Voice Payments is the Next BIG Thing

Further to my post earlier today, I would like to expand a bit more with regards to this topic. It is not only a very interesting thing to discuss, but also it can (and most definitely will) change many things that we do today.

Voice Assistants will change many things as we now them today.

Briefly about Voice Assistants

Due to the advancements in technology, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in particular, Voice Assistants (VA) are getting more and more accurate. Graph below visually illustrates the differences in accuracy among most popular VAs on the market today – namely Google Assistant, Microsoft’s Cortana, Apple’s Siri, and Amazon’s Alexa.

As it is visible from the figures provided above, Google currently is leading the race with 91% accuracy (which is really good).

Better accuracy simply means that VAs are better at performing their tasks and answering specific inquiries. This in effect suggests that they should be more useful on our daily basis. Indeed, two graphs below support this hypothesis quite well.

As it is visible from the provided statistics, most people find VAs useful due to the ability to have a hands-free control – hence, at home or in the car. And it makes perfect sense. While driving, the VA allows you to perform many tasks while still keeping your focus on the road. At (smart) home, with VA you can have a full (to the extent that is currently available) control of your house, and thus switch on/off lights, (un)lock door, order food via Amazon etc.

Voice Assistants & Payments = Voice Payments

VAs are inevitably coming to the payments industry as well, marking the beginning of yet another revolution. Already, Siri can help users make peer-to-peer (P2P) transfers with Venmo, Alexa can pay off Capital One Credit Card bills, and Google Assistant can let users shop with their voice from the nearby stores.

And this is just a beginning. Today, 18 million US consumers have made a voice payment. Having the pace of technological development in mind, it is not surprising at all that this figure is expected to quadruple over the next five years.

As it is seen from the figure provided above, by 2022 about 1/3 of population should have be familiar with making voice payments.

KEY drivers of Voice Payments

The essential factor driving the adoption of voice payments is convenience and hands-free experience. It is easy, saves you time, and is a fun thing to do (at least now, later it will be business-as-usual). Other important factors:

  • Explosion of voice-enabled devices, generational gains in AI, and a strong consumer value proposition for voice payments.
  • Payment providers are moving in: Amazon, Apple, Google, and PayPal are part of the growing list of companies making these next-generation payments possible.
  • Banks are increasingly interested in AI too. VAs would obviously increase efficiency & reduce costs.
  • Next-generation voice assistants will blow the current generation away. Voice payments will evolve from clunky and poorly scripted sessions to interactions as natural as one might have with a personal shopper or bank employee.

Bringing it all together

All in all, we can once again stress that Voice Payments will definitely change the current payments landscape. More advanced and accurate VAs will bring enjoyable customer experience, convenience and save us time.

Also, this is another good example illustrating how technology companies are disrupting yet another industry. I have briefly covered GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon), and their approach to banking in my last 3 pieces.

Source: Linas Beliūnas