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Voice Payment: An option for payment, when the USA is “paying with voice”

DIGITAL VENTURES October 31, 2017 3:04 AM


Today, each sector needs to be mindful and consider the significance of technology. It can be observed that digital technologies have developed financial products and services for financial sectors around the world. Thus, we are introduced to new types of payment transactions.

Recently, a powerful nation, the USA, initiated a new, interesting type of payment called the voice payment. A software was developed to further enhance efficiency. Players in voice payment market include Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana, Google Assistant / Now and Samsung Bixby / Viv. Voice payment are quite useful in various dimensions and can assist users in their everyday life. Today, we will be sharing about the development of voice payment in the USA.

Getting to know voice payment

Voice Payment is a payment transaction controlled by voice. A software has been developed to recognize voice and vocal rhythm. The software works as a personal assistant that take orders via a voice command from users and pass that command to complete transactions. Today, devices that support the voice control are smartphones, tablets, and other smart speaker devices. The reasons that Americans use voice payments are as follow:

  • Voice payment gives more time for other activities. Users don’t have to waste time to process payment in traditional ways. Moreover, such transactions can lessen limitations such as the requirement to complete the payment within a specific time but users are able to meet the required timeline. This is where voice payment becomes a great solution.

  • Voice payment is simple, therefore, it is different from other types of payments that require passcodes or other complex procedures before completing the payment.

A survey reveals that users most often use voice payment in cars, accounting for 51% of 500 voice payment users. This is logical as they help users complete these tasks while driving.

The rising growth in voice payment

The voice payment technology greatly helps increase convenience and tackles users core problem. Although voice payment is still not prevalent yet the trend is growing. From the survey, it can be observed that in the USA, there are over 18 million voice payment users. It is forecasted that within 2020, the growth rate shall increase at 31% per annum (CAGR). Moreover, leading players like Amazon and Google are using the technology with their services as well as their partners’. This attempt also contributes to the increase. Recently, Google announced a collaboration with Walmart, US giant retail outlet. A smart speaker software from Google will be installed and used for ordering products via voice commands. This is another positive sign for the development of voice payments.

Voice payment and the banking industry

The financial and banking industry has adopted the voice payment technology as well. A company specializing in voice recognition software called “Nuance” is the first firm to developed voice assistants for the baking industry. Nuance developed voice payment as a feature in a mobile banking application for renowned banks in the US like USAA and Santander. Furthermore, Nuance is also developer of “Siri” which is well-known among users worldwide. Recently, Siri launched the Siri P2P service which is a simple peer-to-peer money transferring service via a voice command. First adopters of the Siri P2P program are PayPal, Venmo, and Square Cash. Afterward, banks worldwide like England’s Monzo, Germany’s N26, and Canada’s Royal Bank (RBC) also began adapting the voice payment technology.


From the graph, we see that voice payment is mostly used for purchasing consumer goods. This is followed by digital items like television content or movies to transactions like paying electricity and credit card bills.

How can voice payment prevail?

The industry that has the highest voice payment transactions are with small-sized e-commerce like Amazon Dash, Amazon Wand etc. with most transactions for consumer goods. Also, online entertainment such as music and movies are also common. Nevertheless, for those looking to adopt voice payment into their business, here are some concerns.

  • Escalate safety – In the initial phase, there will always be users who don’t trust the security of voice payments. Therefore, service providers need to establish a secure system. Other identity verification system may need to accompany the voice payment service such as face recognition or fingerprint verification.

  • Update voice command recognition – A good voice payment system needs to understand both formal and informal commands because users are used to informal languages. Therefore, the more informal speech that the system can understand the easier it is for users.

  • Improve the interface – Although voice payment requires efficient voice controls, yet aesthetic, efficient visual content and user interface can’t be neglected.

In Thailand, some may see that voice payment is still farfetched. However, it can be observed that several industries especially the banking sector are highly aware of the technology and seek to adopt such technology. This also includes a new type of payment such as via QR codes [read more at Cashless Society in Asia and Each Countries’ Measures]. Therefore, with careful research and development, voice payment may become a challenging option.


Reference: The Financial Brand