Payments technology evolves in response to consumer behavior. Here’s why voice-first Fintech is growing in popularity.
Every day, people conduct voice searches on their mobile phones or through customer service calls using voice options. Voice-first Fintech continues to rise in popularity, with companies discovering new ways to use it to improve the customer experience. 3.25 billion people worldwide currently use voice-activated search and assistants, and as more people install smart speakers in their homes, that number is expected to rise.
The best demonstration of voice-first Fintech is through the use of smart speakers from companies like Amazon and Google. For example, you can use Amazon Alexa to make voice purchases with phrases like, “Alexa, add paper towels to my cart.” The AI will review your order history and either add a previously purchased item to your cart or recommend top products in the category. You may also ask the AI if there are deals available and complete your transaction using a four-digit voice shopping code to prevent accidental orders. Forecasts predict that by 2023, annual global shipments of smart speakers will surpass 200 million.
By contrast, voice commerce is much like sending your personal assistant to the store to pick up some items based on a brief description of your needs. You can ask your smart speaker for product recommendations and complete your transaction without lifting a finger. 51% of internet users in the USA, shop using voice assistance features on their smartphone devices.
In addition to smart speakers, you may install apps on your smartphone to utilize voice technology in your everyday life. Ask My Buddy is a similar service that extends Amazon Alexa’s and Google Home’s capabilities. Although it is not a Fintech solution, it acclimates people to use voice technology as a lifestyle solution, and its integration with existing IoT devices makes voice-first Fintech more organic for less technical consumers. Market forces shape companies’ products and services, and payment technology is no different. The winds of change currently seem to be in favor of voice-based payment technology.
When enabling voice commerce as a merchant, security solutions will need to be taken into account. 3D Secure 2.0 is one such measure. It improves on 3DS 1.0.2 with better mobile integration and protection from Man-in-the-Middle or MITM attacks. It also prevents legitimate purchases from being mistaken as phishing scams during authentication. In resolving these and other issues, the new technology reduces fraud without the high rates of cart abandonment associated with the old software. Using this and other security measures like PCI-DSS compliance, you can assure your customers that their data and finances are secure, thereby encouraging them to explore voice commerce.
Voice-first Fintech will continue to evolve based on user preferences and improved AI software. Platform developers will also make data-driven decisions to replace old technology with new ideas by using voice analytics. They can use this data to set expectations, identify bugs and help users to learn about a platform’s capabilities, such as shortcuts for ordering their favorite products using voice commands.
Voice analytics can also be used to measure changes in a user’s language, tone, and pitch, estimate brand sentiment, and identify areas of friction during the checkout process. For example, if a user’s voice indicates anger when adding and removing items from the shopping cart, the AI may adapt to make the experience less stressful the next time around by recommending different products.
To tie all of these elements together, voice commerce can use “pathing” to treat multiple commands as a single conversation, where each previous step provides context for the next. A user might start the conversation by asking for recommendations for places to eat. Then, without repeating the previous command, they can ask the device to narrow the radius to a maximum distance and a particular cuisine. The system remembers each of these parameters and combines them with each query until the user takes the final step to book a reservation.
As consumers adapt to using voice-first Fintech more often, developers will find ways to improve security technology and fraud prevention in ways that do not lead to cart abandonment. This is already apparent with upgrades to 3DS, and similar improvements can be expected for other security and authentication measures.
Voice-first Fintech will continue to rise in popularity among mainstream users. It was a natural transition for users to adapt from a desktop environment, using a keyboard and mouse—to a mobile environment, using gestures on a touch-screen to conduct commerce. It’s not a far leap to switch to a voice-enabled user interface when making purchases and payments. Voice technology is the future of digital commerce, and tools like voice analytics and security software will produce rewarding results for consumers and merchants alike.
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