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Barclays Enables ‘Voice Pay’ with Siri

Barclays announced on Aug. 21 that it’s the first U.K. high street bank that lets mobile banking customers make a payment by asking Siri. The payment, which relies on TouchID for authentication, can be completed without opening the Barclays Mobile Banking app.

The Siri integration enables payments to existing payees or mobile contacts. For example, users could say: “Pay John £15 with Barclays.”

Available now to all customers with an iOS device enabled with TouchID and using iOS 10 +, the service is subject to daily and single payment thresholds and can only be made in pounds.

On its website, Barclays tells customers they might have difficulty using Siri to pay bills or companies. “If you ask, you may get Internet search results instead. This could change as Apple updates Siri,” according to the site.

Barclays already uses voice biometrics data to improve security and combat fraud and previously introduced talking ATMs to improve accessibility.

“Fifty years ago Barclays created the first ATM and it’s great to see that half a century on they’re still innovating,” says City Minister, Steve Barclay. “Using Siri to make payments is another step forward in making banking easier, quicker and more flexible for people across Britain. This is further proof that the U.K. is at the cutting edge of developing financial technology, which truly delivers for consumers.”

Enabling payments via Siri could be a boon for Barclays in the U.K., where Gartner Inc. research found that 54 percent of respondents in a fourth-quarter 2016 survey had used Siri in the last three months.

Gartner expects that, by 2019, virtual personal assistants like Siri will have changed the way users interact with devices and become universally accepted as part of everyday life.

“Today, VPAs are fulfilling simple tasks such as setting the alarm or retrieving information from the web, but in the near future these systems will be able to deliver more complex tasks such as completing a transaction based on past, present and predicted context,” the consultancy said.

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Image Credits: phipatbig/Shutterstock


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