Siri Functionality for Apple Pay Already Works… Kinda

  • Ian Kar
  • October 13, 2014
  • 0

canstockphoto10872003Bank Innovation has learned that Siri will work in concert with Apple Pay, according to multiple sources close to Apple. This has been confirmed based on tests conducted on the iPhone 6 with iOS 8.0.2., which seems to have Apple Pay-related features built in.

Based on tests conducted by Bank Innovation, if users tell Siri to “Open my Bank of America credit card,” the Passbook app opens up. However, Bank Innovation noticed that, no matter what the case, a user needed to input the passcode or unlock the phone using TouchID, reinforcing Apple’s focus on the security side of mobile payments.

Payments expert Brian Roemelle predicted a Siri-Apple Pay marriage on Quora in 2011, hypothesizing that Siri may be used to actually carry out full orders down the road.

Bank Innovation tested out this feature on the iPhone 6 running iOS 8.0.2.

Importantly, it looks like Bank of America is the only debit card that activates Passbook via Siri. Obviously, this is an unfinished product, so it’s hard to determine which debit cards will actually be used. However, industry expert Tom Noyes noted on his blog that only Bank of America debit cards will work from day 1 on Apple Pay.

There are a few reasons for adding Siri to Apple Pay.

The first is that it’ll make Apple Pay more frictionless than it already is. While Siri isn’t that heavily used on its own, having voice functionality work with a mobile wallet makes it easier for the customers to interact with the wallet without actually touching the phone until the last moment, for Touch ID integration. Sources have told Bank Innovation that Apple engineers did a lot of customization and updating the Touch ID and NFC chip for the iPhone 6 to make it 10 to 15 times faster. Based on tests conducted by Bank Innovation, it’s certainly plausible — Touch ID is working much faster and is much more accurate than how the system was in the iPhone 5S. Adding more advanced functionality is likely as well.

Further down the line, Apple could turn this into a new revenue stream. In theory, mobile wallet providers have the ability to charge issuers and card networks to be the “go to card,” or “top of wallet,” as the finance industry calls it. If Apple — which has already been granted a discount, which Bank Innovation reported — manages to create a new revenue stream by charging issuers and networks to be the top of wallet, that could be a nice extra chunk of change for Cook and co.

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