voice payments in banking

Every digital payment service aims to make it as easy to use. After innovations like single-click card payments and QR codes, the next obvious move is voice payments in banking. Voice recognition technology has become quite advanced with the prevalence of voicebots and voice biometrics.

Why Is Voice Becoming a Popular Medium?

Voice AI assistants are now commonplace, with Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, or Google Assistant on every smartphone. More than half of the smartphone owners report using voice assistants regularly. In 2018, Juniper Research recorded 2.5 billion smartphone users and projected that the number would rise to 8 billion by next year.

Smart speakers are also becoming more widespread, with sales rising every year. Nearly 120 million smart speaker units had been sold in the US IN 2020.

Voice is a popular medium because it can be fastener and easier to use than texting. Complex functions can be carried out with one voice command; the promise of voice payments. The pandemic further highlighted the viability of voice-based technology. With their seamless and contactless nature, voice assistants and biometrics systems make remote actions possible.

The advancements in AI have also improved the accuracy of voice recognition technology. NLP and ML are being used to enhance the utility of the replies to user queries. The development of voice conversational AI agents represents another advancement in digitization. Numerous voice bots automate various repetitive parts of the business processes like cold calls, surveys, and feedback collection.

Due to the all-around convenience, it is only natural to be considered a viable medium to make digital payments.

The Current State of the Voice Payments Ecosystem

There are three main reasons for the shift toward voice payments in banking:

  • The seamless and frictionless nature of voice channels
  • Rising preference for digital and self-service channels among customers
  • Improved user experience

Voice payments can potentially be integrated easily into any part of daily life. Users could easily purchase whatever they need while engaged in other tasks.

Banks have been one of the early adopters of voice technology. Many have built voice bots to automate mundane tasks like balance queries about balances, and to delegate tasks like payment reminders.

The National Payments Corporation of India began testing voice-based transactions in 2021. The RBI has rolled out a UPI123Pay facility allowing feature phone users to make voice-based payments. Siri users have been able to make peer-to-peer transfers with Venmo while Google Assistant allows voice shopping from nearby stores. Alexa enables voice payments for Capital One credit card bills.

Some customers remain wary about adopting voice-based payments because of security concerns. Voice biometrics provides an intuitive answer. An authentication system via the same channel, voice-based biometric verification plugs many of the security concerns of other authentication systems.

In fact, we had a detailed discussion on voice payments in banking and how voice biometrics will make the transactions with Bradley Metrock (CEO, Project Voice). Watch the full session to get a better idea.

Voice Biometrics for Voice Payments in Banking

Voice biometrics works by enrolling the voiceprints of users and storing them in a database. A voiceprint contains many unique traits that can be compared to others and used to identify a user. A user may need to say a passphrase or any statement depending on the type of voice biometrics system.

Voice biometrics can be used to supplement or replace physical biometrics systems. It saves users the annoyance of entering multiple OTPs and removes the hassle of remembering passwords. It’s also hard for cybercriminals to crack it compared to a password.

The most significant advantage offered by voice biometrics is that the technology can shorten the user’s journey to a voice-based transaction. Commands can be carried out at lightning speed. The user authentication is lightning fast, as well as language and text-independent.

Therefore using voice biometrics can help reduce account takeover fraud besides cutting down call handling times. The technology is easy to integrate with various products and comes with APIs.

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