August 29, 2017 12:00 AM
In the ongoing quest to enable maximum convenience in financial services, could hands-free payments be the next step?
Barclays has moved closer to this goal by becoming the first high street bank in the UK to enable mobile payments via Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant.
Users of the bank’s mobile banking app will be able to complete a payment by asking Siri to transfer a specified amount to an existing payee or someone on their contacts list.
The transaction is authenticated using fingerprint recognition, combining maximum security with consumer convenience, according to Barclays.
One of the potential advantages of this technology is making person-to-person payments easier for people with additional needs. The talking ATM is another example of an innovation that has helped to improve accessibilityin financial services.
Raheel Ahmed, head of customer experience and channels at Barclays, said the bank has a “long history” of introducing innovative products and services, such as the use of voice biometric data to boost security and tackle fraud.
“We recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the world’s first ATM, which was introduced to provide customers with 24/7 access to their money for the first time ever,” he added. “The introduction of Siri payments to mobile banking customers is another step forward, giving flexibility and greater choice for all our customers.”
City minister Steve Barclay said this new offering provides “further proof that the UK is at the cutting edge of developing financial technology which truly delivers for consumers”.
The Siri payments service will be available to Barclays customers using an Apple device with TouchID and running on iOS 10 or later.
Of course, the UK isn’t the only market experiencing change and evolution in payments. In a recent survey by U.S. Bank, 47 percent of American consumers said they preferred to use digital apps to make payments, while 45 percent showed a preference for cash.