacy predictably top the list of reasons that end users may be put off using such services. 66% of survey participants were concerned that their sensitive data might not be secure, and 60% stated that they didn’t want others overhearing their conversation.

The latter issue could be addressed with newer generation voice assistants such as Echo Show that could enable data entry via the touch screen rather than just via voice. It is also notable that just 21% of participants stated that they would prefer talking to an actual person, which speaks to how quickly voice assistant users have adapted to conversing with artificial intelligence.

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Internet of things Digital payments Experian