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  • Writer's pictureJaime González Gasque

How voice-based payments will define the future of digital payments

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that general awareness of voice technology is high. An average person can talk five times as many words in one minute as they can type. Voice is, after all, the most natural and efficient mode of communication. No surprise that digital voice assistants have become mainstream because of many incredible improvements in voice-related technologies.

Is voice payments the next big disruption

The current tides appear to be favouring the advent of voice-based technology for payments. The voice-based smart assistant revolution, which began with Siri and Alexa, is now being hailed as the primary enabler for a significant portion of the population to join the digital payments bandwagon.

The rise of voice-based payment systems is creating a next-level customer experience. For example, the online payment gateway has been the same for the last many years. Though it’s a credible process, it demands continuous checking of account numbers, IBAN, corroborating between the apps etc. Voice technology is thus ushering in the new era of digital payments that is way too fast and convenient.

It is also expected to level the playing field, removing the need for digital literacy and awareness as entry barriers to the booming world of online payments. A Voice system can be used to make payments via any mobile device where the customers can speak to the IVR through their earbuds to complete payments. It is as easy as making a phone call.

Better customer experience

60% of people currently use mobile and online banking for financial transactions, and most of them want to continue doing so in the post-covid era. Imagine a world where the availability of the internet won’t affect any of your financial transactions. Simply checkout with your “VOICE” commands, whether online or offline. Tested algorithms will be used for a hands-free checkout to make this a success. By using soundwaves, data transfer will happen to enable contactless experiences. Further, with the combination of an acoustic analyser, and acoustic marker the user will be provided with a data-driven acoustic platform for faster checkout and completely hands-free commerce.

Users will be able to discover, select and checkout with voice technology. Online payment still requires clicks or OTP. With the new voice-based systems, customers can check any brand’s online store and choose to “Pay with Voice” at checkout. Customers can enable the voice payment system on their preferred set of apps. For example, if a customer opens a food app with a voice-enabled system, he/she can tap their earbud and speak, ’Get me the menu’ to start with. After receiving the welcome message from QSR or a restaurant, they can select their choice of food items and close the order by speaking on the phone where the “pay with voice” payment option is already preselected. With voice payments, the entire traditional customer experience stands to change in years to come.

Familiarity with Voice technology

Voice interaction with technology is a far more natural way for humans to connect with technology, and voice functionality is already available in a number of apps. Voice, on the other hand, is allowing users in India, where mobile is the primary device of choice for many people, to interact with technology in their preferred local languages, allowing the voice to become a vital part of the user’s life that extends beyond convenience.

Voice technology has spawned an industry, with companies, developers, agencies, and startups investing in methods to improve functionality and usability. Voice technology is being tested by brands across many industries, including consumer packaged goods, durables, food tech, e-commerce, and even retail, to find methods to answer user demands.

There is no doubt that sound technology has the potential to redefine the digital experience in an impactful manner. It can revamp the traditional two-way interaction between customers and businesses. It is hands-free, enables faster checkout, offers regional dialects, and is 100% functional on both smart and feature phones with no dependency on the internet.

Defining the future of money in a digital world

Businesses are interested in payment solutions that take online payments for lower costs and less infrastructure. Similarly, customers are looking at alternatives that work beyond OTPs, clicks, manual authentication, internet, etc.

For now, voice technology seems like a revolution brewing in the payment industry that has a scope to realign and redesign the traditional ways of digital transactions. As non-cash payments brought in a major change in the market through digital wallets, UPI, e-transactions etc, voice payments are expected to foster the same level of change in the industry.

By Kumar Abhishek

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