Santander U.K. Adds P2P Voice Payments to Its App

  • Grace Noto
  • February 13, 2017
  • 1

hand-microphone-mic-holdTired of having to transfer money using an infinite number of smartphone taps? Banks are starting to fix that.

Santander is continuing its dive into voice-based features, by rolling out voice payments capabilities to its app, the bank said this morning. The feature is currently available on the bank’s SmartBank app for iOS users in the U.K.

Ed Metzger, Head of Technology Innovation at Santander said in a statement:

The worlds of technology and banking continue to evolve at pace, working hand in hand to deliver a friction-free user experience. We are excited to be the first UK high street bank to enable customers to make payments using just their voice, offering them another channel of choice in how they wish to bank.

Voice-based capabilities are not new to the Spanish banking giant: Santander added a voice-based digital assistant to its mobile app in March of last year.

According to voice commerce expert Brian Roemmele of Payfinders:

[This] is a very big deal! They have done testing and found the ability was universally loved and increased app usage by a large percent.

Voice technology’s rise among the FIs in the U.S. is measurable, but slow: Capital One still remains the only bank with skills available on Alexa, for example. It is likely that Santander will soon make the feature available in the U.S., according to Roemmele.

Banks and FIs are beginning to better explore the technology—no one wants to get left behind, but as yet no one is really sure how exactly to best use the technology, and some banks “are hiring the wrong folks.” Roemmele told Bank Innovation:

Hiring consultants that know nothing about Voice and asking them to build stuff…the stuff they are building has the prospectus of actually hurting the banks because the premise is wrong.

To learn more about voicefirst banking, join us in San Jose on March 6-7 for Bank Innovation 2017, where the best conversations in fintech take place. Request your invitation here.

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